Monday, 7 June 2010

Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Remixed

Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed

Podcast 7 featured a number of songs from the Havana Cultura CD series. Out today, Havana Cultura: Remixed, an album that is well worth your attention in our view.

'Havana Cultura: Remixed' is the follow-up album to the outstanding 'Gilles Peterson presents Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound', that was put out by Brownswood in October at the end of 2009. The original album was the product of an in-depth two-year exploration of the underground Cuban hip hop, afro-jazz, reggaeton and funk music scene, and a series of recording sessions taken over twelve months in the world famous Egrem Studios in Havana, culminating in a double CD release.

Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band - Roforofo Fight (Louie Vega's EOL Mix) by Brownswood

The first of the two CDs featured cover versions, as well as some original material as played by Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band; The result of hours of improvisation in the studio. It is these tracks that have been remixed by a whole host of exciting global electronic dance artists on the latest album.

Picking highlights from the album is a tough task but there are some stand-out tracks. The three remixes of 'Arroz Con Pollo' by Carl Cox, MJ Cole and Gotan Project's Philippe Cohen Solal, are all incredible songs in their own right. Whereas Carl Cox takes the track down the spaced-out dubstep route reminiscent of a Benga tune, MJ Cole keeps much of the upbeat Latin soul from the original, adding a driving bassline to some processed soca rimshot rhythms. Meanwhile the 'Solal "Soy Cuba" Remix' is a downtempo afro-beat take of the same song, but focuses much more on the playful vocal aspect of the original.

Also worth mentioning is the remix of 'Chekere Son' by Wichy de Vedado, who was specifically chosen as a Cuban remixer, and presented with the opportunity to fully exploit the Havana vibes from the Egrem recordings. His remix is a beautifully percussive, organic Latin explosion that really hammers home the origins of the overall release.

'Havana Cultura: Remixed' also comes as a double CD. On the second CD is an hour long mix by Gilles Peterson himself, that brings together all the remixes from the first CD including the four already mentioned and the remaining remixes by Seiji, Productor en Jefe, Michel Cleis, Skinner, 4hero, Rainer Trueby and Louie Vegas, plus a few extra remixes that do not feature on CD1. Below is a teaser of what you can expect from both CDs.

Havana Cultura Remixed Podcast with Gilles Peterson by Brownswood

Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura Band - Chekere Son (Seiji ReRub) by Brownswood

Dickon was also lucky enough to be at the release party for the album in Berlin, with live music from Kumar, one of the artists from the original release:

Gilles Peterson is playing at East Village in Shoreditch this coming Friday with support from Seiji, get yourselves down for a spot of dirty UK funky, broken beat and of course, plenty of Havana sounds.


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