Ibrahim Ferrer and Radio Tarifa

Our vinyl spotlight listens to two new reissues from the reactivated World Circuit label, from Radio Tarifa and vaunted Cuban singer Ibrahim Ferrer.

Ibrahim Ferrer - Buenos Hermanos
This release, originally out in 2003, already has quite a track record; the second album from the late and much-beloved singer with the Buena Vista Social Club won a GRAMMY Award back then for Best Traditional Tropical Latin album. Here's a chance to get reacquainted with Ferrer's masterpiece and hear it like never before. Producer Ry Cooder went back into the studio and remixed the entire album and while he was at it he found four songs from the Havana recording sessions that were not released on the original album which are presented here for the first time ever. So you have familiar cuts like the African-influenced "Boquinene," the Santana-esque "La Musica Cubana" and the Tito Puente-recalling "Buenos Hermanos" ready to reveal new delights through your headphones, and newly-added cuts like the sedate "Ojos Malvados," the relaxed ode to the fairer sex that is "Mujer" and the dance groove of "Ven Conmigo Guajira" waiting to reveal their charm for the first time. Ferrer's warm vocals shine throughout whether he's in a party mood or being reflective. World Circuit has spared no expense in packaging the album as this precious keepsake deserves; pressed on 180-gm vinyl, the 2-LP set is packed in a sturdy gatefold jacket and includes a booklet featuring lyrics in Spanish and English as well as a new introduction penned by Cooder.

Radio Tarifa - Rumba Argelina
Tarifa is a place in Spain that is just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, so close that the muezzin's melodic call to prayer often can be heard in Spain as it drifts in from Africa. Accordingly, Rumba Argelina demonstrates a musical cross-pollination as cuts like "Rumba Argelina" and "Lamma Bada" groove to North African melodies and rhythms while other cuts like "Oye China" have a typical Continental European arrangement. Vocalist Benjamin Escoripa demonstrates his prowess singing in both styles, his voice soaring above an aggressive rhythm on "La Mosca," ringing with mystery on the slow and lengthy cut "Tangos del Agujero" and aching with unrequited love on "La Pastora." Originally released in the '90s, this marks the first time that the recording has ever been available on vinyl, and fans of global music on wax will love the fidelity of this remastered version pressed on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl. Presented on 2-LPS and packaged in a sturdy gatefold jacket, this release also includes an insert with lyrics in both Spanish and English as well as a list of all the exotic instruments used within.

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