After a small holiday hiatus we’re back like we never left. First and foremost Happy 2011 to the whole EMPT gang! Since you are here paying us a visit, that means you have exceptional musical taste and you are already winning in the new year. To jump things off, we have a special Sample Saturday brought to you by myself and Dub Sonata. We’re gonna look into the making of Nights In Cuba and expose the dusty Cuban records that helped make up track 19, “January Nights On The Malecón In Havana Cuba.” The Malecón is a long stretch of roadway and seawall that runs along the coast of Havana. Dub stayed a few blocks away from the Malecón in Havana Centro and spent many of his nights on or around that strip of road, a gathering point for locals and visitors. Just a few blocks off the Malecón is where he discovered the “everything shop” that ended up being the musical source that fueled Nights In Cuba.
To actually brake down all of the production moves that Dub made with this track would probably take up a whole page, so we’ll briefly touch on some of the main uses of samples. “January Nights…” is made up of two sections, the first which begins with the outro from “Mango Mangué” (3:45) followed by chopped notes taken from the intro of the same record. Sixteen bars after the beat drops we hear a vocal sample from another Merceditas Valdes song called “Yambambó” (2:59). Eight bars later is the first use of a flute line from the Sintesis record “¿Pensar, Que Es?” (2:14). The second section begins with a Los Reyes 73 sample chopped up from “Necesito De Alguien Como Tu” (3:21). Eight bars after the drums come in we hear a horn section lifted off the same Los Reyes 73 record (0:16), along with a vocal sample (4:46) which immediately follows. Throughout the track you will notice some chimes in the background from “Mango Mangué” (1:40) and a sprinkling of synths. To tie it all together, Dub brought in various instrumentalists to add on saxophone, trumpet, flute and acoustic guitar. Keep up. And be smart enough to take the time to listen to these songs in their entirety and enjoy one of the coolest genres of music on the planet.
Nights In Cuba available on iTunes.