TOP 10 DISCOS FUENTES VINYLS

When it comes to Colombian Music, Discos Fuentes is the daddy. Since 1934 this seminal label has been home to some of Colombia’s biggest commercial artists, yet it was never afraid of the experimental and the weird. When it came to doing a top ten, we turned straight to international record dealer, collector and DJ Toni Arellano aka Tostoni whose passion for tropical sound is only matched by his massive LP collection. In keeping up with this Colombian special, we invited him to select his top 10 Discos Fuentes vinyls and he came back with a phenomenal mix of rarities and classic LPs. Enjoy!!

1. My all time favorite album cover from Fuentes, from the LP Calor by Afrosound. A collective of musicians inspired by the Chicha sound coming from Peru and Ecuador - an answer to the funk and rock coming out of the US. An excellent production, aimed at the dance floor from beginning to end. In the cover one of the many fail models that posed for the label, from behind with a afro taking a lead role!

2. The Conjunto Miramar revolutionized Cumbia when it fused it with the Salsa of Cuba, Puerto Rico and New York. Here they mixed Charanga and Guaguanco with Cumbia costeña to an explosive result. One of my Discos Fuentes favourites with a great art cover to boot!

3. The Corraleros were the spine that brought together the Discos Fuentes sound. Their national and international success made them the most succesful group in the history of the label. Here they are in a beautiful picture next to the Fuentes delivery van with the logo just outside the vinyl factory in Medellin. Classic!!!

4. Nueva York, the jewel of all the cities conquered by the Corraleros abroad and reason for the background of this classic album cover “En New York”. Here they are, elegantly dressed on an autumn afternoon, sitting casually in the park. I love the detail of the yellow “stairs” under the feet of the musicians!

5. The image used for the cover of Fiesta Sabanera by Lisandro Meza would be probably deemed politically incorrect, even in Colombia, nowadays! Trying not to take away the focus from the pretty dancer with the red skirt, the art director decided (not very wisely) to cover the face of the drummer with a palm tree, leaving just the rest of the body. Polemic cover but what an album!

6. Alongside Mexico, Peru and the US, Venezuela was a very important market for the expansion of Discos Fuentes and a lot of LPs were made exclusively for these markets. This first volume of "Conciertos de Cumbias Típicas” is a compilation exclusive for the Venezuelan market and it’s fair to say that this album had no filler, pure tropical bombs!

7. Another on the successful ‘pop-bands’ from Discos Fuentes, Los Teen-Agers. From Bogotá and Medellin, the band members hailed from universities and the difference between them and other bands from the label was obvious. The more veteran musicians from Fuentes were not too approving of the lighter sound of this band.

8. One of the oldest LPs of the label, this classic of the Mastro corralero Pedro Laza y Sus Pelayeros, delivering cumbias, porros and rancheras with total elegance and ease. The image of the cover evokes the celebratory vibe of the parties and “corrales"

9.The only LP by The Picapiedras is an example of the rather more experimental side of Disco Fuentes, mixing Cumbia with Pop and Twist, to mixed results. The highlight cut is the gaita “La Hossa”

10. Despite not being the best album of Los Corraleros, we have chosen this one because of cover at the Caracas cable car. The band paying tribute to one of the strongest cities of their touring circuit of Latin America.