Gilles Peterson - Havana Cultura Remixed
Less than a year after the release and resounding success of Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound, this same globetrotting DJ and tastemaker is back with something new. Actually, new may not be the best way to describe it, but we can say with certainty that Havana Cultura Remixed, appearing this June, is something fresh: two CDs guaranteed to keep us dancing to our favourite Cuban tunes from that first Havana Cutura album.
Gilles began this latest project, the second phase of his teaming up with Havana Cultura, by gathering together world-class DJ heavies such as Carl Cox, "Little" Louie Vega (Masters at Work), Solal (Gotan Project) and MJ Cole, as well as a pair of up-and-comers from Havana called Wichy de Vedado (D-jazz co-founder) and Edgaro (from Doble Filo). Gilles harnessed all this dancefloor energy and distilled it into 11 blistering New Cuba Sound remixes, constituting CD1 of the new release. The second CD is reserved for an hour-long mix of the remixes, expertly spliced together to sound like a club set by Gilles himself.
"For me it was just a natural progression to rework those live studio jams and take them to the club domain with this new Remixed album," Gilles explains. "For example, I felt that Louie Vega could elevate the Afro groove of "Roforofo Fight" to new heights, and he did not disappoint me. Together, a handful of maestros - 4hero, Rainer Trueby, MJ Cole and Carl Cox - alongside the cream of the Cuban electronic scene...makes for an intriguing blend of the traditional and the contemporary and only serves to underscore and celebrate just how far Cuban music today has, and continues to, evolve."
Back in 2009, when that first Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound album was taking shape in Havana's EGREM studios, a bit of improvisation led to a fun track called √¨Arroz con Pollo". With Roberto Fonseca supplying the piano riff and Edrey from the hip-hop duo Ogguere on vocals, the result was √¨a little bit of joyfulness," according to Gilles Peterson. But √¨Arroz con Pollo" proved itself to be more than that - an ode to Havana street culture (and street food) that speaks to people around the world. Now it has been reinterpreted for Remixed by no fewer than three of the DJs on the nw offering. The version by Carl Cox √¨blew my socks off," Gilles says, comparing it to √¨a herd of buffalos charging out of the speakers." Gilles was equally impressed with √¨Arroz con Pollo" by MJ Cole (√¨sits perfectly with his current take on UK sound system culture") and by Solal (√¨cheeky reggaeton rub...with that unmistakeable Solal flex").
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