Totó La Momposina y sus Tambores, 2015

Beautifully packaged 28-page hard back CD book with extended sleeve notes and rare archive photos.

You don’t normally get the chance to go back in time and recreate an album. Building on a classic project that began 24 years ago is a challenge and a delight.

In 2009, the Swiss producer Michel Cleis released a house tune called La Mezcla, which featured two samples from Toto La Momposina’s album La Candela Viva. The track took off and his label, Cadenza, requested access to the multi-tracks so they could produce extra mixes. It was agreed and John Hollis (producer and now son-in-law of Toto) came to Real World Studios to seek out El Pescador and Curura, which meant locating the original 2 inch tapes from 1991 and 1992.

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The Totó WOMAD story written by festival creator Thomas Brooman

At the start of the eighties, in the early days of Womad, there were very few music agencies in the UK representing international artists from anywhere other than the USA. So in 1983 and 1984 a somewhat random but quite productive means of research and enquiry for the festival was to visit Paris on a shoestring budget and with just a hunch or two of where some artists might be found. One starting point was to visit the record shop where we know a favourite artist’s records were being sold and to ask where to go from there…hoping that ‘back home’ would not be the reply! In this manner, in early 1983, I travelled to Paris with my old friend and partner in crime Alan James, in pursuit of Kanda Bongo Man from Zaire, who we had been told was living in Paris. In just a few days we had tracked Kanda down to a nightclub in Montmartre and an invitation was duly made for him to come over to London that summer for a season of WOMAD concerts we were planning at the ICA. The visit went ahead and Kanda played on two consecutive nights, sharing the stage with Misty in Roots on one of the nights and Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart on the second. Flushed with this early success, I returned to Paris in the spring of 1984, together with Joanna, my wife at the time, and her two singer friends, Wendy and Sarah. They went out busking every day, honing tunes for the band they were forming. My agenda was the still-fledgling Womad Festival... read more