Taking a bold step forward in bringing the Fania sound into the new millennium, we are releasing an ambitious double-disc collection that re-imagines and reinvents the New York salsa explosion of the '70s for a younger generation of listeners.
Released this month to unanimous critical acclaim, Hammock House - Africa Caribe is a lush, two-CD collection created especially for Fania by legendary house DJ and producer Joaquín 'Joe' Claussell. His one-of-a-kind vision was to reconstruct and reimagine a solid collection of seminal Afro-Caribbean nuggets using the original multi-track tapes, adding new instruments, re-arranging melodies and beats. This incredible fusion of Afro roots and electronica, Africa Caribe combines musical preservation with a fresh new aesthetic.
"Yet again, this is another musical mirth that never becomes tiresome on the ears," says Amy Cunningham from Sounds And Colours. "In fact, its sheer level of production as well as complex and carefully considered use of styles and sounds gets even better the more you open your ears to Claussell’s legendary skills."
"Joaquín did a great selection of deep, Afro-Latin jazzy Soul," enthuses Juan Data on the acclaimed music blog The Hard Data. "The house grooves are subtle and smooth."
Claussell himself describes the handing over of the Fania tapes as an "Indiana Jones moment", the discovery of a precious sonic artifact that, in the span of a year, he would turn into a new album. “We use to jam all the time to this music at home. To be part of it now, to watch Fania labels spin on records in front of me, blows my mind.”
The first CD of Africa Caribe delivers a breathtaking, continuous piece of music that Claussell created in real time using four CD decks and various studio effects. This mixed CD delivers a unique and soulful musical journey from Africa to Harlem with a stop in the Caribbean along the way.
The legendary DJ/producer selections are awesome: the Willie Colón and Rubén Blades mega-hit "Siembra" has been enhanced with a pumping house beat and organs that will surely peak dance floors around the world. A no-frills "Changó" distills the Afro essence of Celia Cruz's vocalizing. Mongo Santamaría's "O Mi Shangó" shines as the masterpiece of funk that it was meant to be. And the original track "Undeniable Love" with singer Jaidene 'Jai' Veda showcases the ever youthful Fania sound, as it continues to blossom in the year 2011.
The collection's second CD includes sprawling single versions of the nine strongest cuts featured in the original mix. Fania aficionados will have fun studying both versions, analyzing the science in Claussell's art.
Africa Caribe is available both as a physical CD and digital download. We recommend getting the CD version, since it includes a lavish booklet with an essay written by Andy Battaglia, as well as track-by-track commentary by Claussell himself.
A new jewel in the Fania crown, and the beginning of an exciting new direction for the label.