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Macondo Revisitado: The Roots Of Subtropical Music Uruguay 1975-1979


Macondo Revisitado features a selection of some of the best recordings from Uruguayan independent label Macondo between 1975 and 1979. Artists emulated tropical music styles popular in Caribbean and Central American countries like Cuba (guaguancó, guaracha), Puerto Rico, Panama (bomba, plena, merengue) and Colombia (porro, vallenato, cumbia), but within this process of adaptation and hybridization, elements, procedures and codes spawned a music that possesses its own post-territorial identity and universe. At the end of the '50s, big bands like Cortijo Y Su Combo or Sonora Matancera reached the Southern Cone for the first time. Local pioneer Pedro Ferreira and his orchestra, the Cubanacan, worked to lay the foundations of the candombe songbook, as well as performing Afro-Cuban and Brazilian repertoires. Meanwhile, the records of César Concepción, Moncho Leña, Mon Rivera and others were adopted and covered; re-appropriated by this new generation with complete naturalness. There was a strong cultural impact and as a result a new generation of groups emerged from the melting pot of all these different influences, the names and repertoires of these groups pointing straight back to their heritage, while embarking on their respective recording journeys on labels like Clave, Orfeo and Mallarini. Set up in the port area of Montevideo, Macondo Discos was founded by the Chilean entrepreneur Luis Onel and named after the town from García Márquez's fictional universe. Initially, the label produced a catalog comprising folk, tango, murga and rock. 1975 onwards, after the release of Sonora Cienfuegos's Tropical Caliente and Sonora Borinquen's Exclusivo!, marked the "golden age of tropical music in our country" according to Carlos Goberna, founder of Sonora Borinquen. One of the most important figures from this era is Mario Maldonado. He started his career in the mid-60s in Sonora Veracruz where he met vocalist Chico Ferry. They both coincided again in the Conjunto Casino. Maldonado would then go on to join Grupo Cubano, Borinquen and direct the musical production of records by Grupo Antillano, Grupo Maracaibo and others. He was one of the outstanding performers and musicians on the label, with more meticulous and orchestrated arrangements presenting a more challenging repertoire in pursuit of a more contemporary and electric sound. Compilation and notes by Nandy Cabrera, aka Selectorchico. Features: Sonido Cotopaxi, Grupo Electrónico Keguay, Las Estrellas De Macondo, Tropicana 70, Conjunto Casino, Sonora Borinquen, Grupo Manatí, Combo Camagüey, Sonora Cienfuegos, Grupo Latino, Anakaona, Grupo Cubano, Grupo Maracaibo and Grupo Antillano.