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Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
Authentic Latin Music Catalog for SYNC - TV & Film Music

SpanishEnglishDiscography-Me sube la fiebre - Extraños ateos

For the second tune on the album, Calzado turned to another of his favorite composers, Leonel Limonta, who later wrote "Quítate el disfraz" and what was probably CH’s biggest hit ever, "Nube pasajera". His first CH composition was "Extraños ateos" which like many of Limonta’s songs is not a standard love song. It’s about the universal tendency to remember one’s religious beliefs only when times get tough. "Tú te acuerdas de Santa Barbara, sólo cuando truena" ("You only remember Santa Barbara [Changó] when it‘s thundering"). The musical arrangement is pure joy, possibly the best track on the album. In addition to a mountain of glorious hooks, it does all sorts of strange and wonderful things with the clave, which we cover in more detail in our special article, "Clave Changes in the Music of Charanga Habanera".

Check out the bloque at 1:21. [audio example 6] The beauty of this particular break is the way the horns and percussion dovetail together so perfectly, leaving a perfect hole for Sombrilla to insert "cuando truena, cuando truena". Listen to the piano playing behind the first coro section at 1:27.[audio example 7] It’s a very common salsa progression, played normally at first, but more and more rhythmic displacements and melodic variations are added (check out the one at 1:42!) as it builds up to the hilarious mambo at 2:07, which appears to be based on the 1960’s novelty song "Love Potion #9"! The first two phrases perfectly fit the shape and rhythm of "I didn’t know if it was day or night, I started kissing everything in sight" [audio example 8]. Whether intentional, subconscious, or, (more likely), pure coincidence, the phrase works magically in this setting and also becomes the melodic theme for next vocal which leads directly to 2:38, where we find ourselves catapulted into an insanely euphoric groove that could only be the work of La Charanga Habanera. These early CH arrangements were always clever and exciting, but certain sections have the power to transport the receptive listener to a special zone that's simply too great to be described in words (we keep trying, but it's a losing battle, our supply of adjectives having been exhausted in the NG La Banda pages). In any case, this is most definitely one of those sections. A two-note efecto (short bloque-like figure) with the flute on top gives way to a brilliant piano montuno set off against the characteristic backbeat rhythm, again played on snare instead of bass drum. By 3:03, the bass, the piano, the percussion, the coro, and Sombrilla’s guías are all on fire and the groove is almost unbearable. Listen to the repeated piano figure at 3:05, the bass at 3:20, the bell-like 10ths of the piano cutting so perfectly through the texture of the rhythm section, the melody of each and every inspired guía. Most of all, listen to how perfectly it all fits together. Welcome to the world of La Charanga Habanera! [audio example 9]

It doesn't stop here either. The next time the "Love Potion" mambo comes around it leads into a completely different groove. [audio example 09b] About halfway through the clip (4:09 on the CD), the conguero goes into a strong folkloric triplet feel, possibly inspired by the Santería origins of the lyrics. This polyrhythm is common in complex batá and rumba music, but here it works in a very effective pop way as a hook. You can feel the triplets and 16ths pulling against each other, but without losing the danceable feel of the song. . There's still another section of this arrangement that can't be overlooked. At 4:33, not one, but two new coros are introduced which overlap each other - "el aché que Changó me dió, nadie me lo quita", and "jorobita, jorobita, lo que se da no se quita". Still a third entry in this round robin is the piano which starts dramatically in the middle of the phrase, creating the same kind of tension with the clave that the congas created with the meter in the previous example [audio example 09c]. This brilliant idea of overlapping coros was a concept that would be used by Paulito FG five years later in his trademark anthem, "De La Habana". [audio example 09d]

Monday, 29 December 2014, 08:40 PM