As everyone and his brother has said already "Wow this is on Analog Africa and they usually do brilliant African compilations and such and this one is Latin music!" Well, yeah; and you know what? This is grade A amazing.
Now I must declare a big love for Colombian music in its many forms, and I'm not such a scholar that I can name them all but there's a good piece here on Analog's blog that gives you a better background to Anibal and his music than I can. That said it appears that Colombian music lends itself to modern ears, and in many instances to modern remix techniques or re-interpretation, and Mambo Loco is no exception.
Stick this disc on and from the off you are launched into a swirling storm of rhythm and groove that is just so insistent and immediate that it is impossible to remain unaffected; as far as I'm concerned that's a sign of a rockin' record. The problem is when you try to describe this kind of music to someone invariably it's a fail.
"So, what's it like then?"
Weeeeeelllll, he plays accordian.
"Oh, like The Furies?"
Er....no. It kicks up lot more dust and passion than that.
"What? Like country music?"
NO!! Look it's like comparing the Sex Pistols to Yes, or Keith Richards to Cliff Richard. It's hard edged, it sprang from rough soil and flowered further in the scene created by the early narco-culture that grew in Colombia along with the drug trade from the 60s on. It has power and pride and speaks to your soul in a way that makes you want to drink beer, dance and have sex. Everything good music should do.
Velasquez is living proof that the best art comes from turbulent times and places. Like another one of Colombia's heroes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Anibal is a one off.