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Various Artists Cuban Funk Experience Review

Compilation. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

An insightful compilation presenting some of the hardest hitting funk.

Johnny Lais 2009

Cuban Funk Experience is an insightful compilation presenting some of the hardest hitting funk to come from the Cuban mainland and the expatriate community in Miami. Spanning 15 years from the early 70s to the mid 80s, a broad range of artists are presented in this impressive selection; taken from the Cuban state Label Egrem and U.S-based Sound Triangle .

The differences, both subtle and obvious, between the Cuba- and Miami-based artists give this album an interesting duality. The Cuban tracks stand out for their sense of raw hardness, though the American numbers are not without merit. Tracks like Ray And His Court's E Eso Nada helped popularise the Cuban sound internationally and acts as an example as to why Latin funk has retained its appeal.

The range here should impress even the most well -versed Latin audience. Pello El Afrokan's Las Jardineras is a rare masterpiece of Afro-Cuban sound, whilst Coke's Nana is only just identifiable as Cuban. As such, Cuban Funk Experience offers the listener a unique snapshot of the Cuban musical dynasty with a fair proportion of tracks and artists coming to light for the first time.

It's also an important album as it highlights the symbiotic relationship between Miami and Cuba in terms of the fusion of styles and influence. It is no surprise that Afro-Cuban Styles can be so effortlessly combined with American Funk; but what is remarkable is the sheer eclecticism of musical styles that this marriage of genres gave birth to.

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