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  • Gitanos

    I started picking up rumba and flamenco records a few years ago, and whenever I’m in mainland Spain I end up bringing a few more home with me. There are huge amounts of this stuff and it’s an area I knew nothing about when I started, Since then I’ve found a few fan sites and have also had a lot of help from the great sleeve notes to Txarly Brown’s Achilifunk compilation - the first real attempt to bring the history of this music to a dance/DJ/collectors audience.

    Rumba is basically flamenco with dancefloor rhythms– first latin and Cuban rhythms (hence the name), later pop and rock styles. A lot of the old stuff is almost impossible to find, and when you do it can be disappointing due to poor recording techniques ( like jazz, the essence of flamenco lies in live performance, and many older records have the feel of field recordings).
    These are some of my favourites so far, but there’s a load more waiting for me.


    Anyway I've put them all up in a file on Divshare and you can take your pick here

    http://www.divshare.com/playlist/437922-e7a



    Peret y sus Gitanos– El Gato; Peret is the King of Rumba, and this is his great version of Joe Cuba’s latin soul number El Raton. The ep which this comes off also contains Lo Mato, a clever song about paranoia that you can see an excerpt of here.



    Los Amaya y su Conjunto Gitano– En La Cruz Moría: Delfin and Pepe Amaya’s first álbum is my favourite rumba lp, with not a bum track on it. There are two furious Morricone western themes, covers of latin tunes and originals like this, which is 90 seconds of adrenalin. Again, check the boys’ moves and styles here.



    Dolores Vargas La Terremoto - ¡A La Pelota!: “The Earthquake” was a fiery performer who hit number one with Achilipu, and released a slew of poppy rumba hits with rock, funk and even African influences. In this song she gives her husband an earful for spending all his time at the football ground and the bullring., although you can hardly blame him when confronted with the fury of Dolores. Here’s a great early clip of her dancing, accompanied probably by her guitarist brother, and here she is in her camp 70s heyday



    Teresiya – Malagueña: On the picture sleeves of her few 45s Teresiya the Gypsy Girl looks about 14 and is dressed up like a 9-year old, usually clutching a cuddly dog. This is my favourite track of hers, a version of Lecuona’s Cuban standard (taken from a flamenco melody in the first place) in which she also proves to have the husky sensual voice of a much older woman.





    Tony el Gitano – El Fracaso: Tony the Gypsy marked a new direction for rumba when he turned up with his rumba macarra (macarra means streetwise, cheap and flashy, and I’m guessing the word derives from the French word for pimp, maquereaux). I love the cover of this 45, which looks like Tony and his cuadro have been having an unholy piss up in a field. I’ve also included a later Tony single cover so you can admire the guy’s style. This rasping, nasal, repetitive tale of crime and ounishment was his first hit although a rockier cover of the song by Los Chichos was far more successful.



    Moncho y su Wawanko Gitano – El Negro Bembón: By the 70s Moncho had become a smooth purveyor of ballads, but in the mid 60s he cut an ep of fierce latin songs which I’ve never seen for sale anywhere. Luckily a couple of tracks were compiled on the first of the Rumbas Pop comps in the 70s, which also showed why Discophon was the number one rumba label.



    Amina – Mi Sangre Arabe: Amina specialized in Arabic-themed tunes and had a pretty long career. I need more of her stuff, but this track illustrates the dodgy production you get with older rumba. Still, it’s got a startling intro, weird Arab violins and does capture a live atmosphere well.



    India Flores – Jalala Jalili: I know nothing about India Flores except that she has a really sexy nose, a spine-tingling voice and released one album of raw, rough Moroccan influenced rumbas. This one features thrilling guitar flurries, vocals in Arabic, handclaps and percussion and nothing else.



    Las Grecas – Bella Kali; These two gypsy sisters were drafted in to front the gipsy rock project and went on to release a number of albums before drugs, mental illness and prison tragically overcame one of them. This track is sort of Arab/flamenco/psych thing from the first album that I like a lot.
    Here's their big hit from the album.



    Los Amaya – No Llores Mas: After their first album, Los Amaya focused on more commercial romantic fare. This is fairly indicative of the way they went, but remains a wistful latin pop song I like. The boys make with some dope poses on the picture sleeve, too.



    Lole & Manuel – Un Cuento Para Mi Niño: This bedtime story about a captured butterfly is pretty famous, being probably the most popular song on L & M’s great first album Nuevo Dia, which coincided with the death of Franco and reflected the mood of many. If you like acoustic female folk with shimmering electronic touches, this should be right up your street.
    Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by babycart View Post
    Las Grecas – Bella Kali; These two gypsy sisters were drafted in to front the gipsy rock project and went on to release a number of albums before drugs, mental illness and prison tragically overcame one of them.
    'Orgullo'...

    Cheers for the info and the chart, BC.
    You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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    • #3
      this, sir, is excellent!!
      thank you very much. a totally new field, but sounds VERY nice after a first short listen.
      really like that second amaya track fro example...
      Autobahn vas ein Monster: here she is, mit 7 others

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent, thank you very much. I have 2 Los Amayas singles, but they are not as good as the tracks you have included. I also have the 1st Peret Lp, very raw production but fantastic songs: "Don Toribio, (the gypsy astronaut)" is a killer (it even has a theremin playing as the intro), "La fiesta no es para feos (the party is not for ugly ones)" or "El muerto vivo (the alive dead person)"...

        ¡A tope con la vida!

        Comment


        • #5
          Fascinating! ... Good stuff

          I assume most of this is from the 70's no? (based on the groovy garb)

          Thanks for sharing
          "Will our children be sacraficial lambs offered up to ease the fears of the multinational corporations like so many brainwashed media zombies? Petroleum and it's byproducts should not be a dependancy in a technology based society. Nothing lasts for ever and we cannot ask God for our gasoline!" - from Flowers and Birds by Rise Robots Rise

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Stoneface View Post

            I assume most of this is from the 70's no? (based on the groovy garb)
            It's all 70s apart from Moncho and Amina. There's a few things from the 60s I want but they're almost impossible to find. I've had bad experiences with late 70s and 80s rumba so far, although my mum and me still have a soft spot for the Gipsy Kings.

            I also have the 1st Peret Lp, very raw production but fantastic songs: "Don Toribio, (the gypsy astronaut)" is a killer (it even has a theremin playing as the intro), "La fiesta no es para feos (the party is not for ugly ones)" or "El muerto vivo (the alive dead person)"...
            I like the sound of the gipsy astronaut. The other two are on the comp above and seem to be rumba standards, covered by plenty of artists.

            'Orgullo'...
            It was a toss up between this, Amma Immi and the track above
            Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Nice! I know someone who is gonna love this chart, thanks.

              Originally posted by babycart View Post
              Las Grecas – Bella Kali; Here's their big hit from the album.
              I'd had this (Te estoy amando...) performed live, dance and all by the mother in law after she bought me the LP
              She told me one of the girls stabbed the other one?
              ...Dreamtime coming

              Comment


              • #8
                cheers, looks excellent, will check it out in a bit.

                have just read Giles Tremlett 'Ghosts of Spain', and there was a whole chapter on gypsies and flamenco which was jolly interesting. off topic (from rumba) but Camaron de la Isla was talked about a lot, and sounded like someone interesting to VG+ ears - pissing off purists with LPs with sitars etc. ? have only checked out a few tracks of the stuff with Paco de Lucia so far...


                this thread is also very appropriate because i've got Jerry Jackson 'Gypsy Eyes' stuck in my head after hearing a dj play it last night, one of a number of gypsy/Spanish-themed R&B/early soul tracks...
                Last edited by bongolia; 20-11-2008, 11:37 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bongolia View Post
                  have just read Giles Tremlett 'Ghosts of Spain', and there was a whole chapter on gypsies and flamenco which was jolly interesting. off topic (from rumba) but Camaron de la Isla was talked about a lot, and sounded like someone interesting to VG+ ears - pissing off purists with LPs with sitars etc. ? have only checked out a few tracks of the stuff with Paco de Lucia so far...
                  I haven't got loads of Camaron, but the crossover stuff I've heard doesn't really do much for me. I prefer the informal recordings where you get a better idea of his raw power - just him wailing, handclaps and guitar, blokes coughing and urging him on. His rumba Volando Voy is fine, though. Paco De Lucia is probably more VG+ stuff - he got a bit funky on a couple of his 70s albums.

                  The best funky flamenco thing I've heard is Los Chorbos - Sones Del Chicharro, which was on one of LLMod1's Xmas swaps, and also pops up on Achilifunk. It's jaw-dropping stuff.

                  Lole & Manuel also fell foul of flamenco purists, who seem to be pretty purist. To be honest, a lot of my problems with more recent recorded flamenco are to do with the reverence that it is accorded - crystal clear production, virtuoso backing musicians etc - I much prefer the rough and ready stuff liek the Amina track above (in case your wondering, the version of Yellow Submarine off that ep sounds like a Spanish Mrs Mills after a few litres of sangria).
                  Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by babycart View Post
                    I haven't got loads of Camaron, but the crossover stuff I've heard doesn't really do much for me.
                    cheers, thought it sounded a bit too good to be true if you know what i mean

                    Lole & Manuel also fell foul of flamenco purists, who seem to be pretty purist. To be honest, a lot of my problems with more recent recorded flamenco are to do with the reverence that it is accorded - crystal clear production, virtuoso backing musicians etc - I much prefer the rough and ready stuff liek the Amina track above
                    the usual problems then! same as blues, jazz, etc - no-one involved seems to realise that the sound of the 50s/60s records is what helped make them special

                    (in case your wondering, the version of Yellow Submarine off that ep sounds like a Spanish Mrs Mills after a few litres of sangria).
                    i was wondering acually!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just got round to having a listen to this
                      Fantastic stuff
                      Just when I think I'm getting jaded and there's nothing new Mr Cart comes along to show that there is still a world of stuff I didn't even know I didn't know!
                      Thanks a lot for sharing these
                      Have you picked most of these up in chazzas and fleas or do they command big euro price tags in Spanish record shops?
                      "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

                      Night of the Living Vinyl

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Expury70 View Post
                        Have you picked most of these up in chazzas and fleas or do they command big euro price tags in Spanish record shops?
                        Glad you enjoyed it
                        The Los Amaya lp is the only one I paid much money for, but it was worth it (then i found ia spare cheap in MAdrid Rastro while it was in the post). the rest were all fairly cheap punts in shops or online. Of course this means I've got quite a load of rubbish, too. Manolo Escobar has a lot to answer for.

                        There are some collectors items though, like the Rabbit Rumba lp which I think Wah Wah are reissuing. And there's lot of stuff from the 60s that I've only ever heard of.
                        Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by babycart View Post
                          the rest were all fairly cheap punts in shops or online. Of course this means I've got quite a load of rubbish, too. Manolo Escobar has a lot to answer for.
                          I think that's one of the joys of discovery - you don't quite know what you're going to get - and all the better if its cheap!
                          "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

                          Night of the Living Vinyl

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            looks great, Senor Cart, but the divshare link is temporarily unavailable, something about a confirmation email.

                            maybe i'm the only one getting this message though.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alanmck View Post
                              looks great, Senor Cart, but the divshare link is temporarily unavailable, something about a confirmation email.

                              maybe i'm the only one getting this message though.
                              all sorted now, I hope
                              cheers for letting me know
                              Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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