Various Artists – La Locura de Machuca 1975-1980 2xLP IMPORT] – New LP
Compilation of Colombian recordings from 1975 - 1980, these recordings likely owing a lot to both the indigenous people of Colombia and the huge black population of the nation, sounding like these artists were heavily influenced by the island nations to the north, an influence that travelled north into the US in the 1970s, these recordings showing that these sounds spread south too. Of course, northern coasts of Colombia are part of the Caribbean, and the Afro-Caribbean elements might simply be an African influence that developed in Colombia. Influences likely also came from other places, from other neighbors to the north, Central America and Mexico perhaps, and the electric elements very likely show the influence of psychedelic music of the 1960s. Of course, influences were multi-directional. After all, the defining elements of psychedelic rock were often the incorporation of sounds from many lands. The sounds of Colombia had traveled around the globe, and continue to travel today, thanks to collections such as this one. It was wonderful that Machuca recognized the importance of capturing this music, and reportedly sometimes even played a part in organizing the musicians and producing the recordings. This features a diverse mix of interesting sounds, and I figured the least I could do was give it a deep listen. I hope you have time to do the same. -- winch
One night in 1975, Rafael Machuca had his mind blown in Barranquilla’s ‘Plaza de los Musicos’. Overnight he went from a high ranking position in the Columbian revenue authority to visionary production guru of the newly formed record label that bore his name, Discos Machuca, and for the next six years he devoted his life to releasing some of the strangest, most experimental Afro Psychedelia Cumbias ever produced. La Locura de Machuca is the story of one man’s odyssey into Colombia’s coastal music underground, and the wild, hypnotic sounds he helped bring up to the surface. Double LP pressed on 140g virgin vinyl comes with a full color 16-pages booklet & digital album as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
The Colombian music industry was thriving in the mid-seventies, but while homegrown bolero and vallenato tunes were doing well on the charts, it was imported African records that were setting crowds on fire at the picos – the sound-systems that fuelled neighbourhood parties – and wherever those records were played there were always a handful of groups who were inspired to plug traditional Cumbia directly into the electric currents coming from across the Atlantic.
It was these obscure bands, who fused Colombian and African rhythms with the swirling organs and psychedelic guitars of underground rock, that fired Machuca’s imagination. While the label made its money releasing popular hits by legends such as Alejandro Durán and Aníbal Velásquez, that money was poured back into a unique run of experimental releases by fringe artists such as La Banda Africana, King Somalie, Conjunto Barbacoa, and Abelar- do Carbono, one of the godfathers of Champeta Criolla.
When Machuca couldn’t find groups to realise his particular vision, he simply created them himself. Drawing on a fearsome roster of musicians associated with the label, he assembled bands that lasted only as long as it took to record an album, and unleashed the results – complete with arrestingly unusual album covers – under a series of different names such as Samba Negra or El Grupo Folclórico. This unorthodox approach led his longtime recording engineer, Eduardo Dávila, to describe Machuca’s productions as the “B-Movies of Colombian music.”
The story of Doctor Machuca and his eccentric exploits tells of one of Colombia’s most atypical and peculiar record companies; a defining pillar of Afro-Caribbean psychedelia. His productions have come to represent the roots of Champeta and set the pedigree standards for Afro and Costeño avant-garde. The seventeen tracks on La Locura de Machuca, harvested from the darkest, strangest corners of the Discos Machuca catalogue, sound like little else recorded before or since.
Graphic Design : Kathrin Remest (Analog Africa)
Mastering : Michael Graves (Osiris Studios)
Lacquers : Frank Merritt (The Carvery)
Interview, Translation and Biography : Samy Ben Redjeb (Analog Africa), Lucas Silva (Palenque Records) & Diego Hernandez (Eck Echo)
Text Editing : Jesse Simon & Diego Hernandez
Special Thanks To : Humberto Castillo Rivera, Zenaida Salazar Rivera, Eduardo Davila, Carlos "4 Frias" Estrata, Mateo Rivano, Keith Slater, Paola Machuca Salazar, Randy Mulato Bantu, Shane Butron and Marilyn Martinez Serrano