Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed

Does Peterson ever stop? Clearly not as he’s recently returned from recording a new album with Danay plus this new release on his own Brownswood Recordings label with a launch party in London and Roberto Fonseca live with the New Cuba Sound at the Barbican on the 6th July – phew!

The original album featured the International award-winning artist Roberto Fonseca who is well known of course but one of the joys of the double CD set was the no-star party vibe of the recording that they did at the legendary Egrem Studios that would be a shame if the remixed version lost.
But before that, OK we’ve missed the launch party last week at East Village with GP aided by the sounds of “now” Seiji and Sofrito Sound System and as a bit of an aside/bonus, I briefly had a chat with Hugo Softito the other day and a full FLY interview is very much on the cards.
Back to Gilles’ album, it was only two years ago that Gilles visited Cuba for the first time on a reconnaissance mission to check out the new generation of Havana-based artists and luckily, within the year, he was back for a 5-day recording session; check out the Gilles Peterson FLY (see HERE for subscription details and repeated thanks to Gilles and Damian for that one) for the full story.
The result that was Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound really was something special as new and old Cuba went on a worldwide tour of genre (, Afro and fusion to hip hop, funk, reggaeton and R&B) under the guidance of Executive Producer GP.
As he explained, “I had a few covers as starters: one from Fela to capture that true Afro-Cuban fusion; a Blue Note joint as a 70th anniversary gift; and a couple of Cuban faves from my (Electric) Ballroom days – ‘Chekere Son’ and some Juan Pablo Torres. The rest was pretty much controlled jamming, picking up the Rumba boys from the bar below, or convincing Mayra Valdes to hit it freestyle.”
On a FLY Global Music rating, you can’t can’t get much better than that and whilst it’s a fantastic album, I don’t think it has been praised enough so, if Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed gets the dancers re-dancing, so much the better.
Now you might have thought he’d have played this (and the original album to death on his radio show) but whether it’s some sort of perverse modesty, he hasn’t. No idea why as and the tracks on the remix album are even more ‘Worldwide’ than the original. From the strangely odd Cubano-tropicalia remix of the opener to the closing Mocky remix of ‘Lagrimas De Soledad’, it’s a hectic ride to say the least.
Top cool is ’s ‘Roforofo Fight’ touched up by Louis Vegas (wonder if that was when Mr. & Mrs Vega was in town at MOS with GP and Norman Jay, see review HERE). Now if Elements Of Life don’t know what Latin shuffle is all about, there’s no hope for anyone. Pure class and pace yourself as it’s a long one.
We all love Seiji and he’s really back on form at the moment and gets the honour of the remix of “The Legendary” ….jazz dance classic ‘Cheker?© Son’ and then there’s the equally classic ‘Afrodisia’ (this time it is the Kenny Dorham track) that gets Rainer Tr?ºby all excited in Tr?ºby jazzhead fashion.
For the hip-hop heads, there’s a version of Donald Byrd’s ‘Think Twice’, featuring Danay and Carina, that’s not only got a twist, it comes with the 4Hero twist.
Peterson’s list of contacts is a long one such that he can get two opposites like Carl Cox and his old mate from Talkin’ Loud day MJ Cole doing two different versions of ‘Arroz Con Pollo’; and best of the lot, Gotan Project‘s Philippe Cohen Solal slips in another version.
But it’s not all about big names, DJ Wichy and Doble Filo spiced up the Cuban flavours of ‘Cheker?© Son’ and yet another version of ‘Arroz Con Pollo’.
Michel Cleis’ (he of the massive hit ‘La Mezcla’) is the most sutble and ‘La Revolucion Del Cuerpo’ is reimagined as the Skinners Owiney Sigoma Remix and both of these are more Scope like oddness; lets go!
With a Bonus DJ mix CD by Gilles himself, this is almost the perfect release that finds in Gilles in his element. In support of the album, Gilles heads off on a European tour in June/July 2010, teaming up with Fonseca and his band plus vocalists Danay, Ogguere and Obsesi??n.
Like the recent review of The Ipanemas album on (Que Beleza), here’s another project thet’s obviously referenced with the Buena Vista Social Club but to our minds, this has so much more. And there’s now European Club Tour featuring DJ Wichy/Doble Filo with Brownswood DJs (Simbad, Lefto, Alex Patchwork) with special guests promised from the Havana Cultura remix roster.
I had a pop at Peterson for the lack of self-promotion of 6 by Soil ‘n’ Pimp Sessions (yet another brilliant album on Brownswood) and as he gets ready for his own Worldwide festival in Sete in a couple of weeks, if he’s after a soundtrack to keep you dancing all week long, here it is and he’s done it himself! I guess he knows what he’s doing – it’s only a matter of time before he is made Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur or MBE or the Cuban equivalent or all three; he deserves it.
P.S. And there’s the Gilles Peterson compiled CD HORO: A Jazz Portrait out now, what a star!
Reviewed: V/A – Gilles Peterson Presents Havana Cultura: Remixed (Brownswood Recordings) Cat. No. BWOOD053CD Release date: 14th June 2010
1. Miami (Productor En Jefe Tropicalia Remix) (5:47)
2. Rofofrofo Fight (Louie Vega’s EOL Mix) (9:15)
3. Rezando (Michel Cleis Remix) (6:30)
4. Chekere Son (Seiji Rerub) (5:17)
5. Arroz Con Pollo (MJ Cole Remix) (6:08)
6. Arroz Con Pollo (Carl Cox) (5:44)
7. La Revolucion Del Cuerpo (Skinners Owiney Sigoma Remix) (7:13)
8. Afrodisia (Rainer Trueby Remix) (7:48)
9. Think Twice feat. Danay & Carina (4hero Remix) (7:36)
10. Arroz Con Pollo (Solal “Soy Cuba” Remix) (4:43)
11. Cheker Son (Wichy de Vedado Remix) (6:12)
12. Lagrimas de Soledad (No Existen Palabras) ( Remix) (3:33)
Havana Cultura: Remixed’ Launch Party with Gilles Peterson
Seiji & Sofrito Sound System Friday 11th June @ East Village, London EC2A 3HX
Doors: 9pm Р4am // Tickets: £10 / £12 at the door
Gilles Peterson & Roberto Fonseca present Havana Cultura Live: New Cuba Sound
Tuesday 6 July Barbican Tickets: £10/£15/£20 + bkg Booking: 020 7638 8891 /
Produced by Serious and the Barbican
Part of Blaze
BBC Radio 1 Gilles Peterson :: 9th June 2010 :: 02:00-04:00 Loads of new music!
The Ipanemas – Eparrei (Far Out Recordings)
Havana Cultura Band – Roforofo Fight (Louis Vega’s EOL Mix) (Brownswood Recordings)
BBC Radio 1 Gilles Peterson :: 28th May 2010 :: 02:00-04:00 The Simonsound Live In The Studio
Simbad – Untitled Feat. Danay (White)
Havana Cultura Band – Think Twice (4Hero Remix) (Brownswood Recordings)