Expreso Ritmico

Cuban album design of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ’80s and ‘90s.

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  • Pacho Y Noelvis

    Pacho Alonso Y Sus Pachucos, Upa Upa [Areito, LDS-3417]

    I have a few Ritmo Upa Upa shakers from Pacho Alonso Y Sus Pachucos™ Upa Upa album to share while you enjoy the colorful and expertly laid out cover design. The designer of the Upa Upa cover, Noelvis, like many Cuban designers, tended to use bright color and bold, flat type choices with photo and hand drawn elements. It looks like Noelvis splat crudely mixed paint onto a burning, hot griddle for the background image of Upa Upa. I love how the type flourishes over the mixed paint imagery from Pacho to the Upa Upa text at the bottom. Below are other examples of Noelvis’ cover design work. I like the way she takes a mixed media approach, or employs hand drawn lettering (see Los Tainos). The juxtaposition of musicians on the Los Van Van cover with a simple red line outlining and splitting the two images with the jumpy Los Van Van lettering is exciting and funky like the music. Simplicity makes great design and Noelvis hits that note highly.


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  • Palma Discography

    Palma Discography (Compiled by Adam Dunbar, 2012)
    LP1001: Adolfo Guzmún, Frank Emilio Y Pedro Justiz – Pianoforte
    LP1002: Elena Bourke – A Solas Con Elena Bourke
    LP1003: Orquesta Aragon – Cha Aragona Cha
    LP1004: Solos de Instrumentos
    LP1005: Cuba Instrumental – Solos De Instrumentos
    LP1006: Pacho Alonso – Via Libre Llego
    LP1007: Gina Leon – S/T
    LP1008: Bola De Nieve – Otra Vez Bola
    LP1009: Los Zafiros – S/T
    LP1010: Chucho Valdes – Jazz Nocturno Jazz
    LP1011: Pucho Escalante – Jazz Cuba
    LP1012: Tres Cuartetos – S/T
    LP1013: Orquesta Aragon – Charleston Cha
    LP1014: Los Armonicos – Armonia Con Los Armonicos
    LP1015: Celeste Mendoza – Sabor A Cuba
    LP1016: Gilberto Valdes – Eco
    LP1017: José Antonio Este Es José Antonio
    LP1018: Chappottin y sus Estrellas – Guarapachanga
    LP1019: Nico Rojas – S/T
    LP1020: Grupo Cubano de Musica Moderna – Jazz 6/PM
    LP1021: Orquesta Riverside – Para Bailar
    LP1022: Eddy Gaytan – Jira Internacional
    115.613/77: Los Chikichaka – El Chikichaka (Uruguay-only press)

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  • Grupo Los Yoyi reissue

    Grupo Los Yoyi, what a record. By now, many collectors are aware of the heavy, tropical sounds radiating from this unique album recorded in 1977. A little over a year ago Black Pearl Records updated their site with a “Los Yoyi Coming Soon” image and here we are. It’s out! They did an amazing transfer from the original tapes. I’m no audiophile and it sounds better than the original LP, crisp and clean. Black Pearl not only did an excellent job soundwise, but the sleeve is reminiscient of early Areito releases, printed on heavy-ish cardboard stock with nicely, pasted flaps on the back.

    Grupo Los Yoyi is one of the most significant, unique and sought-after Cuban funk albums to come out of Cuba and it’s good too, not just a one-tracker deal. It’s peculiar, funky, warm and disco-y. And sadly, most copies were destroyed during the worldwide oil crisis of the ’70s. I heard Jorge Soler León, who’s responsible for the original release, moved to France. I’d love to hear what he’s doing now and if he continues to be musical. I love the cover of the Yoyi album, immediately you know the sound is out there. The pencil drawing of what I’m assuming is Jorge Soler León rocking a space age keyboard with a little drummer-man inside is totally wild. The way the boxy, purple Yoyi lettering is sloppily placed (in a good way, of course) over the design is awesome and fits with the futuristic vibe of the drawing. I’ve yet to come across a similar release made in Cuba. As usual, I’m curious to know who worked on the design for the album. Unfortunately, like many Cuban releases, the designer or photographer was not always credited on the original issue.

    - Morris

    Take a listen:

    Grab it here. Don’t miss out on the excellent Ritmo Caliente Cuban compilation from Black Pearl Records. They are doing it up quite right.


  • Orquesta Riverside, Grupo Monumental, Juan Pablo Torres

    Here’s a few tracks I posted to the Expreso Ritmico Soundcloud to share. Orquesta Riverside’s “Es Nuestra Aniversario” is a funky organ-led Guaracha with heavy drums and a great horn section. I found the Grupo Monumental self-titled LP on Siboney last summer. I love the way “Yo Si Que Estoy A La Moda” starts off before busting into it’s raw, full-swinging self. A heavy shaker all around. Juan Pablo Torre’s “El Sello Superson” on the split “Aerobios Vol. 1” LP with Rebecca Martinez is a funky, upbeat Superson created for aerobics class use. According to Dan Zacks’ liner notes from the Si, Para Usted Vol. 2 compilation, the aerobics tracks are “from an album released in—wait for it—1990.” Amazing. I would love to hear “Aerobios Vol. 2” if it exists.

    - Morris

    Orquesta Riverside, self-titled [Areito, LDS-3463]

    Grupo Monumental, self-titled [Siboney, LD-324]

    Juan Pablo Torres, Aerobios Vol. 1 [Areito, LD-4697]

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  • GUEST MIX: Expreso Ritmico Mix by Medline

    GUEST MIX: Expreso Ritmico Mix by Medline

    Orlando aka Medline was kind enough in putting together a new mix for Expreso Ritmico recently, the second in the Expreso Ritmico numbered series. I am very excited about this mix, it covers many spectrum’s of Cuban music. As mentioned in previous posts, Orlando’s been quite helpful in contributing lush Cuban album art for which I am extremely grateful. In our conversations, we’ve gone back and forth over Cuban releases neither of us had seen/heard of. He’s been an excellent source of knowledge. After stumbling across his Hasta La Musica Siempre – Seleccion De Exitos Cubanos mixes (Uno & Dos) on Mixcloud, the obvious next step was to contact him. So, thank you, Orlando!

    - Morris

    I present a large panel of Cuban music styles in this mix as the website shows a panel of artists and graphism. It’s the richness of the Cuban culture expressed by itself. I’m just a tree sharing these fruits. So enjoy the musical trip to La Havana of the 60’s – 70’s. Thanks for Chris inviting me to collaborate on the Expresso Ritmico project, united for the love of Cuban music, Egrem, Panart, Palma, Areito & Siboney records. – Medline

    Expreso Ritmico: 02
    Expreso Ritmico Mix by Medline

    Ricardo Eddy Martinez “Expresso Ritmico”
    Orquesta Aliamen “Traigo Un Tumbaito Sabroso”
    Orquesta Cubana De Musica Moderna “Vehicle”
    Luis Gardey “Noche De Ronda”
    Rembert Egues “Tema Para Un Amanecer”
    Juan Almeida “Este Camino Largo”
    Jose Maria Vitier “Riesgo”
    Oro De Igbodu “Canto A Oggun”
    Grupo Cubano De Musica Moderna “ Gandinga, Mondongo Y Sandunga”
    Algo Nuevo “Dale Dos”
    Orquesta Los Van Van “Dale Dos”
    Ernesto Carreras “Verano De Felicidad”
    Silvio Rodriguez “Rie Y Bosteza”
    Mirtha Y Raul “Rosas De Algodon”
    Los Brito “Ellos”
    Grupo Los Llamas “Lo Que Sufro Por Tu Amor”
    Grupo Fa 5 “Te Demostrare Que No Te Quiero”
    Grupo Afro Cuba “Ya Puede Empezar La Dicha De Los Dos”
    Averhoff “Enarmonia En Mambo”
    Grupo Irakere “Siete Tazas De Cafe”

    (stream or click share to download direct)

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  • Tremendo! Tremendo!

    Tremendo! Tremendo!

    Welcome to the Expreso Ritmico blog! The main purpose of this website is to catalog, preserve and shine light on the wonderful and colorful album cover design of Cuban music releases. As someone who is interested in Cuban music and design, I want to approach this blog from both angles. I will focus on Cuban album design, posters, stamps, photos, mixes, music, designers and anything Cuba-related. Occasionally, music and design not related to Cuba will be posted. If you are interested in contributing sounds or visuals, please email me at admin@expresoritmico.com.

    I want to thank Adam Dunbar, Dene Kadej-Ibarra, Orlando Diaz Corvalan and Paul Hobi for contributing albums and mixes to Expreso Ritmico. Thank you to Steven Bone for being a master and maker of internet.

    To start things off properly, I put together a mix of classic Cuban funk tracks that many Cuban music listeners will recognize. Funk Nocturno is the first in a series of numbered mixes for Expreso Ritmico uploaded periodically. A mixes archive will be added shortly. Hope you enjoy.

    - Morris

    Expreso Ritmico: 01
    Funk Nocturno by Morris

    Grupo Irakere – Bacalao Con Pan
    Los Chikichaka – Suspirando Por El Chikichaka
    Juan Pablo Torres – Son A Propulsion
    Ricardo Eddy Martinez – Tamba Iya
    Los Brito – El 4-5-6
    Grupo Monumental – Limitacion
    Los Reyes ’73 – Adeoey
    Los Van Van – Mi Ritmo Caliente
    Orquesta Riverside – En Casa Del Trompo No Bailes
    Juan Pablo Torres – Que Se Sepa
    Juan Pablo Torres – Cacao
    Grupo Los Yoyi – Tu No Me Puedes Conuistar
    Ricardo Eddy Martinez – Te Quedas
    Sintesis – Con La Luz Del La Mañana
    Grupo Los Yoyi – El Fino

    (stream or click share to download direct)

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