- label:Piranha Records
When it comes to sheer sensuality, lust and carnality – Latin music is hard to beat! It’s dance music – at least, that’s one of the popular stereotypes with the genre. Then again, Latin music is very sentimental, very melancholic music, too. It’s also a music that has (at least subliminally) a permanent tendency towards the political – that’s no wonder, with all the turbulences, upheavals, civil wars and the like in the region, and all the flights and exiles that go along with them.
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Piranha’s Latin activities encompass all of those strengths and advantages that characterise the complete plethora of styles emanating from Central and South America and the Latin Caribbean. Music to celebrate life itself and the people’s love of life has been part of the Piranha focus from practically day one – most notably and most effectively with some of the acts of HeimatKlänge festival 1993 ‘Carnevale Caribe’ and one of its successors, ‘Brasil 500’ in 2000.
Argentine accordion master Chango Spasiuk has transformed the local chamamé into an art form of his own, combining the deep, heavily sentimental roots of the rural musical traditions of Central and South America with a wild and elegant virtuosity on the instrument that is so common in this region and style.
Eddie Bobé – born in Puerto Rico and a New York resident – has amalgamated the roots of his Puerto Rican and Cuban parents with the innovations from the Latin and African American communities in the Big Apple to come up with his own brand – his trademark combination of Cuban rumba and bata drumming, Haitian voodum, and Puerto Rican bomba, plena and jibaro.
The Latin tradition of political topics in popular music is held up especially on the Piranha roster by a camarada from Basque Country– Fermin Muguruza. His emphasis on the Basque independence struggle highlights a topic that will be very relatable for the indigenous communities all over Latin America – especially when they are played in their own Latin styles, from which Muguruza takes heavy influence.
Then there is Cuba – an entire musical cosmos in itself! From field recordings from Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province to the late, great Mario Bauza and his AfroCuban Jazz big band on stage at HeimatKlänge’s ‘Carnevale Caribe’ in Berlin’s Tiergarten and on the subsequent Piranha souvenir release of the festival’s live recordings; from HeimatKlänge 1997 ‘CubaniSimo’ offering an almost complete variety of Cuban music to Maurice el Medioni’s 2006 collaboration with Cuban-American drummer Roberto Rodríguez Descarga Oriental, infusing his trademark Algerian PianOriental with a shot of Caribbean rhythm and style – Piranha has it all!
Plus, Piranha Records also has the ultimate book to successfully find through the plethora of Cuban music in CD size. Is son the father of salsa? How many rumba styles are there? Did the French bring danzón to Cuba? How lively is the AfroCuban musical tradition? You can learn all you ever wanted to know (along with some stuff you never wanted to ask) with Piranha libro con cedé From Afrocuban Music to Salsa by Dr. Olavo Alén Rodríguez.
Latin music really is everywhere in the world!