Oswin Chin Behilia is a genuine troubadour: communicative, entertaining, passionate, observant – making acoustic music in a mix of pan-Caribbean grooves. Many of his songs engage the social aspects of life on Curacao in a genre he calls his “social lyrics”.
On this third Otrabanda release several of his songs deal quite specifically and with a greater sense of urgency with recent major historical developments in the political relationship between his native Curaçao with the Netherlands. First and foremost his songs are just plain good music to listen to, sometimes to dance to and more often than not, food for thought.
The Pacific coast of Colombia breathes the spirit of Africa – filled with the sounds of the African marimba, 6/8 rhythms, Afro-Colombian Fanfare, ancestral chants. This album offers a tantalizing glimpse at a cross-section of rural and urban music from older and younger generations from the cities of Buenaventura and Cali and the Chocó region with the marimba threading throughout the album like a musical snake.
Adzagli /Jungle Funk (Kofi Ayivor) was originally released as a vinyl EP in a limited edition in 1982 in the Netherlands which Kofi recorded in 1979 at the then state of the art 24 track Island Studios in London The original track is an example of what Kofi himself jocularly referred to as “disco boogie”.
The digitally remastered Adzagli (Jungle Funk) was taken from the album Rhythmology (Otrabanda Records OTB06) that collects many rare or previously unreleased tracks of Kofi Ayivor’s own compositions as well as a cross-section of the incredible variety of genres to which he has lent his unique drumming talent. Remixers Streamer and mps PILOT brush up the old tune and juggle with the multi-track master of vintage (afro-sound) which Otrabanda Records provided them.
Bokoor Beats collects vintage afro-beat, afro-rock and electric highlife tracks recorded by John Collins in his Bokoor Studio as well as his own compositions with his group Bokoor Band, pioneers of Afropop who performed and recorded in the 70s mixing western pop rhythms with indigenous African beats. Bokoor Beats also features tracks by Brekete & The Big Beats, Mangwana Stars, Oyikwam Internationals and T.O. Jazz.
Oswin Chin Behilia´s international debut album Bendishon disfrasá was well received. His second international release offers live renditions of his songs sung in Papiamento, the local creole language of the Dutch Antilles. His sextet which includes the crème de la crème of musicians from his native isle of Curaçao offers the perfect accompaniment to “Chin’s” warm voice. The tracks on this album span a songwriting career that began in the 1960s and include classics of the Papiamento songbook as well as several of his most recent compositions.
KOFI AYIVOR (1939) grew up on the coast of Ghana. Trained to become a master drummer in his native Ewe tradition Kofi took the rhythms he already knew from his village to the capital city of Ghana and then to foreign lands. His career began as a player in the classic highlife music of the fifties and sixties with such bands as E.T. Mensah’s Tempos Band before going on to become a member of Afro-rock pioneers Osibisa. Rhythmology collects many rare or previously unreleased tracks of Kofi Ayivor’s own compositions as well as a cross-section of the incredible variety of genres to which he has lent his unique drumming talent.
For the first time in more than thirty years, Peregoyo y su Combo Vacaná have returned to the international arena with a new recording and with the same musical force that made them famous. The new record is a testament to the musical prowess of this giant of Colombian rhythms with a seminal influence on the history of its music.
If there is one band that best reflects the multiple musical heritage of Curaçao, then it is the ten piece Grupo Serenada. It draws its repertoire from the history of African, European and regional Caribbean influences that have shaped curaçao’s music, often resurrecting old songs from libraries and archives or by consulting old timers – making contemporary arrangements in their inimitable a cappella style or accompanied by acoustic string and percussion instruments. Serenada performs the classics of popular song in the Papiamento language.
Riba Dempel is the name of the central marketplace in Willemstad, the capital city of the island of Curaçao. It includes the ‘floating market’ of barques that moor there from neighboring Venezuela selling their fresh produce and fish as well as local stalls where cheap, fresh creole food is served to all comers. Like the creole kitchen, the music on this disc is a gumbo of African, European and regional Caribbean influences.
Riba Dempel collects classics from the golden age of the indigenous Papiamento recording industry on Curaçao in the 1950s that were originally released on 78 rpms on the Hoyco and Musika labels.