Top 5

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Master percussionist Alex Figueira is the driving force behind the underground Psych sensation Fumaça Preta and the up and coming Afro Caribbean Psychedelic outfit Conjunto Papa Upa. He’s an active producer in his own studio (Barracão Sound) and works regularly as a Tropical Music DJ and as a hired musician for top Amsterdam acts like Altin Gun or The Mauskovic Dance Band. Born in Venezuela of Portuguese parents and now living in Holland, his musical taste and culture has evolved with tremendous diversity. On our request, he selects 5 of his favorite tune, all from Venezuela.




“A wonder kid who mastered the harp and grew increasingly curious with the more experimental sounds coming from abroad, mixing them with Venezuelan Folk. This heavily percussive track delivers the strongest “Afro Venezuelan” angle of his discography.”


GRUPO PAN “No Te Olvides del Señor”


“This is one of my favorite records of all time, having a profound influence in the music i make myself. I spent almost 10 years trying to find a copy. I annoyed all record dealers in Caracas so much that one of them eventually ended up selling me his own copy. This is how Led Zeppelin would have sounded if they’d come from the western side of Caracas. Led by another living legend, Carlos “Nene” Quintero, probably the most prolific venezuelan musician ever. Pick up any Venezuelan record you might have in your collection and check the credits. There’s a big chance he played something in it.”


GUAGO “Disco Guaco”


“These guys got a lot of crap when they came out back in the 70’s for their outrageous approach to “Gaita” (the traditional music of the Zulia state, played all across the country during Christmas), mixing with the hot international styles of the time: Salsa, Disco and Rock. Their musicianship was on another level as you can certainly hear in this track, which i play very often and makes people go nuts on any dancefloor.”


LOS DEMENTES “Dame Felicidad” 


“I could have picked 20 other songs by any of Ray Perez’ bands (Los Calvos, Los Kenya or the orchestra under his own name). His discography is incredibly consistent, with many of the country’s best musicians present amongst one of his multiple formations (Carlos “Nene” Quintero, Alfredo Padilla, “El Negrito” Calaven, Perucho Torcat, etc). He was not only a great songwriter and producer, but also an adventurous innovator (he was one of the first including a full Drumkit in Salsa arrangements, back in the late 60’s) with unstoppable DIY drive, releasing many of his productions under his own Pyraphon imprint and selling them door to door (as he told me when i met him a few years back). This song is a great example of his super heavy sound. Just listen to that cowbell!”


OST – Se Solicita Muchacha de Buena Presencia y Motorizado con Moto Propia “Cuando Yo Vine a Este Mundo” 


“An incredible soundtrack by a late 70’s movie composed by Juan Carlos Nuñez, who worked with some of the greatest singers of the country (Soledad Bravo, Lilia Vera, etc) as composer and arranger. The music is an incredible compound of Heavy Salsa with sophisticated “Cinematic” arrangements and instrumentation, in an exuberant display of resources, typical of those times, when Venezuela was considered the “Saudi Arabia” of Latin America. The musicians’ roster is truly impressive, with the Pacheco brothers handling most of the percussion duties. I bet you can hear it.”

Comment :

Track of the Day


Bar-Kays – You can’t run away
One of their nicest 80s songs with some hints of Milton Wright’s best melodies. Classic!

Mercury USA 1977

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