Album: Various artists, Cartagena! The Big Band Cumbia and Descarga Sound of Colombia 1962-72 (Soundway)

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The Independent Culture

The title tells you plenty, but it's worth adding that Cumbia compilations of this consistently high quality are pretty thin on the ground.

The bass does its swinging see-saw thing, the playful brass and the cheering, authoritative vocals vie for attention, and the percussion busies away in the background revelling in one of the most contagious rhythms of the past half-century. The Colombian coastal town of Cartagena must have been one great place to party.