Tag Archives: Salsa 2016

Orquesta el Macabeo “La Maldición del Timbal”


Review para distros by Hermes Ayala, cultural journalist and critic

Out of the depths of a nation’s sociopolitical struggle comes one of the most mature albums Puerto Rican music has seen this year. As if they were declaring a rhythmical guasábara – which means war on any invader, in the native Caribbean Taíno tongue – the salsa group known as Orquesta Macabeo unleashes their 4th studio album, La Maldición del Timbal, an eight track bombshell that proves how far their spirited blend of punk rock attitude and afro-boricua beats have come along.

This is much more than their usual musical mayhem. For example, Macabeo now goes deep into the Puerto Rican diaspora’s feeling of nostalgic desperation, with tracks such as Crucero, where they explain how they long to arrive “to a free port”, a clear allusion to the commonwealth’s controversial political limbo. More humanist maturity: on the track Armonía, they finally find a way to approach how love can lie to people, something they tried to do on past albums, but couldn’t quite nail. This time, they sigh, “it’s about living with the lie of living in harmony.”

We’ve got a band way past their teens now. Their fans can still remember those times when the fellows from Macabeo where frowned upon by their more purist peers, because of their sudden success with early work such as the classic Salsa Macabra (2010). They’ve always had lyrics. But now they are more than salsa renegades or juvenile pranksters of the afro-Caribbean music scene. The salsa big band is mature enough to talk about the humane, daily life routine: “The routine that tarnishes my retina,” they sing in Rutina. They are centered enough to take on the ugliness of religious hustlers: “The goodwill to give money to the pastor!!,” they cry out in Buena Voluntad.

Such smartness goes hand by hand with a newfound poise in their afinque (hard to define salsa term roughly meaning “in-tune-ness,” as well as “tightness” or “sharpness” – of arrangements, of playing, of attitude). Their proverbial street-fighting brass line suddenly dropkicks among a much more debugged percussion line, like in Carrera, a complex tune about competition and age. Here, Macabeo shines musically, as if they relished the challenge of dropping a ballroom sound in front of verses full of swagger.

Yeah, their character as a band is sharper in this album. They still will, however, cut your face with a blade: their guapería (boldness) hits like a lightning bolt in Saco’e Trampa (Bag ‘o tricks), where lead singer Mofongo calls out war on a traitor, “because what you do here, you pay here… you hide like an insect, but I’m watching you.”

The rabid coming of age of Macabeo makes even more sense, when you see the art on their album cover, done by none other than perennial rebellious art-god Joe Petagno. This master of heavy metal art, responsible for album covers of bands such as Led Zeppellin and Motörhead, produced Macabeo’s cover, a psychedelic work that dignifies the fight endured by this island nation and their musical scene. After all, Puerto Rico and their artists are fighting a Maldición Colonial or “colonial damnation/curse,” as it is explained in the title of the last track of this album, possibly Macabeo’s purest work to date.

Hermes Ayala, cultural journalist and critic

“La Maldición del Timbal” Available On  bandcamp.com

 visit the website  orquestaelmacabeo.com  become a fan … fb  Orq-el-Macabeo


Latin Explosives “Salsa y Sabor”


An original band, with original music. From lyrics to compositions, Latin Explosives brings Salsa to a new level. This swinging Latin sound is born from the New York City’s own Lower East Side, home to many Salsa greats.

Latin Explosives is a Latin Salsa band started in 2004 in New York City. William Feliciano, the leader of the band, together with the lead singer and song writer Willie May Escalerda, began the journey to accomplish original music, traditional Salsa.

Their style inspired by the old school salseros, aggressive with a romantic twist, will definitely get you dancing. The song “Tres Soneros”, a dedication to three legends of Salsa, Ismael Rivera, Hector Lavoe and Frankie Ruiz, is a fine example of the above.

“Salsa y Sabor” Available On  cdbaby

 visit the website  latinexplosives.com  become a fan … fb  latinexplosives

Timba Republic

A Sovereign State of Music

Yoruba Andabo

Yoruba Andabo is a Cuban band performing original sacred African music Yoruba Andabo es una banda cubana interpretando música africana sagrada originales.

ARChive of Contemporary Music, or "Would You Take My Mind Out for a Walk"

... formerly: Musica Joyaria!; the Supine View; and The Blogoschmeer


Afro Puerto Rican music band

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