Thursday, June 14, 2012

Panama's got soul

Evidently the three volumes of sizzling vintage tropical funk jams which Soundway issued in their superb Panama! series were not enough to cover all the uniquely hybridized gems issued on the Isthmus during the highly productive 60s and 70s. So they've just knocked out the dope new Panama Soul 12" EP with three more club-ready bangers.

On the A-side Fredrick Clarke’s alter-ego Chombo turns his attention to a belting calypso-soul-funk cut with ‘Soul Chombo’ from his extremely scarce 1972 LP Chombo’s Show. The B-side boasts two more tough-to-catch cuts originally released as 45s in Panama back in the day and rarely seen since.  

Ralph Weeks was one of the stars of Panama! Vol. 3 – along with Fredrick Clarke – is perhaps best known for singing with the famous Exciters combo. With his soul cut We’re Still Strong you’d be forgiven for thinking he was based in Miami, New York or Chicago rather than Panama City. Lastly the enigmatic Jungle Rat USA comes up with a smokin' slice of Latin-flavoured dancefloor soul with Just Love One Another recorded at the studio of top Panamanian producer Eduardo ‘Balito’ Chan and released on the Discos Niño label. 

Have a listen:

Panama Soul 12" Medley by Soundway

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