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Reviews Food album cover. Courtesy of the artist. Food album cover. Courtesy of the artist.

The Food / Cimafunk

For Johan Moya Ramis and David Rojas Torres,

for so many early mornings of alcohol, literature and music.

A little less than a month ago, Cimafunk presented his second record production to the world, The food (Therapy Productions, 2021). A plate of 13 songs seasoned with luxury collaborations that from the cover —with a certain sitophilic play and the support of the artist's gaze, somewhere between mischievous and morbid— invites us to serve up good music.

the starting piece Funk Aspirin it is, to funk, what it was to jazz Butter. The collaboration with the crazy and brilliant leader of Parliament/Funkadelic becomes a historical event of epic proportions, although not entirely strange: George Clinton's music represents the influence of the Guantanamo Naval Base and the creation of a Soul Club in that province. which today has more than 200 members. The technological obsession to access radio stations by frequency modulation (FM) and consume long-awaited foreign music. the radio show Now!, the television broadcast SoulTrain mode view underground, and Study 10, consumed officially. The slang speech guarachoso by Harry Lewis. Parties mix in Havana neighborhoods. Los Hanks, Los Dada (60s, 70s, 80s) with their versions of songs by James Brown, Commodores, War, among others. The dance power (due to its reforms in percussion) of orchestras such as Ritmo Oriental, Rumbavana, Los Latinos and Monumental. The latter with its lead singer Arturo Clentón, being, as the researcher Emir García Meralla points out: “the first musicians to wear platform shoes and large ʽespedrum' in the style of North American R&B and Soul bands”.[1] La Esquina del Jazz in Santa Amalia and his eldest son: el Stick. The entire generational movement of La moña at the national level and the contestón / competitive rap at the Alamar festivals.

Cimafunk's music represents, in turn, cosmic debris, psychedelia, blackpower. The influence of Mario Bauzá in the life of Ella Fitzgerald. The Say it loud! I'm black and proud and the down beat. The mighty Motown and Stax. the irreducible On the one! and the enlightened Pee Wee Ellis, Bootsy Collins, Clyde Stubblefield and Bernie Worrell. The movement for the civil rights of Afro-Americans, while at the same time creating a product that allowed semiotically articulating musical narratives to create a market for black dollar. The shared charm of Chori and Marlon Brando for percussion. And of course the breakbeat or The Merry-Go-Round —always used with a festive character— by the Jamaican DJ Kool Herc, to transmit a posteriori a galactic heritage that began at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the New York Bronx. For these and other reasons Funk Aspirin, with his groove contagious, refers us once again to the wealth of reciprocal exchanges and loans between Cuba and the United States in cultural matters.

For those who want to guarachar I recommend the topics It was seasoning and Candy. CeeLo Green, the renowned R&B singer, collaborates in the first. With elements of disco music, soul, funk, rap, pop; the voices of both artists are integrated together with essences of EDM in an exquisite mosaic, forcing us to evoke the times when the track was the absolute queen, set by groups and soloists such as Chic, Santa Esmeralda, Jocelyn Brown and Heatwave, among others.

The Cimafunkian jargon leaves no room for error when it comes to inviting us: "Today there is a party in the pot, don't leave it, it will burn you" or "It's time for seasoning with funky”. The second is a true incitement to move the bodies and bodies with a groove spicy, very peculiar. It is a creative candy that reminds us at all times of our belonging to that diverse Caribbean that has offered us so much, turning us into queens and kings of a musical empire that refuses to be overshadowed every day. The songs that I place below represent a kind of trilogy in a rapper, urban key: The night, Break it and The cast. Jason McDermott (Stylo G) and ChocQuibTown participate in the first. while listening to the flow by Jason and the phrase by the rapper Goyo: “This is not a genre, it's a movement”, the diverse panorama of Latin American funk and rap soloists/bands came to mind. I'm thinking of Los Tetas, Papanegro, Chancho en Piedra, Eduardo Iniestra (Edifica), Locos por Juana, La Katana Funk, Maderfunker, Migajas, Big Pollo Funk, La Roja Funk, Azul Violeta, Los Rakas, among others. Definitely The night is a song of party but also of regional confluence, with a lot of Colombian folklore and dancehall. In Break it, with Lupe Fiasco as a guest, manages to masterfully articulate that perfect routine of jazz, funk and the son of both: rap. It is always necessary to clarify that when hip hop culture is created, rap is not the musical genre that has been associated with it since its inception, it was precisely funk that occupied that place. The flow by Lupe Fiasco in the song slides comfortably, precisely, reminding us that MCs continue to be guardians of orality in this era of the Gutenberg Galaxy and hypertext.

I enjoyed the inclusion of a piece like The cast, with El Micha and Cimafunk allied in a kind of aesthetic gangsta-funk, where signs of soundtracks of blaxploitation, heritage of indisputable names like Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, among others. In the subject Wild, with the virtuosity of Chucho Valdés and Lester Snell, we are presented with a Cimafunk that powerfully seduces with his voice, of an indisputable stamp; as a kind of tribute to the fabulous 50's in our country. With cabaret environments, radio, television, advertising. With Victrola music and social gaps. In It's not enough for me (along with Los Papines) scratch (an entire metaphysics in itself as a technique) is combined with the rumba (another production of thought) to bequeath us a beautiful piece of transculturation and musical globalization.

The other creations like This is Cuba (dignifier of her native Pinar del Río), get out of the bad (generational hymn to our grandmothers), your bemba burns, how do i download you and I'm for that, they get this album to be enjoyed in a big way. None of the above would have been possible without the clairvoyance and cooperation of that musical spirit named Jack Splash, who never disappoints his public and audiences. I think we can agree with Cimafunk when he mentions that “the best food is called wisdom”, because music is not just fun. It is also philosophy that feeds us. And in this sense, the artist, with his groove nutritious and eclectic, has once again left us satisfied.

Listen The food here.

[1] Emir Meralla Garcia: Notes for an unfinished dance: Interviews with Cuban musicians and other diretes, Havana, Cuban Editions, 2018, p. 261.

Alexander Zamora Montes Alexander Zamora Montes More posts

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  1. Senén Alonso Alum says:

    Very good review. It summarizes, between genres and exponents, the creative core of the album.
    I second what you say about the “dignification” of Pinar del Río in “Esto es Cuba”, although I allow myself a multiplier addition to your arguments: the true theme that vindicates, exhibits and discovers the vernacular exoticism of Pinar del Río is “The distribution”. Cimafunk enjoys in this piece with the enumeration of the marginal neighborhoods (marginalized?) that pay tribute to the festivity of its distribution: Guayabo, La Tirita and El Rancho, my zone ✌🏻.
    My favorite song on the album, without a doubt.

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