Once in a while this blog will also show recent releases very special to us —new music or reissue, it doesn’t matter. Here you have a perfect example of what we love: dedication and passion.
Acropol and Discos Templo: the voice of the streets
The origin of Catalan Rumba (don’t get confused other Rumbas!) is uncertain, although it is usually placed during the 40s-50s in La Cera Street, in Gràcia (a district of Barcelona). There are also other theories: some say that its beginning is in Hostafrancs (another area of Barcelona), and others even assure that it was outside Barcelona, in the city of Lleida. Establishing the origin and originators of Catalan Rumba has always been a polemic issue, but nobody will deny its development: an impressive success and popularity achieved in Spain during the 60s and 70s, with Peret and his ventilador (his famous and unique guitar technique) as main icons of the genre.
Rumba didn´t stay calm, it spread all over Spain and became a rich and diverse genre. In many Spanish cities Rumba found new and characteristic paths. During the 70s Madrid was a main focus for Rumba’s renovation fusing it with Flamenco, Pop and Psych elements. Some very well-known groups of the period were Los Chichos and Los Chunguitos; there was also the sub-genre “Caño Roto Sound”, taking its name from the area where it was mainly developed, with groups like Las Grecas and Los Chorbos.
But Rumba was also something else in Madrid. The genre had there its own underground scene. Apart from the aforementioned famous groups, there was another Rumba, rougher and wilder. And this B-side Rumba had as main reference a small and local label, ACROPOL!
Acropol was the record label where, from mid-60s until the beginning of the 80s, lots of Romani people living in poor areas from Madrid would find a place to record music. These special recordings were, as everyone may expect, nearly always completely amateur, but at the same time powerfully fresh, energetic and rough. The music sound was as characteristic as the artwork of the covers, both of them sharing perfectly nature and charm. Because of that, the label as a whole was a wonderful perfectly coherent body of work.
All the great records by Acropol —7” and cassettes— have been a hidden treasure for lots of years. Artists like Tony El Gitano, Antonio El Kalifa, Los Capricornios, Mayte Rivero, Los Chanos, to name only a few, were only known by dedicated collectors, especially in Madrid, possibly because outside its immediate birthplace the label had —presumably— no distribution.
All this hidden music needed new life, so at the end of last year —2016— an impressive compilation of these great Rumbas by Acropol has been put out. The new and adventurous label Discos Templo is behind this release. And what a release! It’s for sure one of the most interesting, intriguing, informative, exciting… records to come out in the last years.
The compilation has been issued both in CD and LP. We have acquired the amazing LP version. It includes: the vinyl record (with 12 songs), a CD (with 24 songs, 12 of them only on CD), a deeply researched and informative insert —only in Spanish— by Daniel Gutiérrez, Jon Navarro and Fernando Tomé, and also a delicious introductory text explaining Rumba’s phenomenon in Madrid by Sardi (in English and Spanish).
Here you have a collection of great punk Rumbas. As Sardi explains in his text: the Spanish punk, the Rumba of this period is the Gipsy Punk. Unemployment, drugs and frustration.
Please, don’t dismiss the opportunity to enter into the unearthed and exciting catalogue of Acropol with Discos Templo. It won’t disappoint you, ¡palabra!
We are eagerly waiting for new releases of Discos Templo. Thanks Discos Templo!
Text written by Ignasi Molina i Montasell. Double check by Narcís Molina i Montasell. Record bought at Discos Paradiso.