Filed under: Ebirac
In 2005, the Numero label began what we hoped would be a series of releases to rival our Eccentric Soul series in regularity: Cult Cargo. A bit of a reference to the infamous “cargo cults” made up of indigenous peoples who adopted American or European iconography or materials as fetish objects, the implication was that American music was exported to the Caribbean and “changed” somewhat… not worshiped necessarily, but certainly reinterpreted. Don’t read too much into it: Cult Cargo was to be our look at how American culture can see its reflection, somewhat distorted, in its closest neighbors. But we haven’t revisited these coastal waters since 2007’s Grand Bahama Goombay. To bring us back to the Caribbean, we enlisted the help of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico-born Carlos Ruiz, better known by his stage name “Caribe”.
036 Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua de Chicago is a bit of a twist on the path worn by the first two releases in the Cult Cargo series. Caribe settled in Chicago after spending time in New York and his entire youth in the Puerto Rican countryside… and all of the music on his Ebirac label has these roots in its DNA. They are more connected to the jibaritos and campesinos, people of the countryside of Puerto Rico, than anything that came out on the Fania label, which was more culturally tied to the urban nightclub scene in Manhattan. This set of recordings is like some orchestra from the sticks of Puerto Rico interpreting the sound of salsa as honed in New York City… except the musicians are all Chicago born. Still disconnected from the core of the salsa movement, they used Caribe’s homespun approach to nationalist pride in Puerto Rican folk music as their pole star. More to follow about this excellent release over the next few months until its March release.
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