Saturday, February 25, 2012

ESQUIVEL 1968! - Esquivel

YEAR: 1968


TRACK LISTING: Todavia, Speak Low, Guantanamera, Lamento Borincano, My Melancholy Baby, Yeyo, Mini Skirt, Esta Tarde Vi Llover, El Cable, Walking Happy, Guanacoa, Tengo

IMPRESSIONS: This one comes very late in Esquivel's "golden age" recording career as it is his last album recorded for RCA Victor and wasn't even released officially in the United States. However, the music herein is certainly the equal to anything Esquivel released previously and in no way reflects a "tailing off" period for the King of Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music (as he would be dubbed in the 90's "lounge music revival" instigated in no small part by the interview included in RE/SEARCH's "INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC" volume). The first Esquivel cd I ever got was a sorta "best of" called "CABARET MANANA" which I glommed when I belonged to a mail-order "cd of the month" club in the very early 90's. Many of the songs on that cd were originally from "1968!" -- "Mini Skirt", "El Cable", "Guanacoa", "Todavia" and "Yeyo" -- so naturally I find this album rather close to my heart. The music is lively and vibrant from the first "zu-zu" to the last "Pow!" and is everything you'd want in an Esquivel album. "1968!" may have been an album seemingly left behind by the so-called "groovier" generation but the world would eventually catch up with it again in the mid-90s and thankful I am that it did. Far from a musical fad, the world of lounge/space age bachelor pad/exotica music that resurfaced in the 1990s was and still is a very important music for me and I never go for very long without listening to it. The very fact of its belonging so strongly to a bygone era is what makes it absolutely timeless. Mix yourself a cocktail right now and listen to some "incredibly strange music". You'll be glad you did.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Todavia, Speak Low, Lamento Borincano, Yeyo, Mini Skirt, Esta Tarde Vi Llover, El Cable, Guanacoa, Tengo

FACT SHEET: 1968! is Esquivel's 16th album (more or less) if you count such things as his collaboration with the Ames Brothers etc. It is also the last album the maestro made with RCA Victor and it was only released in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Esquivel's experimentation with stereophonic separation, unusual instruments and choral nonsense-syllables is legendary. Pow!

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