On Saturday 23rd March Sounds and Colours will be holding a big party in Matik-Matik to celebrate the launch of the Colombia book.
It’s taken a good couple of weeks to organise and is looking pretty damn good. There will be two live bands, Andrés Gualdrón y Los Animales Blancos and Carmin Duo (Carolina Cortes y Juan David Castaño), representing two generations of music-makers in Bogotá. Additionally, La Blanquita Farm will be DJing what he calls “exquisite tropical tunes” during the night. Of course, the Colombia book will be on sale too! It should be a cracker!
If you are likely to be in Bogotá on Saturday you should come along. Full details are on the link below…
So, after the Sounds and Colours Colombia book launch in Bogotá, someone asked me to answer a few questions. The result was this interview, talking about the book and Colombian music in general, for the blog Revista Sono.
As part of my recent tour of Colombia promoting the Sounds and Colours Colombia book I did an interview for Fonoteca, a cultural research arm run by the Colombian goverment. Answering some of the hardest questions I’ve ever been asked in Spanish regarding how the Internet is affecting the memory of Latin America, perceptions of Latin America abroad and many other delicately-put questions, here is what happened:
I am currently in Bogotá (Colombia) promoting the book we made last year about Colombian music and culture. Titled, Sounds and Colours Colombia, it has been getting a great reception in Colombia, where the people seem thrilled simply by it’s presence.
Due to that fact, instead of a simple couple of weeks in Colombia as I was planning I’ve ended up staying for two months. It’s been a great excuse to improve my Spanish as well as promote the book. In that respect I’ve organised two events in Bogotá to celebrate the release of the book.
The first of these will be a discussion between myself and Humberto Junca (artist, member of Las Malas Amistades and UN Radio presenter) at Casa Tomada bookstore in Bogotá. This will be happening on Monday 25th February and should be a really interesting event for anyone wanting to find out more about Colombian music and culture, as well as meet some good people and maybe buy a book or two! Here are the details: https://www.facebook.com/events/146463438847930/.
After that we will be having a concert at La Puerta Grande, featuring Andrés Gualdrón y Los Animales Blancos and Aguasalá (who will be releasing their first album). That will be happening on Wednesday March 20th. I will post the Facebook Event once it’s ready.
So if you’re in Bogotá please drop in and say “hi”.
Quite a few articles that I am relatively proud of have gone down over the past two weeks and so I thought I would flag them up here.
Firstly, a review I wrote a while ago of Toma Tu Jabón Kapax, the debut album from Colombian group Los Pirañas was published in The Quietus. I originally sent it to them in February this year but they deemed it too old (it had been out in Colombia for around six months). When I realised it had been released on vinyl in Spain I saw my opportunity to send the review in again. Here it is: thequietus.com/articles/10773-los-pira-as-toma-tu-jab-n-kapax-review.
I also realised that I have a page on The Quietus which lists all my contributions (just three of them so far): thequietus.com/users/7862.
My review of the Micah P Hinson show at the Basement in Brighton has also been published: brightonnoise.co.uk/review?p=34317.
Finally I wanted to shed light on two of my recent pieces on Sounds and Colours, a review of the new Meridian Brothers album Desesperanza (soundsandcolours.com/articles/colombia/meridian-brothers-desesperanza) and an interview with the Brazilian rapper/singer Criolo which became quite epic (soundsandcolours.com/articles/brazil/art-soothes-the-soul-it-calms-us-gives-us-warmth-an-interview-with-criolo)
So, a few months ago I moved to Brighton, upon which I pretty spent all my time going out drinking with people who couldn’t speak English or working on the Sounds and Colours Colombia book. Now that the book is finished it seems only right that I start going to more gigs, a process which I’ve already started by writing for Brighton Noise.
You can read my review of Why? at The Old Market in Hove here and my preview of Dope Body at The Hope in Brighton here.
This is just the beginning…
Many, many things have happened since I last updated this blog. The most exciting thing is that I recently self-published a book about Colombian music and culture. This was a venture borne out of Sounds and Colours, the South American music and culture website which I started about two and a half years ago.
The book is 198 pages long and is full on interviews, articles, illustrations and photos by many different contributors from all over the world. The intention was to create something different and exciting, and that reflected the interesting cultural things happening in Colombia right now, and the wide range of Colombian musicians, artists, writers and designers that have something interesting to say.
You can find out more about the book at soundsandcolours.com/01-colombia
The book also comes with a compilation CD of new Colombian music which I compiled and which you can buy and listen to at soundsandcolours.bandcamp.com
Pretty much all year I’ve been working on a Colombian project which is finally going to see the light of day this summer. Sounds and Colours Presents Colombia is a new book/CD celebrating Colombian music and culture.
This new 208-page book (limited to 1,000 copies) and accompanying CD will celebrate everything that’s great about Colombia, with lots of articles traditional styles of Colombian music as well as the current music scenes, Colombian cinema, Circo Para Todos, the giants of Colombian literature and theatre, original artwork, and lots more. It’s gonna be really special for anyone interested in Colombia.
To raise the money for the printing costs we’re currently selling advance copies through a fundraising campaign. If you want to help a great project get off the ground, as well as discover a hell of a lot about Colombia you should really check out the link: indiegogo.com/sc-colombia
In September 2011 I was invited to talk on Red Bull Panamérika, a radio show broadcast in Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Guatemala and Belize. For the show I chose three new songs from South America and talked a little about Sounds and Colours.
You can listen to the show at panamerika.fm/blog/red-bull-panamerika-no-160-%C2%A1chidongongo
To find my interview go to the third audio link. I get introduced around the 1:20 mark.
Review of Junio Barreto’s latest album for Time Out Sao Paulo November 2011:
Any Junio Barreto release will always be dominated by his voice – a relaxed yet powerful croon, full of character – and Setembro is no different. Barreto flexes his vocal chords over 10 tracks that vary between classic samba-jazz and laid-back funky numbers with dashes of ska and reggae.
Tracks like “Serenada Solidao” and “Gafieira da Mare” are the kind of up-beat sambas that will make you want to get down to the beach straight away. Yet there are also reflective numbers such as “Alento da Alagoinha” whose tumbling drums tick all the ‘late night jazz’ boxes. In fact, percussion plays a pivotal role in this album, with the rhythm section ensuring you can dance to all the songs on the album, whether the party is in full swing or things have slowed down for the last dance of the night.
Barreto is joined by some of Brazil’s finest young musicians on this album, people like Céu, the guys from Nacao Zumbi and even Seu Jorge, who plays guitar on one track, and they keep the album musically interesting from start to finish, leaving a musical mix that will get your feet moving but will also warrant repeat listens.