Otra ciudad

February 15, 2008 10:28 AM


A demo for an old song I've never recorded properly. I know there is a song somewhere in there, but cumbia is just not meant to be recorded by one person alone, recording track by track.

These days, while this country is (or so they say) on the brink of war with Colombia, I've found myself listening to a lot of Colombian music. The Caribbean is indeed a never ending source of great music.

(Oh yeah, and the drumming comes from an Egyptian music CD. The lyrics talk about Africa and America (America being Latin America for the purposes of this song) and since the black part of Africa would already be in there as part of the cumbia -which is Afro-Colombian music- I thought it would make sense to include the Arabian part of Africa, and musically it seemed to work).

posted by micayetoca (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I know there is a song somewhere in there, but cumbia is just not meant to be recorded by one person alone, recording track by track.

I'm in agreeance, even if my knowledge of cumbia is lacking. Did you do anything to the drums as far as recording or is it just a track that you used?

Great stuff, as usual. Your voice is fantastic on this.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:42 PM on February 15, 2008

Man, that drumming is a powerful intro. As sleepy pete mentions, your voice is really great here. I'm wondering if over time your comfort level with your voice has increased or if you are just feeling it more now. I'm just curious because lately you have been sounding very strong and yet very relaxed at the same time. Kudos, man, this kicks ass.
posted by snsranch at 4:31 PM on February 15, 2008

A lovely assortment of percussion sounds. Plus I always seem to learn interesting historical/cultural tidbits from your posts, as well. Cheers.
posted by ORthey at 6:46 PM on February 15, 2008

sleepy pete: I only took them from a track on a record. It's actually a little piece in the middle, as the whole track was like 15 mins long. I actually slowed them a bit, but didn't do anything else to them.

And yeah, I think a song could be extracted from Otra ciudad, but it would require "mapping" it (deciding a structure and perhaps choosing a chorus). Also, as there are virtually no chord changes (only a brief incursion to two other chords from the root), the song would need stops and perhaps more instruments to keep the listener from sleeping. But that's a lot more work and I was just testing my portastudio (which seems to be back!) and trying to lay it down for that later day when I finally do something with it.

snsranch: thank you very much for your comments on the voice. I actually do think, somehow, my voice has gotten "less worse" (not really better). Now I can do harmonies and stuff. In this song it's kinda sloppy, because I didn't do many takes, but I could get a decent sound if I try, which is something a year ago I couldn't do.

And now that you ask, do you remember that "conversation" we had about the condenser mic? I think the mic helped enormously. Recording with a condenser mic is less of a struggle, and, since it captures a lot more nuances, it helps you better realize how your voice sound, and to use it better. Thanks a lot for the nice words.

ORthey: yeah, cumbia is amazing that way. Sometimes, like in rural Colombian music, they play it with many drummers and different percussion instruments and it's mindblowing. But sometimes they just use the guacharaca and beat anything they have handy and it still makes want to get up and dance. I like it a lot.

Thanks to all for commenting.
posted by micayetoca at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2008

That drumming is really great, even if you didn't make it. I think taking it from that CD is pretty clever. I just don't know about the poppy one that comes in and goes. Maybe it could be less loud.

I feel like your voice sounds quite different from the last one. Like, they give me different impressions of what you look like. But they are both really good!
posted by Corduroy at 5:40 PM on February 16, 2008

Neat ... this sounds a bit like something I'd hear between segments on NPR. (And that is a good thing.) I dig.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:35 PM on February 17, 2008

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