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Available this week on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is the album 'Tambolero' by long-time Real World Records artist Totó La Momposina y Sus Tambores.

Totó La Momposina's entire life has been dedicated to representing the music of Colombia's Caribbean coastline. As a singer, dancer and teacher she embodies that fertile place where Colombia's African, indigenous Indian and Spanish cultures mingle to create a unique musical tradition. Totó is not only its greatest interpreter, but a restless innovator too.

Whilst still a child civil war forced Totó to flee her home and move to the capital Bogotá. There her mother started a dance group from which Totó emerged as a promising singer in the 1960s. She began touring internationally a decade later but it wasn't until the early 1990s that her global fame was cemented by a WOMAD tour across three continents and the release of La Candela Viva on Real World Records.

In the subsequent years the music has continued to endure, and has even been routinely sampled by the world of dance and hip-hop. It was during the search for the original master tapes to find the parts for a Michel Cleis dance track that producer John Hollis discovered something rather remarkable.

Amongst the original 2" master tapes was a treasure trove of material: some 40 takes of 20 different songs. Material all involved had forgotten existed, until then. Not only was there a wealth of recorded material from the La Candela Viva sessions that didn't make the original album there were also a number of previously unheard songs too.

A process of restoring the original tapes, reassessing all the different versions and new songs, re-editing and over-dubbing began. The result is Tambolero. More than just a re-release of La Candela Viva it is a genuine re-appraisal and re-imagining of the original.

Tambolero is in effect a new album and one in which Totó La Momposina continues to reflect the experience of her native Colombia through her life and music. The two things are intertwined: the story of Totó La Momposina is truly the story of modern Colombia.

A full commercial release of 'Tambolero' will follow, on Real World Records, in the Summer of 2015.

More details on the Society of Sound release of 'Tambolero'

Published 20th Apr 2015, 1:46pm »

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