Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vocal Sampling

If you think this post is going to be about computerized musical instruments called samplers, cousins of the synthesizer which play back little bits of real sounds (like maybe people singing), then you've got a big pleasant surprise ahead of you.

Vocal Sampling - Cambio de Tiempo
In this case Vocal Sampling is an a cappella male sextet from Cuba who sing (and occasionally clap or whistle) entire fascinating salsa arrangements.

I'm no expert on salsa music - but I know what I like when I hear it. And I like this. All five Vocal Sampling albums live on my iPod. This music makes me feel good. (Fortunately I don't speak Spanish so I don't have to worry what they're actually singing about.)

Vocal Sampling - De Vacaciones

Imagine the early Mills Brothers singing uptempo music by Tito Puente.

One of the five albums was recorded live - as are some of the YouTube clips I've embedded for your enjoyment.

Vocal Sampling - Live in Berlin

Surprisingly I was very taken with their version of Hotel California - not because I like the song but for the guitar solo at the end.

As a side note I discovered that Hotel California really exists - it's in Palm Springs.

Hotel California - Palm Springs CA

Of course, the fact that all six singers are heavily amplified is essential for live performance. The poor guy who sings the bass part couldn't possibly project enough without a microphone. And clucking out the continuous clave rhythm seems like it would be very tiring.

Vocal Sampling - Una Forma Mas

This clip is a sung electric guitar solo. A tenor couldn't do this.

Thanks to my friends John & Kazi for loaning me three of the albums. I've give them back ... someday. All the albums seem to be available on Amazon although Akapelleando costs a whopping $61.99.

Vocal Sampling - Akapelleando

Here's Vocal Sampling's website. It says they'll be touring Germany this fall. The final clip is a (Cuban) music video. If anyone can explain what's going on, I'd appreciate a comment.

Vocal Tags: . . . . . .

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