23 April 2009

Where's Cuba These Days?

Even as the Obama administration shows (long-overdue) signs of warming towards Cuba, there's still a cultural chasm with the island nation. Think about it. The Buena Vista Social Club thing was back in the late 1990s (album, 1997; film, 1999). Hip-hop group Orisha's groundbreaking debut A Lo Cubano album came out in 2000. And since then?

There have been musical releases from Cubans in the last decade (among them, Ska Cubano, Telmary, Yusa, and Juan-Carlos Formell), but none with such a broad impact. Where are the next generation of Cuban superstars? Why don't we know about them?

Executive producer Zack Winfield and his colleague Ado Yoshizaki, together with producer-manager Tim Hole, dreamt up the idea of marrying the extraordinary skills and talent of the cream of Cuba's young musicians with the know-how and worldly
perspective of cutting edge producers from the UK and the US. It’s from this idea that Revolution was born.

The forthcoming album The Revolution presents Revolution features Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim), Rich File (UNKLE), Poet Name Life (Black Eyed Peas), Guy Sigsworth (Bjork), Marius De Vries (Sugarcubes), and Cameron McVey & Jan Kybert (Massive Attack) along with an array of young Cuban musicians.





I'm curious, as always, about how well Revolution will balance the contributions of the Cuban and the non-Cuban artists, but it looks promising. Here's hoping that with our encouragement, perhaps US politicians will continue to restore links to our island neighbor and we'll be seeing and hearing more from there. The album hits stores June 1.

For more info check: http://www.rapsterrecords.com/therevolution
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