Latin Lounge

The Rough Guide To Latin Lounge brings you diverse Latin flavours from around the globe - nu-bossa from Madrid, barrio funk from Venezuela, Cuban ska from Havana, samba-jazz from New York, boogaloo blues from Cali and soulful Latin house from London! Stylish soundscapes made for beach-bar sunsets, and the subtle blend of electronic beats with samba and salsa flavours invite you to reach for the ice-cold drink and dream of hot summer days!

Ska Cubano has a massive live reputation around the world, rocking huge festivals like Glastonbury (UK) and Roskilde (Denmark). Led by enigmatic ska/Cuban big band/cumbia/swingaficionado, DJ and singer Natty Bo, Ska Cubano may be the only band worldwide fusing ska, mambo, cha-cha-cha and Colombian cumbia. With the ‘Latin-electronica’ movement growing steadily since the mid-1990s, Formed in Caracas, Venezuela, Los Amigos Invisible too wanted to prove that the country’s music scene could embrace guitar/funk/disco music and not just the traditional salsa and meringue and hit New York to try their luck in the local eclectic music scene. There, David Byrne of Talking Heads fame bought one of their CDs in a local record store, contacted them and signed them to his Luaka Bop label – the rest is history. Texas-based Brownoutplay rhythm heavy Afro-Latin funk rock in the style of bands like Malo, Seguida and Sapo. Brainchild of guitar maestro Adrian Quesada, who occasionally performs in Prince’s band, it is one of several projects the musician is involved in.

Latin lounge music is also enjoyed and produced thousands of miles from its origins in Europe, as demonstrated by Viennese Madrid de los Austrias a.k.a. Heinz Tronigger and sound technician/producer Michael ‘Pogo’ Kreiner. Heinz has been a major player in Vienna’s thriving club scene for more than a decade and his label is one of the most prodigious in the electronic music world. Germany-based Mo’Horizons began producing eclectic electronic beats with a heavy Brazilian and Latin flavour in 1999 and were immediately a hit with the worldwide jazz dance/soul/funk fraternity. The band consists of Ralf Droesemeyer and Mark ‘Foh’ Wetzler, two soul/funk/Brazilian/funk music lovers, DJs and producers who brought a little Rio sunshine to their city Hanover, earning it the nickname ‘Bosshanover’. UK pianist Alex Wilson is the country’s best-known Latin musician. With six solo releases to his name, he leads his own twelve-piece salsa-con-soul orchestra, and plays with people like Courtney Pine and Jazz Jamaica. Brighton-basedBah Samba was formed in early 1996 by Julian Bendall, Kevin Alexanda and Geoff Holroyd. In 1997 they recruited their neighbour Alice Russell to sing on Reach Inside in 1997. With the wistful female vocals, samba flavour and deep house production, Bah Samba were soon championed by such top producers and DJs as Dimitri From Paris and Masters At Work’s Louie Vega.

Closing this compilation is a one of the greatest compositions of modern jazz, performed by one of Latin music’s finest percussionists. ‘A Love Supreme’ was tenor saxophonist John Coltrane’s most personal and spiritual piece, and here it is reinterpreted by Cuban percussion maestro Miguel ‘Anga’ Diaz. Anga played with a host of great jazz and Latin artists – Irakere, Ruben González, Ry Cooder, Orishas, Roy Hargrove, Buena Vista Social Club and Steve Coleman. He played traditional Afro-Cuban music, jazz, African music, hip-hop, electronica – from tradition to experimentation, as shown most clearly on this version of ‘A Love Supreme’ from his only solo album Echu Mingua. Anga sadly died in August 2006 in Barcelona, not long after this CD was released. It remains a fitting tribute to the Cuban conga master.

Also featuring on this CD: Novalima, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Arthur Verocai, Malena, The JuJu Orchestra and Color Climax