Disc one: Straight Master (Original)
  1/  Cien Fuegos                                (Roberto Torres)              5.32
  2/  Mil Congojas                               (Juan Paolo Miranda)          2.41
  3/  No Tieme Telerana                          (Rosendo Ruiz)                3.09
  4/  Lagrimas Negras                            (Miguel Matamoros)            4.30
  5/  Rhytm Impro                                (Touitou,Laswell)             3.20
  6/  Yo Soy Como Candela                        (Felix Chappotin)             3.44
  7/  Descarga Para Gozarte                      (Tata Guines)                 6.26
  8/  El Diablo Tun Tun                          (Bienvenndo Gutierez)         3.43
  9/  La Mujer Da Antonio                        (Miguel Matamoros)            3.16
  10/ El Manisero                                (Moises Simons)               2.23
  11/ Al El Vaiven De Mi Carreta                 (????)                        4.23
 Disc two: Rhum & Bass (Dub)
  1/  Rhytm Impro Dub                            (Touitou,Laswell)             4.32
  2/  La Mujer De Antonio Dub                    (Miguel Matamoros)            3.17
  3/  Cuban Beat                                 (Touitou,Laswell)             7.01
  4/  Mil Congojas Dub                           (Juan Paolo Miranda)          6.12
  5/  La Mujer De Antonio (soundcheck dub)       (Miguel Matamoros)            5.17
  6/  Al El Vaiven De Mi Carreta Dub             (????)                        4.29
  7/  Yo Soy Como Candela Dub                    (Felix Chappotin)             2.49
  8/  Radio Cuba Version                         (Touitou,Laswell)             5.16
  9/  Cien Fuegos Dub                            (Roberto Torres)              5.08

          Recorded at Egrem Studio, Cuba
          Dubs mixed at Orange Music Sound Studio, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineered by Oz Fritz
          Produced by Bill Laswell and Jean Touitou
MUSICIANS: The Septeto Nacional, Raoul Plana and Tata Guines.

Arrangements on disc two by Jean Touitou and Bill Laswell

          1999 - A.P.C. (France), APC 013/CDA 024 (Vinyl)
          1999 - A.P.C. (France), APC 013/CDA 023 (2CD)
Note: The vinyl version only contains 'RHUM AND BASS'.
Note: On the vinyl version, tracks 4 and 5 are reversed, and track 6 is not inclued.


One can't quite overcome suspicions of "hopping on the bandwagon" when first encountering _Havana Mood_. Hot on the heels of Ry Cooder's universally acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club project, Bill Laswell and Jean Touitou grab a flight down to Cuba and record their own group of grizzled, ancient legends. The discomfort comes from finding Laswell in the wake rather than in the vanguard of an idea; one wonders whether commercial considerations weighed more heavily than artistic or archivist ones in the planning of this project.

Not being privvy to the inner workings of the producers' minds, let it be understood that this is nonetheless a really fine set. The smoky ambience of the sixty-year-old Septeto Nacional and friends recorded here is a milestone of Afro-Caribbean culture. While only a novice in the genre, I have learned that these men were among the players to first develop the "son" sound in Cuba as well as apparently being the first to use the term "salsa" in a song title. On top of these impeccable historical credentials, their mature voices - deep and dark as polished mahogany - and virtuoso playing really swing, and the seduction of the listener is complete.

Furthermore, Laswell's and Touitou's package goes a step further than the Cooder project. While the first CD is a "straight", untweaked session documenting these seasoned players going flat out and featuring plenty of vocals both male and female, the second CD is a dub translation, very much in the spirit of _Boniche Dub_; once again Bill seems to share the dubbing duties with Jean. In common with that record, this attempt at creating "Rhum and Bass" dub seems a tad unfocused at times, but definitely holds a certain fascination. An interesting project housed in APC's finest package yet.

Stephen Fruitman


This is one of the best cuban albums ever. The only thing better you can get is buena vista social club. Laswell is a genious letting the first disc ride solelly on the simply magnificent rythms of the people of cuban, the streets music not that studio fabricated garbage. Then laswell remixes it in the best and most respectfull way. This unlike imaginary cuba is all cuban artists, laswell does not add his own bass to any of the tracks. If you want to hear the versions with laswells bass you have to get imaginary cuba, these two albums are interlaced but a little difference and some different tracks and versions but both are marvelious. Dont spent the $89.oo that the seller is asking for this album you can order the album directelly from the label at apc.fr you can also get boniche dub apc tracks vol 1 and 2 direct from nyc. Extremelly fast shipping. enjoy

yajdubuddah (courtesy of the Amazon.com website)