Friday, May 6, 2011

2-CD Review: Joaquin Joe Claussell's 'Hammock House: Africa Caribe'

Various Artists

Hammock House: Africa Caribe [2-CD]

Producer Joaquin "Joe" Claussell's latest mix is the new double-CD release of Hammock House: Africa Caribe. The title suggests a Latin and African presence, which is more than a casual happenstance. In fact, Joaquin reinvigorates early music reels from the Fania Records archives. As a Puerto Rican, Joaquin has surrounded himself with the 'nuyorican' identity and lifestyle from the beginning. The Puerto Rican, Caribbean, Latin jazz, and salsa music from the 1970's is presented on both discs. However, the first disc contains thirty tracks that play continuously and include the music of Ray Barretto, Mental Remedy, Celia Cruz, Lou Perez, Eddie Palmieri, Jaidene "Jai" Veda, Mongo Santamaria, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, and Ismael Miranda. There are also five tracks devoted to pre-track chatter amounting to no more twenty-four seconds in all. Importantly, the music is not trance or electronic as with other remixes. Instead, the original musical integrity is preserved with a Latin backdrop and danceable forefront. The second disc contains nine tracks by Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria, Ismael Miranda, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Jai Veda, and Lou Perez. The smooth and sultry sounds of both discs encapsulate a wide-breadth of musical experiences and rhythms in our contemporary age. ~ Matthew Forss

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