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Cumbia Pa’ Los Muertos

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Mongo & Justo : Cumbia Tipica
taken from the album “Ubane” on Vaya (1976)

El Combo Candela : El Carbonero
taken from the mixtape “La Musica” by DJ Dusk (200?) originally ???

Lito Barrientos Y Su Orquesta : Cumbia En Do Menor
taken from the compilation “Colombia!” on Soundway (2007)

Lita Nelson : Navidad Negra
taken from the compilation “Cumbias” on RCA (196?) originally ???

Unknown Artist : Unknown Cumbia
taken from a CDR given to me by a random dood

*UPDATE* The previously unknown cumbia has been confirmed as “El Macho” by Lisandro Meza. Thanks to DJ Cheif Boima for the I.D. – so change your empeefree tags folks.

It’s been just a bit over a week since I heard the unbelievable news about my friend Monica. I didn’t really know her as well as I know most of my friends, (couldn’t even tell you her last name) but the strength of our connection was based on good music and dancing, things that we both care about deeply. She has been a regular to my weekly Latin night in Williamsburg for well over a year now. Every single Thursday night around 1AM I could expect to see this fiesty, five-foot jumping bean, shaking up the dancefloor in a flurry of tatoos and dreads. I’m not sure if Monica was Colombian, but it was clear that Cumbia was something she loved above all else. With a style all her own, she regularly magnified the energy of the small, tightly packed crowd into something epic and trancendental. She was hit by a car while riding her motorcycle home early on a sunday morning- after a night of music and dancing no doubt. It was a hit and run. Monica is now shaking her dreads at a party waaay bigger than my little Thursday night sweatbox sessions. I will continue to think about her every week when I drop jams like these that always brought her up to the DJ booth with a beaming smile on her face.

I also included one of my favorite tracks from a mixtape by the late, great DJ Dusk who was also hit and killed by a drunk driver just over a year ago now. I saw/heard him spin as part of the world-renowned Root Down party on a few occaisions, both in L.A. and here in NYC. His unique mixture of funk, hip hop, and obscure latin bombs (including many unknown Cumbia joints) hit me like a musical meteor and I am not ashamed in the least to admit that I jacked a handful of songs directly from his sets. He definitely makes my top ten list of most influential DJs of all time, and I hope to one day put out La Musica Vol. II to pay my respects properly.

As for this Colombia! comp. Little needs to be said about DJ Miles Cleret and the folks at Soundway records over in the UK. In the 3 years since dropping their first Ghanian funk compilation, they’ve firmly established their reputation as some of the headiest diggers in the game.

Finally, since I had such a good reaction with the unknown music titles last time round, I’m making another go at it. Some appreciative dood at the same aforementioned Thursday night gig came up and handed me a blank CDR without saying a word. There’s quite a few great tracks on it, some of which I recognized, but this one is a mystery to me. Any help would be appreciated.

Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner, use it as an excuse to turn these tracks into a house-party or a back yard BBQ and dance for the dead.