Havana Cultura // Havana Club Rumba Sessions // Out Now
March 14, 2016
The wait is finally over: Havana Club Rumba Sessions is out! Following explosive responses to premiered album cuts by the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble and Pépé Bradock, and with a storming 8.5/10 from DJ Mag (“a stunning collection of reworks that shake up the genre’s roots”) just in, you can finally hear the record in its full glory.
The latest chapter in the longstanding relationship between Gilles Peterson and the music of Cuba, the album sees him explore the roots of rumba through a project comprising three parts: a feature length documentary, a collection of remixes and a free sample pack.
Produced in collaboration with Cuban rum maker Havana Club – that created the Havana Cultura platform to promote contemporary Cuban culture –, it’s another episode in a six-year relationship that’s already given vital exposure to different aspects of Cuba’s thriving music culture through the Havana Cultura album series*.
Unpacking the three main styles of rumba is a central part of the project: they are largely agreed to be guaganco, yambu and columbia. Peterson worked with the island’s esteemed rumberos to record authoritative versions of the three rhythms as well as discuss what differing meanings and origins are attached to each. The rhythms are the starting point from which the three strands of the project have diverged.
Where the film depicts the lineage descending from the working class communities of Havana and Matanzas to modern-day dancefloors, this other arm of the project allows for an exciting, global re-interpretation of rumba’s roots. The recordings of rumba’s three central styles were handed to a crop of producers working in the orbit of club music’s most interesting areas.
The result is Havana Club Rumba Sessions, collection of remixes as varied as you’d expect from a roster of producers plucked from locales spread from South London, Japan and beyond. It’s out now on digital, with a vinyl release for the DJs and collectors to come on April 1st (more details on that here).
Order the album and stream Mo Kolours’ ‘Yuka Music’ cut from the album below: