Daptone Records UK Shop
£6.50 - £34.00

Orquesta Akokán - Caracoles

LP's available as black or pink vinyl
45's available as black or clear with alternative label

Caracoles ushers (GRAMMY-award nominated) Orquesta Akokánʼs unique brand of mambo into the 21st century, imbuing it with the groupʼs signature sense of akokán–a Cuban Yoruba word meaning “from the heart”. Back at the helm are producer and multi instrumentalist, Jacob Plasse and virtuosic pianist, composer and arranger Michael Eckroth - a collaboration that continues to lea Orquestaʼs exploration of the sublime mambo in all its depth and breadth. On this, their third album, they combine talents with Cuban lyricist, singer and composer Kiko Ruiz, who has toured and recorded with Pancho Amatʼs illustrious Estrellas del Buena Vista Social Club as well as having a longstanding history as a singer, composer and arranger with Orquesta Maria Alejandra y Cubanía.

And although Caracoles is of this moment, its raices stretch deep into the past, presenting a glorious return to the iconic grooves of an era indelibly marked by Benny Moré, Perez Prado and Machito in New York bands and Cubaʼs orquestas gigantes of the mid-twentieth century. While some songs are everyday Cuban life story-telling, Ruiz, a tata —priest— informs his lyrics with a Palo Mayombe spirituality propelling the mambo back to its original meaning. Despite being popularised world-wide as a festive, light-spirited, danceable genre, mambo is not to be taken lightly in the Palo Mayombe religion. Mambo is both a song and a prayer, beseeching good spirits to guide oneʼs journey away from darkness. Two of the albumʼs songs —including the title tune— are in this Congo dialect, designed to be impenetrable by the uninitiated. Caracolesʼ fierce, effervescent grooves, Ruiz affirms, can “...vibrate your soul, which is precisely what the world needs right now”. The tunes offer an irresistible invitation to heed the title songʼs invitation, “Cucha mambo que yo emboa montero...este mambo es paʼ ti.” Listen to this story, I bring it to you as a travelling song...This mambo is for you.