Can Soundway do no wrong? Yet again they come up trumps with their latest compilation Palenque Palenque. An amazing collection of champeta, criolla and Afro-Colombian inspired music from the northern regions of Colombia, the music marks the follow up to the cumbia and poro’s which had dominated the Colombian music scene through the 60s and 70s.
Inspired by the DJs and sound system of the time who had a pennant for soukous, highlife, Afro beat and rhumba, the local musicians reacted and the resultant hybrid of these African sounds, cumbia, vallenta, caribbean styles and compas made for a very rich outcome. Every track’s a winner, but stand out ones are: ‘La Botellita’ by Grupo Palma Africana which really sums up the sound – African rhythms, cow bells and accordion, say no more. ‘Tungalala (El Sapo)’ by Son Palenque is set straight for the dance floor. Rough, energetic, call and response vocals and super infectious. If you have any interest in such styles, go buy this great compilation and support the cause.
By Russ Jones