Various Artists

30 Cumbias Colombianas Pegaditas: Lo Nuevo y Lo Mejor

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Sony International's 30 Cumbias Colombianas Pegaditas: Lo Nuevo y Lo Mejor is a serious two-disc party animal of cumbia past, present, and future, featuring the biggest names -- and biggest hits -- of the genre in a budget-priced package. Sound quality varies a bit, since despite the look of the set it's historically based and sequenced with the best of the past sitting just ahead of the best of the now generation on each volume. The first disc features the great Conjunto Tipico Vallenato's "Cumbia Cienaguera" complete with layers of live percussion instruments and tribal singing; Adolfo Pacheco's "La Hamaca Grande," with squeezebox playing counterpoint to the polyrhythms performed by Andrés Landero y su Conjunto ; the beautifully haunting "Cumbia del Mar" by Mi Sonora, and early tracks like "Mis Caderas No Mienten" and "Dame Tu Amor" by the outstanding Sonora Candela, also featured on disc two. The joyous but paradoxically titled "Lamento Naufrago" by Orquesta Los Caribes is near the front end of the second disc, as is the gorgeous Lisandro Meza's "La Cumbia Negra" that moves like the wind. Warahuaco's "El Canoero" ushers in the semi-modern sound of cumbia, while drum machine, smooth singing, and looped basslines of the modern era are displayed by Sonora Candela once again on "No Te Pido Flores," and the shimmering semi-calypso beat of "Como Me Mira." The set closes with the pop-driven "Shhh!!!" by Mi Sonora. This is a packed collection for the cash, and a great (cheap) way to investigate the semi and modern sounds of the cumbia.

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