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  • TSC 2021 - DJ Angel video

    This is a makeup video since during the live there were transmission issues due to a storm in the area near my home and I had to stop early after getting cut several times. Here we go with one hour and fifty minutes of salsa! Many thanks as always to event organizer Calvin Wang and fellow DJ Tien Yu for the kind support. The track list will be available soon.

  • The Year's Music in Review: Summer 2021

    Moving along to Part 3 of my picks for notable music in 2021, this chart covers tracks which got my attention in the summer. (Part 1 is Early 2021; Part 2 is Spring 2021; Part 4 is Late 2021). Salsa is my focus, but other genres are included. Listed here are 140 songs, just as in Parts 1 and 2. Lists 1 to 8 are about salsa, with ten songs each. The other lists have five songs. For information on how lists were organized, see the project description. Listen online All lists are on Spotify and Apple Music. Just click on either button after each list. These tracks were added to the lists made for Early 2021 after they were updated with Spring 2021, so they will be numbered on Spotify/Music as 21 to 30 (Lists 1-8) or 11 to 15 (Lists 9-18). Note that when a playlist is 'liked', it gets saved to your profile for easy access. All the playlists can be accessed by clicking on either of the images below. Let's go! Categories Salsa | Other Latin | Other Genres | Mixes Salsa 1. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - New Released in 2021 Tracks 21-30 Still Hot from 2020 Special Pick: "Mi Guaguanco Sabroso" Still fresh from last year are several great tracks, among them work by Ricardo Lemvo, Tromboranga, El Timba, and Filosofia. These will certainly be very playable for quite a while. Of special note is a track which seemed to appear out of nowhere by a favourite band of mine from quite a while ago (the 1980s and 1990s!). I am referring to Orquesta La Identidad, of Colombia, from the lovely Zeida label, redubbed as Orquesta Original Identidad. Two decades into the 21st century, here they are with a cracking dance floor filler with band lead Carlos Navia back on vocals. It's an upbeat, powerful, multilayered track demonstrating a slight departure from their signaturely smooth sound from the several albums I possess. 2. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Recent Still Hot from 2020 Tracks 21-30 Winners from the 2010s Special Pick: "Rumba Nueva" 'Anthems' for me are songs which have stood the test of time from the 2010s. A few make great company here, such as work by Ricky Campanelli, La Candela, and La Maxima 79, but these are all from the latter part of the decade, so their selection is slightly muted since they have been around for only a few years. To emphasize the point about anthems, then, the special pick for this list is from 2010: the title track of Rumba Nueva by Cubanoson, led by Papo Ortega and dubbed "New York's Cuban Orchestra". The song used to sweep me off my feet by its astounding energy and catchy melody. I found myself experiencing the magic again when preparing a playlist for a set commemorating the 20th anniversay of my social event. The power is certainly there, evident with vocals, the melodic chorus, and a strong brass section. Above all, however, is the piano solo halfway through the track--just captivating. It's a very moving song. Much credit then, goes to Papo Ortega himself, credited as composer, piano, vocals, chorus, and bandleader. Truly among the best in the 2010s, I believe. 3. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Anthems (Winners From the 2010s) Tracks 21-30 The Millenial Era Special Pick: "Xiomara" In this category of songs from the millenium are tracks which I call 'nostalgic' because they remind me of the time when I started deejaying seriously and collecting a lot of music, especially newly released work. Some heavy hitters are listed, such as tracks by Jimmy Bosch, Africando, Son Boricua, and Louie Ramirez. Especially nostalgic is the cover of "Xiomara" by La Exclusiva, with the incomparable Herman Olivera on vocals and arranged by Oscar Hernandez. The point can be made that since this album was released on vinyl in 1988, it does not fit into this category, but the CD in my possession has a release date of 2005, and that is when it came under my radar, with a very strong impression. This song was among my signature tunes in the mid- and latter 2000s, which explains its inclusion here. 4. Contemporary SALSA - nostalgic (The Millennial Era) Tracks 21-30 (Tracks 21-30) The Golden Era Special Pick: "Sujetate La Lengua" There are so many meaningful tracks among the classics, and it's perhaps an injustice to select only ten here. But this list is about a few songs from the 60s and 70s which had some relevance to me in 2021. I never get tired of Eddie Palmieri's "Sujétate La Lengua", which was included in a set a few months ago. His piano work behind the message in the lyrics is just sublime. It never gets old although it is from 1965. The whole album, released on the Tico label, is fantastic, actually. Among the crew are Barry Rogers (trombone), Manny Oquendo (bongos/timbales), and Ismael Quintana (vocals). 5. CLASSIC SALSA (The Golden Era) Tracks 21-30 Songs for my Father Special Pick: "Elije Tú, Que Canto Yo" The next list highlights songs from my childhood and played by my father, a lover of Cuban music, especially from the 50s and 60s—evidently my basic foundation for what would become a love for salsa and Latin music in general. When I played a tribute set shortly after my father passed away in January 2021, I compiled songs which I recalled as his favourites. The playlist pool grew rather long, and I present a few of them here. Without question, included are some absolute essentials: Arsenio Rodriguez, La Sonora Matancera, Trio Matamoros, and Orquesta Aragon. For this chart, I will spotlight Beny Moré, with his "Elige Tú, Que Canto Yo", a song that states simply the true genius of his imporant contribution to the rich fabric that is Cuban music--and also among the roots of what we call call salsa today. A truly verstatile vocalist who could tackle a range of genres, the lyrics state it simply: choose the song--from whatever genre, whether a son, a guracha, a bolero, a cha cha cha, etc--and he will sing it masterfully. Not truly boastful, it was simply a fact--such was the talent of the incomparable Beny Moré. 6. THE ROOTS OF SALSA Songs for my Father Tracks 21-30 Missed Gems Discovered in 2021 Special Pick: "El Bravo" Sometimes I realize I am clueless about certain bands and songs. This list is about great tracks that I discovered well after they were released--a reminder that the world of salsa is vast and has much to offer and you really need to be on your toes to be aware of developments in the industry from all over the world and the appearance of new bands. Well, it appears I was blind to a sensation emerging from Peru: a band called Sabor Y Control. I had bought their track "Dispara Ya" on 7 inch earlier in the year, but knew nothing else about them. Then I started digging and unearthed a load of hidden gems. "El Bravo" is my pick for this list. It is from their 2006 album El Guapo Soy Yo--how I went for 15 years without knowing about it is massively criminal. What a cracker. 7. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER (Missed Gems Discovered in 2021) Tracks 21-30 Exclusively Cuban Artists Special Pick: "Carbonero Soy" List #8 focuses on modern Cuban songs. Among the ten I have selected for this chart are several great ones, with an interesting selection representing different aspects of the Cuban style. There is Alaín Perez, a veritable talent seemingly ahead of the times, El Hiijo de Teresa, an experienced vocalist from NG La Banda now leading his own band, and Dairo Todd, part of the Cuban diaspora with residency in Italy. In the spotlight for this list is the result of a project by Soneros All Stars, with the basist and tres player Jan Miklos Bogdan ‘Yanesito’ and the vocalist Pascual Matos Aguirreto. There are elements of both traditional and contemportary sounds, and the work is outstanding, with lovely syncopation and driving, catchy vibes. Notable in addition to the tres and vocals are the brass section, some funky piano, distinct maracas, and the underlying percussion. This is both an audio treat to enjoy with a set of good headphones or with a good partner on the dancefloor. 8. SPOTLIGHT: Cuba Exclusively Cuban Artists Tracks 21-30 > Back to top Other Latin Music Spotlight: Japan Special Pick: "さくら" ("Sakura") Japan is rich with multi-talented musicians producing Latin music. It is certainly true that salsa has no borders, with musicians from across the world finding purpose and expression in their material, but one could pause to reflect how such flavour and commitment is evident in Japan, with a Latin music scene spanning now many decades. Among recent players is Ayumi "Azucar" Suzuki from Tokyo, with masterful interpretations across several instruments: percussion, timables, piano, and especially vibraphones and marimba. Her 2017 album Oukagekka is a work of art from start to finish, containing only two covers ('Maria Cervantes' and 'Mi Amore'). Among several original compositions and arrangements by Suzuki is the opening track 'Sakura' (meaning 'cherry' in English) which brings to mind the delicate emblem of spring in Japan: cherry blossoms. Besides the masterful vibraphones and marimba by Suzuki in this very moving track is impressive work on violin (Chicho "Isabel" Saito), keyboard (Hiromichi "Yan" Tsugaki) and background congas (Takashi Nakazato). Also notable is the drums (Ludwig Esteban Nuñez). I had the pleasure of meeting the artist herself and getting my CD autographed--among my highlights knowing several musicians here in the country of my residency. 9. SPOTLIGHT: Japan Exclusively Japanese Artists Tracks 11-15 Full Circle Special Pick: "Hommage a Tonton Ferrer" 10. SPOTLIGHT: Africa Full Circle Tracks 11-15 New & Recent Bachata Special Pick: "Moriré Por Ella" 11. Spotlight: Bachata New & Recent Tracks 11-15 Contemporary Easy Listening Special Pick: "El Dinero No Es La Vida" 12. LATIN LOUNGE Contemporary Easy Listening Tracks 11-15 Deep Latin Vibes Special Pick: "Frenética Guajira" 13. DEEP LATIN VIBES Classic Boogaloo / Cha cha cha / Son / Guajira Tracks 11-15 Reggaeton & More Special Pick: "Subeme La Radio" 14. SABROSURA SIN CLAVE Reggaeton & More Tracks 11-15 > Back to top Other Genres Old & New Jamaican Music Special Pick: "Back to Normal" 15. SPOTLIGHT ON JAMAICA Old & New Tracks 11-15 Old & New African Music Special Pick: "Kalan Nege" 16. SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICA Old & New Tracks 11-15 Club Jazz Special Pick: "Biri Bori" 17. SPOTLIGHT: Club Jazz Acid-/Nu-/Funk-Jazz & Broken Beat Tracks 11-15 Upbeat Vibes Special Pick: "Lush" 18. MISCELLaNEA Upbeat Vibes Tracks 11-15 > Back to top Bonus: Inspiring Mixes of Summer 2021 Salsa from French West Indies (Mikael El Rojo) CoBeatParty Day 60 (DJ Koki Lizonde) Sunday Night Salsa Session #15 (Steven White) Doin' it w/ Salsa Grooves, Part 2 (DJ Babaloo) Mambo on Wax on Bangers (DJ El Güero del Sabor) > Back to Top Notes Although the charts mention 2021, only one list is exclusively for 2021 releases (List #1). Songs in the other lists have been chosen because they were somehow relevant to me in 2021. For example, lists 2 to 5 have salsa tracks from other years, but they were used in DJ sets this year. List 6 is a selection prepared for a tribute to my late father, who passed away in 2021. List 7 features salsa discovered in 2021 but from earlier years, et cetera. The basic criteria is that songs were chosen for some personal relevance in 2021. It goes without saying that song selection for any list is subjective. My intention is just to share songs which had meaning for me in 2021, regardless of release date. In order to give value, cohesion, and relevance, I carefully organized these lists. However, this project was for fun, so in no way are the lists intended to be authoritative. Besides, I cannot conceivably know the full range of possible songs relevant to a certain category. Finally, a top-10 (or top-5) ranking style has been avoided. Instead, songs are listed in alphabetical order by title. Let me know what you think about these lists. Any recommendations for summer 2021? Are there any songs that were personally significant for you regardless of release year? If you enjoyed this project and wish to support future projects, please consider buying me a coffee. Just click on the icon below. Thanks! > Back to Top

  • Carib Xmas Lounge

    "Coffee & cocktails with Latin & Jamaican music"... A special Christmas event by Cart stand PON & DJ Angel. [ For English, scroll down a bit ] 来たる12月23日(木)の夜、クリスマスイベントを行います。 その日は Cart stand PON コーヒーショップからラウンジに風変わり。いつもと店内の雰囲気をガラッと変えて、スペシャルなドリンクとミュージックで皆様をお迎え致します カートスタンドポン手掛けるカクテル&モクテル、DJアンヘル手掛けるラテン&ジャマイカンでゆったりリラックス出来るミュージックのコラボ。 外の気温は低いかもしれませんが、店内ではとても暖かくリラックスでき、カリブ海の地域からの素晴らしい音楽が流れます。(したがって、イベントのタイトルは「Carib Lounge」です)。 どのような音楽が再生されるのか知りたい場合は、AppleMusicかSpotifyでサンプルのプレイリストを聞くことができます。 ゲストDJアンヘルが選んだ曲は11曲🎧... • Apple Music • Spotify このイベントには、非常に良いサウンドの新しいオーディオシステムが含まれます。 音楽はアナログレコードからのものになります。 独特の音がします! DJアンヘルの関東デビューなので、このイベントも特別です。 (彼は今年初めに千葉に移る前は関西で確立されたDJでした)。 詳細については、プロフィールを確認してください。 Carib Christmas Lounge DJ Angel 2021/12/23 (木) 18:00-21:00 場所: Cart stand Pon 千葉県千葉市緑区おゆみ野3-4-12 (鎌取駅の近く) • 入場料無料 • お一人様、ファミリーも大歓迎OK • 素敵な夜を共に過ごしましょう > Google Maps リンク > Facebookのイベントページ The Chiba coffee shop/roastery Cart stand PON will have a Christmas event on December 23rd, 2021. On offer is a lounge-style atmosphere with special drinks and music. Although outside might be cold, Caribbean music inside the shop will provide a cozy and warm setting for customers to enjoy premium coffee, cocktails, mocktails, and Christmas treats. Imagine a lounge where you can spend a relaxing time in style... Carib Christmas Lounge DJ Angel 2021/12/23 (Thu) 18:00-21:00 Venue: Cart stand Pon Oyumino 3-4-12, Midori-ku, Chiba-shi (near Kamatori Station) • Free admission • Both single customers and families are welcome • Let's spend a wonderful evening together... > Facebook event page > Google Maps link A music sampler of the playlist for the evening is on Apple Music and Spotify, comprising mostly Jamaican and Cuban songs (11 in total). Click either button below to listen. このイベントには、非常に良いサウンドの新しいオーディオシステムが含まれます。 音楽はアナログレコードからのものになります。 独特の音がします!私の関東デビューなので、このイベントも特別です。 (彼は今年初めに千葉に移る前は関西で確立されたDJでした)。 詳細については、牡蠣を確認してください。 This event features a special audio system and music will be from analog records providing a warm and unique sound. It also serves as the Kanto debut of DJ Angel, who was based in Kansai before moving to Chiba earlier this year. Born in Jamaica and raised in Canada by Cuban and Jamaican parents, much of his childhood was spent listening to Caribbean music. In Japan he has more than 20 years experience spinning mostly salsa. For Carib Christmas Lounge he will mix light and uplifting music representing his mixed heritage. Dictador Colombian Aged Rum を中心としたスペシャルなカクテルをご用意。ディクタドールからいくつかの宝くじの賞品があります! ディクタドールドリンクを注文すると、プレゼントを獲得するチャンスがあります。カクテルやコーヒー、スイーツを片手にオシャレにゆっくり過ごせるラウンジをイメージしています。 Carib Christmas Lounge is supported by Dictador Colombian Aged Rum, an exceptional spirit to be enjoyed neat, with ice, or as a part of a cocktail, such as a coffee cocktail. Lottery prizes by Dictador will be provided to lucky customers! ゲストのご紹介 DJ Angel (アンヘル) ジャマイカで生まれ、カナダで育ちました。 彼の母親はキューバ出身、父親はジャマイカ出身なので、カリビアン音楽を聴いて育ちました。 現在、日本で20年の経験を持つサルサDJであり、今は千葉に住んでいます。 関西から引っ越してから関東でデビューです。 両親の故郷からの軽くて美しい音楽をミックスし、レコードでカリビアンミュージックの特別な雰囲気を提供します。

  • Azucar Friday salsa set (2021-12-03)

    Fun times with my live stream yesterday: salsa and cha cha for “Azúcar Friday”... This video recording was edited for length (several tracks were removed to shorten it from the original 2.5 hours). Artists and track titles are below. Tata Vazquez & His Orchestra - Maldito Vicio José Bello - Ven A Mi New Swing Sextet - Flight Los Diferentes - Cafe Con Pan Santy Montega & Mañambo - Pa´l Bailador Guaguancó Orquesta copa salvo - Linda Mulata Yoshiro - Matame A Besos Los Habaneros - Habana Guaguancó DJ Isaia "El Profeta", Donny - Mi Ritmo German Medina & Nell Figueroa - Yo Te Seguire Orquesta copa salvo - Donde Estabas Tu DJ Lindo & Nestor Pacheco - A Gozar el Ritmo Jimmy Saa - Insha Alla'h Orquesta Internacional - Olvidate de Mi Orquesta Ideal - Te Voy A Dar Un Consejo Santiago All Stars - Noches De Rumba Los Afro-Salseros De Senegal - Africa Sexteto Kroffer - Oye mujer Rubens Bassini E Os 11 Magníficos - Côco Seco Curao en Salsa - Alabanciosa Esteban & DJ Lindo - Sigo Pensando En Ti Hot Salsa - Raza Latina Orquesta copa salvo - Cuban Mambo Curao en Salsa - Titicó Na' Ma' Nacho Sanabria - La Ruñidera Josean Rivera - Mi Amigo Licor Victor Paz - Latina

  • The Year's Music in Review: Spring 2021

    Looking back at spring 2021, this post presents my picks for notable music in the second chart of a four-part series. (The other charts are Early, Summer, and Late 2021). Salsa is my focus, but other genres are included. The total number of songs here is 140, and you can listen to them--combined with the songs from Early 2021--on Spotify or Apple Music. There are 18 lists in a chart. Lists 1 to 8 are about salsa, with ten songs each. The other lists have five songs. For details on how lists were organized, see the project description. Artwork & DJ Mixes Some album artwork is included with an anecdote explaining a particular selection. A bonus feature is a list of five inspiring DJ mixes, each with an embedded audio player. About Song Selection Information about song selection is explained under Notes near the bottom of this page. Most importantly... This is a curation of songs based on personal relevance in 2021--regardless of release year. Only List #1 (New Salsa) features 2021 releases. There is no ranking system; tracks are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to check out the forthcoming Summer and Late 2021 charts. Listen online All 18 lists are on Spotify and Apple Music--just click on the button at the end of a list. To see all the playlists, click on either of the images below. Important Note A playlist updates with 5 or 10 new songs once a chart gets posted. In other words, since "Spring 2021" is the current chart, the playlists now include songs from both Early and Spring 2021. Also, when you 'like' a playlist, it gets saved to your profile for easy access. Let's go! Categories Salsa | Other Latin | Other Genres | Mixes Salsa 1. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - New Released in spring 2021 (Tracks 11-20) Still Hot from 2020 Special Pick: "Guaguanco psicodelico" Appearing in every chart this year is the Italian artist El Timba, and his work brings several words to mind: prolific, incredible, infectious. Fresh from his 2020 album Ecleptic is a fantastic array of tracks, each with his trademark flair on the keyboard, in a modern Cuban style yet universal in appeal for dancers of all schools. A standout on this album is the guitar-infused "Guaguanco psicodelico", which was an instant hit for me, and it is certainly 'still hot' this year. Also included in this list are several exemplary tracks by Tromboranga, Jan Reijnders, Shekere Latin Band, and Henry Benavides. Evidently, 2020 was a very good year—many songs are aging well. 2. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Recent (Still Hot from 2020) (Tracks 11-20) Winners from the 2010s Special Pick: "Insha'allah" I refer to tracks from the 2010s that are still on my playlists these days as 'anthems'. They have stood the test of time. Listed are some fabulous tunes by La Maxima 79, El Timba, Orquesta Akokán, Santy Montega y Mañambo, and others. But among these are a special few which still give me goosebumps even after all these years. One such track is Jimmy Saa’s "Insha’allah" from his 2016 album El Embajador. Grab some good headphones and lose yourself in the multi-layered percussive play which intertwines so masterfully under Saa’s vocals. 3. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Anthems (Winners From the 2010s) (Tracks 11-20) The Millenial Era Special Pick: "Planté Bandera" Songs from around the turn of the century have special meaning, as this was when I started deejaying seriously, exploring and acquiring lots of music. Mentioned here are some great tracks by incredible artists and bands, such as Jimmy Bosch, Raulin Rosendo, La-33, and Johnny Polanco Y su Conjunto Amistad. Particularly nostalgic for me is Tego Calderon’s 2003 cover version of "Planté Bandera", a song already well established in the pantheon of classics, with Tommy Olivencia’s hit from 1975 featuring Chamaco Ramirez as a gold standard. Of course some people do not share my opinion because the gruff sounding vocals by Calderon which set apart his signature reggaeton style are not for everyone, but I think this is in fact a great example of breaking the rules and getting away with it—a mark of genius. 4. Contemporary SALSA - nostalgic (The Millennial Era) (Tracks 11-20) The Golden Era Special Pick: "Perico Macona" It is always a meaningful treat to replay the classics, which serve as the foundation for where salsa is today. With so much amazing material to go over it is difficult to be selective, but for this chart I give special mention to "Perico Macona" by Angel Canales. This tune is spell-binding. I love the choppy percussion and how his vocal tone matches it so well. He is such a talented singer, and this one is among his most recognized -- a truly unique song. While I chose to highlight Canales, I could easily have gone with Hector Rivera, The Brooklyn Sounds, or Cortijo — all their tracks here are signature classics which I hold in high regard. 5. CLASSIC SALSA (The Golden Era) (Tracks 11-20) Songs for my Father Special Pick: "Tres Lindas Cubanas" We come to a special list next, one that highlights songs from my childhood and played by my father, a lover of Cuban music, especially from the 50s and 60s—evidently my basic foundation for what would become a love for salsa and Latin music in general. When I played a tribute set shortly after my father passed away in January 2021, I compiled songs which I recalled as his favourites. The playlist pool grew very long, and I present a few of them here. Without question, included are some absolute essentials: Beny Moré, Trio Matamoros, and Orquesta Aragon. For this chart, I will spotlight the latter, with their rendition of "Tres Lindas Cubanas", a Cuban standard composed by guitarist and singer Guillermo Castillo García, and featuring the master flautist Richard Egües. 6. THE ROOTS OF SALSA Songs for my Father (Tracks 11-20) Missed Gems Discovered in 2021 Special Pick: "Al Cubano" Among several amazing tunes I came across in 2021 which were way past their release date is a son in the new style by the Colombian band Cuba Libre. You could be forgiven for assuming this group was comprised solely of Cuban musicians, not just because of the band name but also because their style of sound could easily pass as Cuban — but one could argue that it’s not so simple as that; certainly Cuba Libre has its unique sound, too. Regardless, several layers of instrumentation in "Al Cubano" make this song both atmospheric yet explosive. It qualifies as a "missed gem" because it blew right past me in 2017, and I failed to discover it until much later--which is basically criminal. The same can be said for the incredible compilation of Frankie Vazquez’s work — also released in 2017 — which "Alabanciosa" serves to represent here. 7. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER (Missed Gems Discovered in 2021) (Tracks 11-20) Exclusively Cuban Artists Special Pick: "La Chica de 20" List #8 focuses on modern Cuban songs. I include this exclusive list not out of a certain bias, but simply because I claim some familiarity with the signature sound of Cuban music since I grew up listening to it and therefore it deserves a list on its own. (To clarify, I cannot claim enough knowledge about the salsa output from other salsa regions, such as Peru, Colombia and Venezuela — with apologies to music fans of those wonderful gold mines of salsa). Among the ten Cuban songs I have selected for this chart are several killers, namely those by Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Manolito Simonet, Maykel Blanco, and Elito Revé y su Charangón (with whom I had the pleasure of deejaying at their live concert in Kyoto). But I will spotlight "La Chica de 20" (2019) by Dairo Todd and La Existencia. This is a very catchy tune with entertaining lyrics about a capricious 20 year-old woman having caught the attention of the singer. The music video is a joy to watch, too. Of particular note is both the work on trombone and the vocals by Todd. Based in Milan, Italy, he is supported by some incredible piano and percussion. Credits for composition go to both Todd and the prolific Italian artist Fabrizio Lozo. 8. SPOTLIGHT: Cuba Exclusively Cuban Artists (Tracks 11-20) > Back to top Other Latin Music Spotlight: Japan Special Pick: "Turn Your Lights Down Low" 9. SPOTLIGHT: Japan Exclusively Japanese Artists (Tracks 6-10) Full Circle Special Pick: "Tata Masamba" 10. SPOTLIGHT: Africa Full Circle (Tracks 6-10) New & Recent Bachata Special Pick: "Perfecto" 11. Spotlight: Bachata New & Recent (Tracks 6-10) Contemporary Easy Listening Special Pick: "Bella Cubana" 12. LATIN LOUNGE Contemporary Easy Listening (Tracks 6-10) Deep Latin Vibes Special Pick: "Pan con Bacalao" 13. DEEP LATIN VIBES Classic Boogaloo / Cha cha cha / Son / Guajira (Tracks 6-10) Reggaeton & More Special Pick: "Patria y Vida" 14. SABROSURA SIN CLAVE Reggaeton & More (Tracks 6-10) > Back to top Other Genres Old & New Jamaican Music Special Pick: "Need Your Love" 15. SPOTLIGHT ON JAMAICA Old & New (Tracks 6-10) Old & New African Music Special Pick: "Unité Africaine" 16. SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICA Old & New (Tracks 6-10) Club Jazz Special Pick: "That's What We Need" 17. SPOTLIGHT: Club Jazz Acid-/Nu-/Funk-Jazz & Broken Beat (Tracks 6-10) Upbeat Vibes Special Pick: "BAILA feat. Eri Konishi" 18. MISCELLaNEA Upbeat Vibes (Tracks 6-10) > Back to top Bonus: Inspiring Mixes of Spring 2021 Phantom Existence (Soul Button) Latin Music from Benin (Mikael El Rojo) Reggaeton Sensual (DJ Matt) Salsa Vinyl Delights (DJ Takeuchi) Crouching Spider, Hidden Panda 14 (DJ Hong Kwon & DJ Mike Arana) > Back to Top Notes Although the charts mention 2021, only one list is exclusively for 2021 releases (List #1). Songs in the other lists have been chosen because they were somehow relevant to me in 2021. For example, lists 2 to 5 have salsa tracks from other years, but they were used in DJ sets this year. List 6 is a selection prepared for a tribute to my late father, who passed away in 2021. List 7 features salsa discovered in 2021 but from earlier years, et cetera. The basic criteria is that songs were chosen for some personal relevance in 2021. It goes without saying that song selection for any list is subjective. My intention is just to share songs which had meaning for me in 2021, regardless of release date. In order to give value, cohesion, and relevance, I carefully organized these lists. However, this project was for fun, so in no way are the lists intended to be authoritative. Besides, I cannot conceivably know the full range of possible songs relevant to a certain category. Finally, a top-10 (or top-5) ranking style has been avoided. Instead, songs are listed in alphabetical order by title. Let me know what you think about these lists. Any recommendations for spring 2021? Are there any songs that were personally significant for you regardless of release year? If you enjoyed this project and wish to support future projects, please consider buying me a coffee. Just click on the icon below. Thanks! > Back to Top

  • Vinyl Highlights, Ep. 6

    From Benin comes this pachanga by Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, with amazing guitarwork and chilling vocals in “Vi E Lo”, a lamenting love song composed by Lohento Eskill (on vocals) featuring band leader Melome Clement (on saxophone and rhythm guitar), accompanied by Bernard Zoundegnon (lead guitar) and Bentho Gustavo (bass) among others. It is from another great compilation by the Analog Africa label. This episode is part of a series of videos highlighting an interesting portion of a track from my vinyl collection--the focus is on Latin music. As a rule, videos are kept brief (approximately 1 minute). More can be found with the hashtag #VinylHighlights. Original content is first posted on Instagram and then on YouTube in the playlist Vinyl Highlights by DJ Angel.

  • Vinyl Highlights, Ep. 5

    I’ve been wondering who are the sidemen on Tommy Olivencia’s 1966 album 'Jala-Jala Guaguanco' — there is no information on the album jacket (at least not on the original Tioly #2, which I own). The vocals by Paquito Guzman and Chamico Ramirez and stellar throughout, giving all 11 tracks a unique sound. But also worth mentioning is the instrumenation in some of the tracks. A good example is “El Titere”, written by Louie Ramirez. The build-up and subsequent layering of the brass section, the percussion, piano, and timbals are impressive. This episode is part of a series of videos highlighting an interesting portion of a track from my vinyl collection--the focus is on Latin music. As a rule, videos are kept brief (approximately 1 minute). More can be found with the hashtag #VinylHighlights. Original content is first posted on Instagram and then on YouTube in the playlist Vinyl Highlights by DJ Angel.

  • The Year's Music in Review: Early 2021

    This is the first chart in a four-chart series covering what I feel are notable songs in the year 2021. (The other charts are Spring, Summer, and Late 2021). The focus is on salsa and Latin, but other genres are included, too. The total number of songs in this chart is 140. For each chart, songs are organized into 18 lists (see the project description in the previous post). Lists 1-8 are on salsa and have 10 songs each. The other lists have 5 each. Artwork & DJ Mixes Some album artwork is included with an anecdote explaining a particular selection. A bonus feature is a list of five inspiring DJ mixes, each with an embedded audio player. About Song Selection Information about song selection is explained under Notes near the bottom of this page. Most importantly... This is a curation of songs based on personal relevance in 2021--regardless of release year. Only List #1 (New Salsa) features 2021 releases. There is no ranking system; tracks are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to check out the forthcoming Spring, Summer, and Late 2021 posts. Listen online All 18 lists are on Spotify and Apple Music--just click on the button at the end of a list. To see all playlists, click on either of the images below. Note: A playlist will update with 5 or 10 new songs once the next chart gets posted, and when you 'like' a playlist, it gets saved to your profile for easy access. Let's go! Salsa | Other Latin | Other Genres | Mixes Salsa 1. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - New Released in early 2021 (Tracks 1-10) Still Hot from 2020 Special Pick: "Son Nocturno" Cuba Quartet is made up of three (not four) musicians: Andreas Unge, Gunnar Thullberg, and Thomas de Paula Eby, all members of the Swedish timba band Calle Real. This album just oozes fresh appeal, with a vibe inspired by TheBuena Vista Social Club. The guitar work is especially noteworthy. Released in late 2020, I discovered the album in January 2021, using "Son Nocturno" for a live stream. It is not a typical dance floor filler, but it's deep and could work well with the right songs before and after. 2. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Recent (Still Hot from 2020) (Tracks 1-10) Winners from the 2010s Special Pick: "Cuba No Se Fue de Mi" ​There are several interesting "Salsa Anthems" -- what I call the best tunes from the 2010s. They all made a huge impression on me at first listen, but "Cuba No Se Fue De Mi" (2019) by Orishas gets special recognition not only for its outstanding lyrics and raw emotion, but also because the Cuban hip-hop trio, who are not really known for danceable tracks among salseros, delivers here for those with imagination and an open mind. Released in 2019, it still has an edge in early 2021. 3. CONTEMPORARY SALSA - Anthems (Winners From the 2010s) (Tracks 1-10) The Millenial Era Special Pick: "Pepita" ​The next list is for songs from around the time of the millennium. It takes me back to when I started deejaying regularly and when I was discovering a lot of great material. They are all important songs,, but a standout is "Pepita" by Africando, featuring Boncaba Maïga and Hector Casanova on vocals. An atmospheric start morphs into an uptempo swing with a catchy melody. Africando was the name of a project to bring together musicians from Senegal --and later other African musicians -- with New York musicians. 4. Contemporary SALSA - nostalgic (The Millennial Era) (Tracks 1-10) The Golden Era Special Pick: "Flores para Tu Altar" ​I was once asked if I knew a certain punchy track which referred to Santeria gods. There were no other clues, and I had no idea what it could be. Some time later I heard something by French DJ Jeremy Castex on a CoBeatParty live stream that fit the description. “Flores para tu altar” has great lyrics, an intriguing introduction, riveting instrumentation, and catchy syncopation. It's by the Venezuelan band Dimension Latina 77. I was thrilled when I managed to get the vinyl at a store in Kyoto. 5. CLASSIC SALSA (The Golden Era) (Tracks 1-10) Songs for my Father - Special Pick: "Me Voy a Pinar Del Rio" ​Next is a list of songs in tribute to my father, who passed away in January. He laid the foundation for my love of Latin music. Childhood memories involve Sundays with him playing Cuban records. Many songs were on high rotation, and I came to learn from my father’s tastes, which are essentially the roots of salsa. One particular song that I came to like is “Me Voy a Pinar Del Rio” by Celia Cruz and La Sonora Matancera (1950s). It sits here alongside other great classics which have special meaning for me. 6. THE ROOTS OF SALSA Songs for my Father (Tracks 1-10) Missed Gems Discovered in 2021 Special Pick: "Unidos en una Sola Voz" Being part of a record pool allows DJs to receive promotional tracks before the official launch date and discover new artists they otherwise would not know. In the case of TheLatin Heartbeat Orchestra, there is a twist. I did not know this band (nor their 2018 track "Unidos en una Sola Voz") until they came to my attention in February 2021. Assuming it was a recent release, I was surprised to notice that Spotify indicated that it was actually from 2018! The next list is all about late discoveries. 7. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER (Missed Gems Discovered in 2021) (Tracks 1-10) Exclusively Cuban Artists Special Pick: "Soy" List 8 focuses on Cuban artists, but it is not limited to musicians who live on the island. Take Ex corde, a duo comprising Cuban-born Yacel Sagarra and his Japanese wife. They both reside in Kobe, Japan. From their 2018 album comes a wonderful track with soulful vocals and guitar work by Sagarra. I've always wondered why "Soy" never really became well-known. Consider it a hidden gem and perhaps a potent sign of things to come from this talented singer, songwriter, and bandleader. 8. SPOTLIGHT: Cuba Exclusively Cuban Artists (Tracks 1-10) > Back to top Other Latin Music Spotlight: Japan Special Pick: "DRACULA" 9. SPOTLIGHT: Japan Exclusively Japanese Artists (Tracks 1-5) Full Circle Special Pick: "La Musica en Verité" 10. SPOTLIGHT: Africa Full Circle (Tracks 1-5) New & Recent Bachata Special Pick: "Las Puertas del Cielo" 11. Spotlight: Bachata New & Recent (Tracks 1-5) Contemporary Easy Listening Special Pick: "Mariage D'Amour" 12. LATIN LOUNGE Contemporary Easy Listening (Tracks 1-5) Deep Latin Vibes Special Pick: "Brujeria" 13. DEEP LATIN VIBES Classic Boogaloo / Cha cha cha / Son / Guajira (Tracks 1-5) Reggaeton & More Special Pick: "Honey Boo" 14. SABROSURA SIN CLAVE Reggaeton & More (Tracks 1-5) > Back to top Other Genres Old & New Jamaican Music Special Pick: "War Zone" 15. SPOTLIGHT ON JAMAICA Old & New (Tracks 1-5) Old & New African Music Special Pick: "Boula niit tognié" 16. SPOTLIGHT ON AFRICA Old & New (Tracks 1-5) Club Jazz Special Pick: "Mango (Club des Belugas Bossa Remix)" 17. SPOTLIGHT: Club Jazz Acid-/Nu-/Funk-Jazz & Broken Beat (Tracks 1-5) Upbeat Vibes Special Pick: "Just in A Moment to Find a Way to Sun Day" 18. MISCELLaNEA Upbeat Vibes (Tracks 1-5) > Back to top Bonus: Inspiring Mixes of Early 2021 Max Pela – LIVE from Home (Afrobeta Bodega) Traditional Salsa Grooves Vol. 9 (DJ Eddie UK Salsa) Salsa y Boogaloo Episode 4 - The Art of Salsa Bass (DJ Jason Ortiz) I Didn't Know You Could Dance! Feb 2021 (DJ Mr. Thomas) UnShazammable Digital Salsa Attack (DJ Nik) > Back to Top Notes Although the charts mention 2021, only one list is exclusively for 2021 releases (List #1). Songs in the other lists have been chosen because they were somehow relevant to me in 2021. For example, lists 2 to 5 have salsa tracks from other years, but they were used in DJ sets this year. List 6 is a selection prepared for a tribute to my late father, who passed away in 2021. List 7 features salsa discovered in 2021 but from earlier years, et cetera. The basic criteria is that songs were chosen for some personal relevance in 2021. It goes without saying that song selection for any list is subjective. My intention is just to share songs which had meaning for me in 2021, regardless of release date. In order to give value, cohesion, and relevance, I carefully organized these lists. However, this project was for fun, so in no way are the lists intended to be authoritative. Besides, I cannot conceivably know the full range of possible songs relevant to a certain category. Finally, a top-10 (or top-5) ranking style has been avoided. Instead, songs are listed in alphabetical order by title. Let me know what you think about these lists. Any recommendations for early 2021? Are there any songs that were personally significant for you regardless of release year? If you enjoyed this project and wish to support future projects, please consider buying me a coffee. Just click on the icon below. Thanks! > Back to Top

  • Music Charts

    With the end of the year approaching, I want to show what 2021 meant to me in terms of notable songs by adding music charts to this site. While the focus is on salsa, other genres are included, too. The Year's Music in Review-2021 I decided on several lists featuring 5 or 10 tracks and assigned them to 4 charts: Early 2021, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Late 2021. The result is 140 songs across 18 lists, which will total 560 songs for the whole year... Also chosen in each quarter are 5 DJ mixes that I found inspiring. See below for the lists, which include a brief description. This is followed by information on context and selection criteria. Salsa (10 tracks in each list below) 1. CONTEMPORARY SALSA: New 2021 Releases 2. CONTEMPORARY SALSA: Recent Still Hot from 2020 3. CONTEMPORARY SALSA: Anthems Big Winners From the 2010s 4. CONTEMPORARY SALSA: Nostalgic The Millennial Era 5. CLASSIC SALSA The Golden Era 6. SONGS FOR MY FATHER The Roots of Salsa 7. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER Missed Gems Discovered in 2021 8. SPOTLIGHT: Cuba Exclusively Cuban Artists Other Latin Music (5 tracks in each list below) 9. SPOTLIGHT: Japan Exclusively Japanese Artists 10. SPOTLIGHT: Africa Full Circle 11. SPOTLIGHT: Bachata New & Recent 12. LATIN LOUNGE Contemporary Easy Listening 13. DEEP LATIN VIBES Classic Boogaloo, Cha Cha Cha, Son, Guajira 14. SABROSURA SIN CLAVE Reggaeton & More Other Genres (5 tracks in each list below) 15. SPOTLIGHT: Jamaica Old & New 16. SPOTLIGHT: Africa Old & New 17. SPOTLIGHT: Club Jazz Acid-/Nu-/Funk Jazz & Broken Beat 18. MISCELLANEA Upbeat Vibes Context and selection criteria Although the music charts mention 2021, only one list is exclusively for 2021 releases (List #1). Songs in the other lists have been chosen because they were somehow relevant to me in 2021. For example, lists 2 to 5 have salsa tracks from other years, but they were used in DJ sets this year. List 6 is a selection of songs prepared for a tribute to my late father, who passed away in 2021. List 7 features salsa discovered in 2021 but from earlier years, et cetera. The basic criteria is that songs were chosen for some personal relevance in 2021. It goes without saying that song selection for any list is subjective. My intention is just to share songs which had meaning to me in 2021--regardless of release date--but thorough organization seemed necessary to add meaning, unity, and relevance. However, this project was for fun, and in no way are the lists intended to be official or authoritative. All lists will be on Spotify and Apple Music as playlists, which will update when a quarterly chart gets posted on this site. First up is "Early 2021". This will be followed by the other charts, one at a time, until the end of the year. I hope my selections are fun for everyone. I am certainly interested in readers' opinions too, so please share your thoughts in the comments after each chart. If you enjoy this project and wish to support future projects, please consider buying me a coffee. Just click on the icon below. Thanks!

  • 'Azucar Friday' set, Taipei

    My most recent live stream was an ad hoc experiment but still good fun: I streamed to a party in Taiwan from my sound room in Japan. Thanks to Calvin Wang and Tienyu Tai for their invitation and support in Taipei! Also thanks to everyone who tuned in on a moment's notice on MixCloud. Video replay is available--probably for a limited time. Audio quality is decent at 320kbps. I played from a digital setup, so almost all songs were of the newish variety, and I mixed it up with both American and Cuban sounds--some heavy brass and funky piano riffs throughout, plus punchy bass courtesy of MixCloud's deep audio range. A few rare unshazammable are tracks there, too, inluding a killer Japanese cover featuring Ken Morimura on piano. Closing the set is a song by ExCorde, who are residents of Kobe, Japan. While the playlist is mostly salsa, there are a few cha chas chas and two bachatas. I was aiming for a restrained and accessible vibe for dancers at the early stage of a party. Click on the image to watch.

  • Vinyl Highlights, Ep. 4

    Released in 2019, all bets are on that “おまえだけを I Love You” by Orquesta Copa Salvo will become a classic of Japanese-made salsa that can find appeal with dancers all across the world. The Japanese lyrics are sung by Tadahiro Masuda, and he is accompanied on chorus by multi-talented pianist Eri Konishi. They are supported by an all-Japanese cast featuring members from another famous—but now defunct—Japanese Latin band, "Banderas". This track was released only on 7 inch vinyl by the label Discos Papkin based in Tokyo. A tender love song backed with great instrumentation, it can show Spanish speakers what it is like to enjoy salsa without knowing the words, for a change. (This underlines how appealing salsa can be for non-Spanish speakers, based on just the musicality of the genre). Also, this track exemplifies the talent and swing which many Japanese musicians have for producing Latin music. This episode is part of a series of videos highlighting an interesting part of a track from my vinyl collection--the focus is on Latin music. As a rule, videos are kept brief (approximately 1 minute). More can be found with the hashtag #VinylHighlights. Original content is first posted on Instagram and then on YouTube in the playlist Vinyl Highlights by DJ Angel. Note: The record in the video was purchased at full price and no incentive or compensation was received in return for promotion—the opinion expressed herein is solely that of DJ Angel.

  • Vinyl Highlights, Ep. 3

    This is Josean Rivera in his third album as a solo artist with the track “Mi Amigo Licor” from the album “Un Sonero Para El Pueblo” (2019) by Salsaneo Records — my choice of track from an album filled dance floor material. Rivera is on lead vocals here with Adan Peréz firing a brief piano solo before the brass section kicks in for a unique modern salsa sound. Well recorded with top quality production, this is another tight song in a great album among Salsaneo’s lineup. It is the precursor to Rivera’s latest album “Esto No Es Secreto”, which was just recently released. This episode is part of a series of videos highlighting an interesting part of a track from my vinyl collection--the focus is on Latin music. As a rule, videos are kept brief (approximately 1 minute). More can be found with the hashtag #VinylHighlights. Original content is first posted on Instagram and then on YouTube in the playlist Vinyl Highlights by DJ Angel. Disclaimer: While the record in this video was purchased at full price, other promotional material was received from the relevant label—but the opinion expressed herein is solely that of DJ Angel.

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