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Orquesta Akokán to Release New Album, "Caracoles"

This Will Be the Group's 3rd Release on Daptone Records

Jacob Plasse, producer and musician of the Orquesta Akokán project was once my guest on The Vinyl District's Radar podcast. During our chat, Jacob explained the dedicated cast of characters involved in the project and took us on a deeper dive into what mambo really is. We also discussed how Plasse captured the authentic mambo sound that was so prevalent in pre-revolution Cuba and what it was like recording that album on location in the country’s famed and state-run, Egrem Studios.

On July 12, Orquesta Akokán, the mambo ensemble that's been celebrated by the New York Times and honored with a Billboard Latin Music Award and GRAMMY nomination, will unveil their highly anticipated new album Caracoles on Daptone Records, known for its roster including Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, and Thee Sacred Souls. Recorded live at Havana's legendary Abdala Studios, Caracoles bursts with a batch of grand tunes, featuring intricate rhythms, and lively bebop inflections.

New Orquesta Akokán Album, "Caracoles" on a black vinyl record

With Caracoles, Orquesta Akokán (meaning "from the heart" in Cuban Yoruba) introduces Kiko Ruiz, a new vocalist and lyricist who not only brings talent but also serves as a tata—a priest—in the Palo Mayombe religion. In Palo Mayombe, mambo serves as both a song and a prayer, invoking benevolent spirits to guide one's path away from darkness. Throughout the album, the Congolese dialect is used, but it is deliberately veiled from the uninitiated.

The latest glimpse of Caracoles arrives with "Pan Con Tíbiri," featuring an exhilarating fanfare reminiscent of a 1960s spy thriller before launching into a dynamic mambo enriched with Mozambique percussion.

The release will feature several a pink vinyl variant (with bonus clear 45). Find out more at the Daptone website.


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