[Today: Getting funky on Cinco de Mayo…]
Crate diggers are a notoriously rare breed. It takes a special constitution to relish rooting through thousands of dusty, dismal, damaged albums in search of a single elusive treasure that may or may not appear. But even if you don’t enjoy getting up at dawn to hit a flea market or scrounge through garage sale dollar bins of records, you can still build a collection of rare beats worthy of the dustiest vinyl hound. Thanks to compilation masters like record label Salsoul and BBC DJ Gilles Peterson, thousands of dollars (and thousands of hours of digging) worth of fat grooves can be had for the price of a couple of compact discs.
Latin Funk Flavas compiles rare latin-disco/funk grooves from the 70s – it’s up to you to supply the shag rug, bell-bottom pants, and piña coladas. These tracks teeter on the edge of kitsch, but the sheer intensity of the beats wins out in the end. Imagine the soundtrack to a Saturday Night Fever that starred Freddie Prinze instead of John Travolta and you’re halfway there. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Meanwhile, Fania Records turned noted record-finder Gilles Peterson loose on their vaults, and the results are reason for jubilation. Peterson reportedly listened to more than 200 albums before culling the best of it all down into 26 tracks over two discs. There’s nothing remotely kitschy about this edition of the Fania DJ Series – it’s one of the best salsa/funk compilations to be found anywhere, period.
Personally, I like digging through a big pile of records in search of a few new sounds, even if all it nets me is a couple of nasty hives. But Cinco de Mayo is a de facto holiday in these parts, so I’ll leave the digging to the pros for today, and concentrate on other pursuits instead:
World’s Best Margarita
Mix together equal parts:
-Lime Juice (3-5 limes will make enough juice for two drinks)
-Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar + 1 cup water, boil until dissolved)
-Silver Tequila (Don Julio is recommended, but any silver works)
For added flavor, cut your silver tequila with a bit of Cointreau, and top drinks with a splash of Grand Marnier.
Serve with ice and a wedge of lime… and enjoy!
Listen: Latin Strut [Joe Bataan – from Latin Funk Flavas]
Listen: Tighten Up [Al Escobar – from Fania DJ Series: Gilles Peterson]
Listen: The Return Of Leroy Pts. 1 & 2 [Jimmy Castor – from Latin Funk Flavas]
Listen: Saona [Noro Morales Quintet – from Fania DJ Series: Gilles Peterson]