Latin Music

Latin American music is in all truth an unsatisfactory term. A blanket term for music that comes from 22 countries in Latin America means the ‘genre’ definition is confused and confusing, incorporating sub genres of music such as salsa and tango, all defined by their spicy rhythmic character. Music of a range of styles like these can be booked from Centre Stage, jazz, latin, blues, soul bands and more for corporate and private events.

Centre Stage Booking Agency

The distinctive Spanish flavour to Latin American music comes from as far back as when the first European settlers arrived in the Americas; Spanish and Portuguese travellers, bringing with them the strong musical element of their cultural heritage making music just as important a part of life as it is in South America. Elements of African music can also be found in the melting pot of musical development at the time, given the rich settlers from Europe brought with them African slaves from West Africa, their spiritual and gospel music also incorporating rhythmic elements of Latin American music to form the very beginnings of jazz.

Latin jazz, is also a confused term, loosely meaning any jazz that incorporates the defining rhythmic elements of Latin American music, but is generally considered to point to a trend in the 60s and 70s, when jazz in general began to be influenced by other genres. Latin jazz is typically played with a straight ‘feel’ as opposed to bebop music as made famous by players like Charlie Parker.

Music has long been an important part of Latin American culture just as it is in Spanish culture. The upbeat nature of the music, and powerful rhythms, make it very danceable, going hand in hand with typically friendly and party centric Latino culture. Its cultural significance means it has long been a culturally uniting factor, especially in Latino communities who find themselves a minority in the society in which they live.

Latin, soul and funk music has long been coveted by record collectors and DJs over the world, DJs like Joey Negro and Kon digging deep into crates far and wide to find rare soul, disco and Latin records, and the likes of Red Gregg, Jeremy Underground and Floating Points slip dazzling rare vinyl grooves into sets on a regular basis.

The Nuyorican Soul project by DJs Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez, created Latin influenced music in, including players such as Tito Puente, Roy Ayers and the Salsoul Orchestra. This orchestra was the backing band for the record label, Salsoul Records, but also released much music successfully under its own name, which has gone on to be sampled in various hip hop tunes, such as 50 Cent’s ‘Candy Shop’ and Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full’.

Reflecting the wide variety of genres covered by the term ‘Latin American’ music, Centre Stage has just as wide a variety of acts to book for weddings, bar mitzvahs and more. Perhaps booking jazz and soul bands like the Latin Band Singapore or The Burrito Beato Band would be a good bet, or head on over to our musicians page to book bands and entertainment for your next coporate or private event. Get in touch with Centre Stage with any questions or to book any of the groups on 0800 179 9424 or info@centrestage-agency.com.

Plan B to return to Hip Hop for his third album

The British rapper turned soul singer Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew, born in October 1983  is better known as Ben Drew aka Plan B.  He released his critically acclaimed debut Hip Hop album, Who Needs Actions When You Got Words in 2006. But it was his second album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, a concept soul album, that has propelled Plan B to the commercial success and accolades he is now receiving.

The Defamation of Strickland Banks told the story of fictional soul singer Strickland Banks who ends up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. For his next album, The Ballad Of Belmarsh, Ben Drew will go back to his Hip Hop roots and will chronicle his alter-ego’s ordeal in the eponymous prison.

Plan B is not just a musician and has tried his hand at acting appearing in 2008′s Adulthood and the Michael Caine vehicle featuring Harry Brown in 2009. He is currently amidst a popular tour of the summer festivals including Glastonbury and Wireless Festival in Hyde Park. But in the Autumn he will return to acting when he plays George Carter alongside Ray Winston in a remake of the 1970’s British film, The Sweeney.

He has also directed one short film and a music video for Pieces, his collaboration with Chase and Status.

Hear the music the way the artist with HP. In the video below, HP/Intel with beats audio presents Plan B who reveals the process behind recording She Said, the standout track from his Defamation Of Strickland Banks album.  The film uses 3D sound and is best enjoyed with headphones.

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Stanley Odd release new EP ‘Pure AntiHero Material’ + video ‘The Oddyssey’

A successful 2010 for Stanley Odd saw the six piece Scottish hip hop band release their debut album Oddio, headline the 2009 to 2010 Edinburgh Hogmanay Street Party to 15,000 people and play the T Break Stage at the T Festival to a capacity audience.

To kick off 2011 Stanley Odd have released their wonderful brand new five track EP Pure AntiHero Material, the first of three such extended plays scheduled for release through the rest of the year.

Rap man Solareye said; “We are really excited about the release of the new EP. Doing three EPs over the year means that every new EP is a way of letting fans know where we’re at and what’s been going on with us since the last one. At the end of the year, the 3 separate EPs will make one complete collection on the musings of Stanley Odd through 2011. It also gives us an excuse to go on tour 3 times this year!”

The lead track, The Oddyssey is an update on personal and global news events over the last year, that has a brilliant accompanying video where front man Solareye plays the part of  a news reader.

It can be a strain to make out the lyrics for anyone south of the border, but it is worth taken the effort, the songs reflect the social observations of the band, blessed with wit and a character all of their own, but the stories they tell are universal and will resonate with everyone.

The added beauty of Veronika Elektronika’s wonderful vocal breaks thrown into the mix on most of these tracks, makes the EP all the more palatable and well worth seeking out.

Stanley Odd – The Oddyssey

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uLPR7POznw

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Station To Station released as CD & Vinyl Special Editions

Station To Station released as a 3-CD Special Edition and 5-CD, DVD and heavyweight vinyl Deluxe Edition
Station To Station released as a 3-CD Special Edition and 5-CD, DVD and heavyweight vinyl Deluxe Edition

Some people don’t like David Bowie, but those that do tend to have a favourite period as much as a favourite album.  My older brother likes the early 1970’s era when Bowie was still collaborating with Mick Ronson citing albums like Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane; all very good albums in my opinion.  But as a young teenager I was first introduced to David Bowie through my sister who was more switched on to his mid-seventies flirt with American funk and soul like Young Americans and, for me, his best album, Station To Station.

I still love the slow build up of the opening title track.  Like a slow steam train pulling into a station and that great first line….the return of the thin white duke!

Station To Station builds into a great funky driving pop song and is topped off with the superb lead guitar of Carlos Alomar.  And even though it’s 10 minutes long, I still sigh when the track eventually fades out.

On its original release the album was preceded by the hit single and second track on the album, Golden Years. One of his most perfect pop songs, it is a nod to his previous album, Young Americans and his adoration of mid-seventies American soul.  Bowie appeared miming to Golden Years on Soul Train.  At the time, I remember this being big news as he was the first white artist to appear on the hip, trendy black American TV music show.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8gPA1UiOdo

The album changes direction with Word On A Wing, a slow, smooth soulful pop song that apparently Bowie has said was a cry for help.  His addiction to cocaine at the time of recording this album has since been well documented.  The next two tracks are probably Bowie at his most funk-driven. TVC15 perfectly demonstrates how he merged black soul and funk influences with his own white rock and pop music styles to create something edgy and new sounding for the time; while Stay, a great track which once again showcases the superb guitar of Carlos Alomar.  The only thing I would say is that once I heard the live version of Stay (which was available as an extra track on a previous Station To Station CD release) it makes the studio version sound somewhat subdued.

Like Golden Years, Stay is rich with Bowie’s American soul and funk influences of the time. Funky bass and guitar backed with solid drums and filled with Latin percussion.

Station To Station only has six songs and is complete with a cover version of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s Wild Is The Wind.  Bowie has been quoted as liking Nina Simone’s version.  Similar to Word On A Wing it’s another ballad and slows the pace and errs towards soul while giving Bowie a perfect vehicle for his unique voice.

Station To Station was originally released in 1976 sandwiched between Young Americans (1975) and the three albums starting with Low (1977) that he recorded with Brain Eno in Berlin which had Bowie moving on to musical influences of krautrock and electronic experimental music. With hindsight, it is apparent why I like Station To Station as much as I do as I think it has one foot in the doors to both Young Americans and Low; a transition period that creates something new from various shapes and sounds. Something that Bowie has done so well throughout his career.

Station To Station was David Bowie’s 10th studio album and has just been released as a 3-CD Special Edition and 5-CD, DVD and heavyweight vinyl Deluxe Edition.

Both the Special and Deluxe Editions come with the original album – taken straight off the analogue master and previously unreleased Live Nassau Coliseum ‘76.  Additionally, the Special Edition includes a 16-page booklet & 3 postcards.

The individually numbered Deluxe Edition is the ultimate fan’s experience, featuring extensive additional content including a 24-page booklet and the following:

  • CD: Station To Station – RCA CD Master
  • CD: 5-track Singles Versions E.P. incl. previously unreleased version of Station To     Station, and for first the time on CD, Word On A Wing
  • 3 x 12” heavyweight vinyl
  • DVD
  • 6 panel folded poster – Steve Schapiro photo
  • Onstage folder
  • Replica Backstage pass
  • Replica Biog
  • Individually numbered Replica Ticket
  • 3 x 10 x 8” press shots
  • Replica Fan Club folder
  • Replica Fan Club Membership card
  • Replica Fan Club certificate
  • 2 small Collectors cards
  • 2 photo prints
  • Replica biography
  • 2 Badges

*Along with the 5-CDs all housed in a foam-packed box.

The 3-CD set is also available as a Digital Download, with an exclusive bonus track.
Special Edition & Digital Download
CD 1: Station To Station (original analogue master)
1. Station To Station (10.11)
2. Golden Years (4.02)
3. Word On A Wing (6.01)
4. TVC15 (5.31)
5. Stay (6.12)
6. Wild Is The Wind (6.02)

CD 2:  Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 – PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
(Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY, USA March 23, 1976):
1. Station To Station (11.53)
2. Suffragette City (3.31)
3. Fame (4.02)
4. Word On A Wing (6.06)
5. Stay (7.25)
6. Waiting For The Man (6.20)
7. Queen Bitch (3.12)

CD 3: Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
1. Life On Mars? (2.13)
2. Five Years (5.03)
3. Panic In Detroit (6.03)
4. Changes (4.11)
5. TVC15 (4.58)
6. Diamond Dogs (6.38)
7. Rebel Rebel (4.07)
8. The Jean Genie (7.28)

Super Deluxe Limited Edition
ICPN 50999-647601-2-4
UK Catalogue no. BOWSTSD 2010

CD 1: Station To Station (original analogue master) – tracklisting same as above.

CD 2: Station To Station (1985 RCA CD master) – tracklisting same as above.

CD 3:  Singles Versions E.P.
1. Golden Years
2. TVC15
3. Stay
4. Word On A Wing (first time on CD)
5. Station To Station (PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED VERSION)

CD 4:  Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 – PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (tracklisting same as above)
CD 5: Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

DVD: Audio only:

Station To Station (original analogue master, 48/24 LPCM stereo)
Station To Station – (new Harry Maslin 5.1 surround sound DTS 48/24 and Dolby digital)
Station To Station (new stereo mix 48/24 LPCM stereo)

LP 1: Station To Station (original analogue master)
Side 1:
1. Station To Station (10.11)
2. Golden Years (4.02)
3. Word On A Wing (6.01)

Side 2:
1. TVC15 (5.31)
2. Stay (6.12)
3. Wild Is The Wind (6.02)

LP 2:  Live Nassau Coliseum ’76 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
(Recorded live at the Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY, USA March 23, 1976)
Side 1:
1. Station To Station (11.53)
2. Suffragette City (3.31)
3. Fame (4.02)

Side 2:
1. Word On A Wing (6.06)
2. Stay (7.25)
3. Waiting For The Man (6.20)
4. Queen Bitch (3.12)

LP 3:  Nassau Coliseum concert continued… PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Side 3:
1. Life On Mars? (2.13)
2. Five Years (5.03)
3. Panic In Detroit (6.03)
4. Changes (4.11)
5. TVC15 (4.58)

Side 4:
1. Diamond Dogs (6.38)
2. Rebel Rebel (4.07)
3. The Jean Genie (7.28)

David Bowie’s Station To Station 3-CD Special Edition and 5-CD, DVD and heavyweight vinyl Deluxe Edition are now all available on Virgin/EMI.

Party for Pakistan with Plan B & many more

Party for Pakistan with Plan B & many more
Wednesday 29th September @ Islington O2 Academy

Anorak are planning an event in central London’s 02 Islington Academy for around 1,000 people on September 29th. All ticket money will be going directly to the Disasters Emergency Committee. All artists will be performing for free.

“The scale of suffering in Pakistan is unfathomable. An area the size of Italy is flooded and a population equal to Australia is now homeless. The party for Pakistan aims to raise money and awareness by enlisting some of the best names in UK Music for an unforgettable event” Riz MC

Party for Pakistan with Plan B, Kayvan Novak aka Fone/Facejacker who will be performing his first ever live set, Riz MC, Aggro Santos, Akala, Lowkey, BBC Radio 1’s DJ Nihal,  Bobby Friction, Nero, Urban Nerds, Mumzy Stranger, Emily Sande, True Tiger, Mz Bratt, and many more to be announced…

“Please give me your monies for to help for the floods…and while you’re at it, please bring your bank account details and sort code madame…. Also, Brian Badonde is looking forward to bem-cee-ing over bub-step”  Facejacker

The suffering caused by these unprecedented floods will continue long after the media focus, already slowly disappearing, vanishes completely.

The floods have killed thousands so far with the death toll expected to rise dramatically with the inevitable onset of water born diseases.

Over 1 million homes have been destroyed, and 20million are homeless or otherwise directly affected. Around 8 million people are relying on immediate emergency aid, and with 1.6 million acres of crop land destroyed, the outlook is bleak.

The aid response has been slow and news coverage minimal. Whether you look at the area of land or the number of people affected by this disaster, it is more than double the impact of the Asian Tsunami, Haiti Earthquake, or hurricane Katrina combined. Our response should match the scale of this crisis. With this in mind, we ask you to support our initiative. We aim to make a difference and we would like your help.

All organizers are working voluntarily.
Tickets are £10 in advance and £12.50 on the door.