SO FAR… 2014
2014 has so far been a really exciting year. It kicked off with the release of A Golpe de Tambo by Palmeras de Uraba – the double album that was recorded by Fairtunes and Mr Toe in the Caribbean town of Necocli. Produced and mastered in Colombia and Chile, the remix album was mastered by Curved Pressings in London with the CD production by Curved Pressings also.
This important album was nominated for best folklore album in the important Colombian music magazine Shock. Also the Carmelo Torres Album that we produced was nominated for the same prize.
Pacho has continued his important work with displaced indigenous communities in Bogota. He has run several series of workshops for different indigenous tribes that have to live in the capital. Working with young and old these workshops are particularly important to the preservation of their cultures away from their raw ravaged homelands.
One such project culminated in a large number of the Embera community returning to their home and performing a concert . Pacho has since travelled out to the community again to carry on the recording process that he began in far off Bogota. This is a project and a link that will hopefully continue into the distant future.
2013 saw some great things happen for us in Colombia. We cemented our long standing collaboration with Carmello Torres with the production of the Accordionists first album with his own band. This was the culmination of much hard and work by Fairtunes Lola who produced the album literally all over the country.
Fairtunes engineer and Colombia project coordinator Pacho took equipment to the sleepy Caribbean town of Necocli to record the group Palmeras de Uraba in their home town. This fantastic bulerengue group were recorded by Pacho and Mauricio Sandoval who brought the project together. The band recorded an amazing Album ‘A Golpe de Tambo’ which was then sent around the world for DJs and producers to turn into an accompanying remix album.
Perhaps most importantly of all in 2013, Pacho began to work with displaced indigenous communities in Bogota. Working primarily with the Embera community who had to flee there homeland due to the decades long civil war that has ravaged the country. Pacho worked with them to help them express themselves through music as well as recording their own culture in order that it is not lost during their imposed hiatus. The culmination of the project with the Embera was the production of a CD and a successful concert that they put on in Bogota.
Carmelo Torres was the first artists to record in the FairTunes studio in El Salado and we mastered an album with the accordion master in the Bogota Studio.
We are extremely proud to have opened a FairTunes’ studio at the beginning of October with a series of workshops sponsored by the ‘Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogotá’ (OFB) and their ‘Hip Hop al Parque’ music festival. FT director Nick Minton ran two week-long courses aimed at young hip hoppers from poor socio-economic backgrounds. The first course was an introduction to studio music production at the end of which the group produced their own track. Listen to the tracks.
The second course, which Nick taught alongside local producer and musician Mike Cerdá, was for a more advanced group and went into more specific aspects of hip hop production.
Since we left the work with the OFB participants has continued, with seven groups having returned to record music to date with FT engineer Estefanía Calderón. The remaining groups are currently recording demos with Estefanía and we are also revising the next wave of applicants who have applied to record their music in the studio.
We are very fortunate to have an indefatigable team in Bogotá consisting of Alix Lesmes, Laurie Sauloy and Ricardo Cubides. We send out our utmost thanks to them. Undertaking the day to day running of the studio is our Colombian administrator Angélica Moreno Franco.