Cinco de Mayo offers plenty of chances to stuff your face with delicious Mexican foodstuffs, but where should you go if you wanna stuff your ears with Latin rhythms? Sure, there are plenty of places to hear traditional Mexican music, and there's nothing wrong with picking up a five-piece band from Mariachi Plaza (a.k.a. Plaza Garibaldi Jr.), and driving around with them in your backseat. Yet, if you want something more contemporary, Spaceland presents the solo debut of Clorofila from Tijuana's Nortec Collective tonight with NYC's Dominican/Colombian electro-hybrid, Pacha Massive. The two funky groups will share the stage with L.A.'s Wait. Think. Fast. who were responsible for the best performance in an Echo Park living room last year.
From the D.R. to T.J. to L.A., tonight's show is an alphabet soup of contemporary Latin jams.
West Coast Sound wanted to know about the sounds that drive Pacha Massive, so we asked producer Ramon Nova to give us the greatest hits of the bombastic beats and fiery beats of palo, from the Dominican Republic.
Palo background by Pacha Massive's Ramon Nova:
Our African heritage came from three regions predominantly, Yoruba, Angola and Congo, so no matter where in Latin America, you got our music in it's purest form will sound pretty much the same, same rhythms, same roots, same circumstances. You only hear differences when you get the variations that happened as a result of blending our African and European heritage together, which in turn were influenced by African music and culture before they ever ventured to this side of the globe. At the core is the original one sound.
This music you will find almost exactly the same when you listen to it coming from the Garifunas in Honduras, or coming from Colombia, Peru, Cuba, Dominican Republic etc.
Some songs are named after saints like Belie Belcan/ St. Michael, Anaisa/ St. Anne, Elegba, others after an event such as a marriage for example. Palo comes from the country side, the bateyes, but you will find it thriving in the Dominican city as well. Though it is considered a sacred music, you will often find people gathering simply to celebrate life.
This is in the little town where I grew up for much of my childhood. When I left, there were no asphalt roads other than the main ones taking you to San Pedro De Macoris (home of Gaga music) or El Seibo. I grew up around this and it's in the DNA of the music I make.
From Grupo De Palo Peravia - Dominican Palo group...
This is a celebration in the city, for San Miguel, the lady with the cigar is channeling
you can see dancing here tipical of how Punta is danced in Honduras or Cumbia in Colombia or....
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Villa Mella in Santo Domingo( the capital) is an area known for it's strong connection to African roots. they're chilling here with grandmothers and little kids dancing.
From Azua on the southwest of Dominican Republic: