In the rarified world of record collecting and the occult historical lore that only an obsessed fan can bring to it, Latin music aficionados can be a fierce bunch, just as fixated with acquiring that exclusive, rare slab of wax as any of their more publicized kin in the larger realms of jazz and soul. Sometimes, amongst this clan of DJs and vinyl hoarders there's a desire to share some nugget of knowledge or special track. Just as often it's a counter-desire to blow someone's mind with a cover or original version, or perhaps even stump a fellow collector with some hidden gem that you've blown the dust off and brought back to its original lustre. Hopefully a jam they never even knew existed!
All the tracks in this treasure trove of trans-national Latin grooves from yesterday and today are either favorites of DJs and collectors but are otherwise unknown, have not yet been released, or have not been digitally reissued before. Unlike most Rough Guides, you may not recognize any names, but that is the point. When you dig deep, the payback is even greater.
While 'rare groove' as a genre owes its name to the London scene of the 1980s, it was used largely to describe obscure, hard to find soul, funk or jazz music from the US and was tied in with the world of dance DJs, promoted in the spirit of sourcing music for hip-hop or house music sampling. Latin jazz and to a lesser extent boogaloo was included within this purview, but not particularly salsa or other genres of Latin music. This collection throws a wider net to include not only the required old-school Latin/soul/jazz, but also mambo, salsa, cumbia, descarga and several cuts that are just plain hard to define. From the lesser-known locale of Venezuela, Nelson y Sus Estrellas, Federico y Su Combo Latino and Los Kenyas are sure to surprise and delight. Alfredo Guitiérrez y Los Caporales Del Magdalena, Piper Pimienta y Su Orquesta, and Afrosound represent Colombia, while Mario Allison, Carlos Pickling and Grupo 2000 hail from the recently re-discovered mother-load of Peru. No compilation of this sort would be complete without some sought-after tracks from the US, so we've included Joe Quijano, Orchestra Dee Jay and the Gilberto Sextet. Bringing us up to date, you'll find a healthy portion of contemporary international artists finishing off the set. Spanglish Fly, Los Po-Boy-Citos, Setenta, Rumba Caliente, Los Charly's Orchestra and Ray Lugo all share a strong appreciation for the rare groove aesthetic but are clearly from today's scene.
Collected here for the first time, DJ Bongohead and Spanglish Fly bandleader Jonathan 'Johnny Semi-Colon' Goldman have selected the best of the group's early recordings, plus a smattering of tasty remixes, rarities and outtakes, in addition to more recent material from their forth-coming debut long-play.