March 22, 2009

Rumba Catalan: El Gitano Portugués on Discophon 1970-1973

Born Joaquín Caldera Cardoso, El Gitano Portugués is one of my personal favorite Catalan rumberos. Between 1970 and 1973 he released 8 singles and one full album (El Gitano Portugués 1972) on the spanish Discophon label. He might not be as famous as The King of Catalan Rumba, Peret, but certainly doesn't lack the quality. Especially the two songs featured here never stop to amaze the listener and always shake up the dancefloors. Similar to El Noi (one of my other unjustly unknown favorites), El Gitano Portugués loves to add latin percussion (plus piano and brass) to his Rumba-Flamenco strumming, and combined with his raw pleading vocals (and therefore reminiscent of the gritty southern soul voices), will touch your heart and move your body. Flamenco purists will hate it, but you just cannot deny the funk in it. In short, it just gives you another reason to love Barcelona. Check out the tunes below and listen where Manu Chao got his inspiration!
El Gitano Portugués

Side A: Procura (Joaquín Caldera)
Side B: Odio (Deths-Ruiz Padilla)
Label: Discophon (1970)

sample: Procura

El Gitano Portugués

Side A: Que No, Que No (J. Garcia Moreno-Carlos Caballero)
Side B: Solo (J. Garcia Moreno-M.A. Espionosa-Ruiz de Padilla)
Label: Discophon (1972)

sample: Que No, Que No

other singles:
El Gitano Portugués - Fui a Bahia/Los Limones (Discophon 1970)
El Gitano Portugués - Rebola Bola/O Belen du pai (Discophon)
El Gitano Portugués - Es de Portugal/Dalila (Discophon 1971)
El Gitano Portugués - Chando Mio/Lloro (Discophon 1972)
El Gitano Portugués - Buenas Noches/Pena Pena (Discophon 1973)
El Gitano Portugués - Caray, Caray/Ya Hay Amor (Discophon 1973)

March 04, 2009


The days that reggae was solely a Jamaican thing are long gone, and regarding the new releases from the little island, I must say that it is most fortunate that they are. Making my way through yet another pile of "new releases" I find myself dissapointed more often than I used to be. If a tune isn't molested by those hideous "Cher" vocoders, chances are you'll be listening to yet another update of a 90's ragga riddim, a dragging lovesong or, the newest trend, an acoustic version. Obviously there's nothing wrong with the latter, they're often beautiful songs, but I'm not too sure people would like to see me play one of these in a dance. In a few years time though, I'm sure, Jamaican produced reggae will be back at the top of the game. Like economics, reggae has its high- and low points.

Luckily though, the reggae virus has spread steadily and globally and I'm happy to say that the Netherlands, in which I reside, has got a vast amount of high quality artists on its soil who produce more than decent tunes. The most famous is ofcourse Ziggi, who had his big breakthrough last year when he was signed to VP/Greensleeves and hasn't stopped charting international hits ever since. Others that had sizeable hits are Irieginal Abraham (who's seminal "Ganja Gun" was the only serious contender to Alborosie's version on the riddim based on Zap Pow's "Last War") and Beef, who are still going strong as Holland's biggest "middle of the road" reggaeband, reaching new audiences with their sound and opening doors for many new artists.

A REGGAE BOMB, a monthly party hosted by Skank Around Sound, have compiled a beautiful mix to present the finest in Dutch reggae, and it is a job well done. As well as presenting the bigger names and hits, dj Dab dug deep and found some promising talent lurking in the background as well. Dj Ivoryman blended them all together in an uplifting mix.


1. Beef / Kenny B : On my own
2. Ziggi : Need to tell you this
3. Kalibwoy : World war
4. Fullanny : Why
5. Dredda Youthz : Uma no crey
6. Mizmay : No vacancy
7. Maikal X : The best in you
8. Mischu Laikah : I wish
9. Joggo : She wants to dance
10. Strawl : In this time
11. Fullanny : Garden of eden
12. Black Prophet : Mama africa
13. Smiley / Junior Kelly : Dem a wonder
14. Maikal X : Nothing less
15. VC - Babylon soldier
16. E-Man : Angel eyes
17. Lady K-Wida : So much trouble
18. Mizmay : Wrong world
19. Dredda Youthz : Widjigidjing
20. Brother Marcus : Conquering lion
21. Smiley : Rush
22. Ziggi : Blaze it
23. Irieginal Abraham : Ganja gun
24. Barka Moeri : Mash dem down
25. Ziggi : Fade away
26. Ivoryman : Dangerous
27. Irieginal Abraham / Kirk Davis : Live it up
28. Joggo : Beware
29. Benaissa : Coconut water
30. Black Marshall : Mr. Politician
31. Barka Moeri : Faya fe Rome
32. Beef : Straight through the roof
33. Kenny B. : Baby true
34. Kalibwoy : Dem nah change
35. Benaissa : Believe
36. Black Prophet : Doubting me
37. Brother Marcus : Who is to blame

Download the mix here
Hope you enjoy it!