Candombe en la Noche


Manolo Guardia – Negro En Sol Menor (1965)
Jorge Ramos Y Su Sonora De Oriente – Biricuyamba (1977)
Teatro Negro Independiente – Llamada (196?)
Mike Dogliotti – Biafra (1972)
Totem – Descarga (1972)
Jorginho Gularte – Moreno (1984)
Yamand˙ PÈrez – Un Color (1982)
Morenada – Querido Medio Mundo (1976)
Repique – ChechÈ (1984)
Jorginho Gularte – Mi Sangre Tal’Borot· (1988)
Repique – Cuando Robaron La Luna (1985)
Jaime Roos – Durazno y ConvenciÛn (1984)
Los Solitarios y Paco Trelles – Hombre Ciudad (1981)
Mike Dogliotti – La Cumparsita (1983)
Candela ft. Edgardo CambÛn – Barrio Sur (1991)

Chass-chass-chass / chass-chack. That is the sound that unites every neighbourhood in Montevideo. Everyone knows what it means. It is the sound of sticks striking sides of drums in unison and it means the Llamada is about to start. No self-respecting barrio is without at least one comparsa that spends every week of the year honing their sound with an eye on the annual carnaval season. Once the beat starts – borocotÛ-borocotÛ – the group sets off ambling down the block, accompanied by an assortment of dancers and onlookers who can feel the vibrations of hand to drum inside their chests. Some of the candomberos will have bleeding fingers by the end of it. On chilly nights they will pause and light small fires to warm their drums and make them louder. Then it’s off again. People mill around drinking beer or box wine, or smoking weed. Small kids dance, teenagers dart about; a couple of guys on motorbikes will block off each intersection to car traffic as the procession moves through. This is what goes down in Montevideo on a weekend evening. The Llamada – the call out to the neighbourhood to let them know they represent.

Street Candombe like this has influened popular music in Uruguay since at least the 1940s and since the 60s has been a part of the national sound, at once unique but also international, mixing with the ubiquitous influences of global popular styles. This selection showcases some of the history of Candombe Fusion, spanning a range of sounds from the raw percussion of the comparsas through early crossovers to Latin Jazz and Rock, to the polished sound of the 80s, all with a deep respect for the roots of this African music form, and above all, the physical streets and neighbourhoods to which Montevideans have an almost spiritual connection.