Sounds and Colours, the magazine that has brought us so much impressive coverage of South American music (among other things), just dropped an especially exciting volume. The Rarezas Colombianas Mixtape was compiled by drummer and percussionist Pedro Ojeda. Ojeda has played in many of our favorite Colombian groups, including Quantic’s Ondatropica and the psychedelic Los Pirañas, so it comes as no surprise that he is both well-versed in Colombia’s long, storied musical history and adept at picking from among its most choice cuts.
The mixtape is made up of 78s, 45s and 33s from both Ojeda’s own collection and that of Antonio Cuellar, a plumber who devoted his life to collecting music from all over Colombia, amassing a massive collection of 70,000 records by the time he died in 1995. The songs run the gamut from fandango to porro to montocumbe to chachachá. Some were recorded by large orchestras, while others are the work of small ensembles of accordion, guitar and percussion players. Most of the artists featured are essentially unknown to all but the most devoted connoisseurs of Colombian musical history. That obscurity does not correspond to the quality of the music, which is exceptional throughout. So it’s a good thing that groups like Los Teenagers and Los Curramberos de Guayabal are finally getting some long-delayed attention. We urge you to give this one a listen, whether to fill in some blanks in your Colombian musical knowledge or introduce yourself to that country’s outstanding and diverse traditions!
For more coverage of Los Pirañas, check out our posts on their recent “Salvemos Nuestro Folclor/Carnavalito Infernal Y Cosas Chéveres” 7” and the video for “Salvemos Nuestro Folclor,” a song that can be best described as “psychotic tropical noise.”
Also be sure to check out Sounds and Colors Brazil, a recent book on Brazilian music and culture for a read that is both entertaining and mind-bendingly informative. You can purchase that HERE.