In essence, records are the historical link between an artist’s ambition and a passionate music lover like yourself. Special records are full of incredible music while acting as a reference to a historical era and musical genre. With Carlos Ramos y Su Orquesta Fuego‘s LP “Tecato” we are talking about an exceptional record that I am very proud to own an original copy of.
Billed as the soundtrack to a movie that was never released, the nuyorican album tells the tale of the Tecato (slang for a heroin addict) era speaking to the dramatic dichotomy that was omnipresent in Nueva York. Mixing traditional Santeria and Guaguanco rythms with Psych Rock vibes and a Latin Soul delivery, Carlos Ramos created a unique and impactful record that was unbelievably recorded all in one take. The DIY cover art is mindblowing and its the same for the music. Ramos’ inspired creative vision translated into an album full of Latin bangers with an incredible variety in sound, all brought together by raw emotion and above all, authenticity.
Candelo is the opener and it takes you into the Tecato world right away, the percussion,chorus, horn combo lead to a thick bassline that breaks into some psychedelic effects and back into the latin groove. Both dramatic and uplifting the songs move from Lamentos like Cuento del Barrio with deep lyrics/refrain to more traditional danceable songs like Morena and descargas like Oyo Como Vengo. All have excellent rythm/brass sections and the vocals are very on point, however a transcedental track like Lighting&Flash truly represent why this record is so special, the effects on the eery piano and the fuzz guitar bring extra grittiness to this instrumental which speaks more about the album’s theme then the lyrics in the other songs. That particular song is like the soundtrack to a junkie starting to feel the sickness and walking around desperate for another hit.
Unfortunately, this album is extremely rare and thankfully the good folks at Sociedad Records (founded by MIMS fam Christian Martir) manage to release a reissue 45 with the 2 best tracks. Much like the Brooklyn Sounds Christian wrote about (link) this independent nuyorican album with hand pasted artwork blows a lot of records out of the water and needs to be heard by more people.Order 45′ from SOCIEDAD NYC