The first time I played in Italy, back in about 2007, was in one of the smaller cities, Trieste. Perched in the north-eastern corner, it’s almost in Slovenia really, with a beautiful square on the seafront and lots of narrow streets tangled up and down hillsides, crammed with cars.

Like all Italian cities (in my experience) there are basically waaaaay too many cars. My main memory of the night I spent in trieste is the endless circling of the same streets looking for a parking space.

The bunch of guys that were putting on the night were all lovely. The one with ‘the car’ who was my driver was a rare gem though – Claudio, originally from Medellin in Colombia, who drove like king of the maniacs in a city (and country) of very emotionally involved, passionate, impatient, maniac car drivers. He was great, and a couple of the best journeys we took included a 6am trawl of the city centre because I couldn’t remember where I was staying, and a 2 hour burn to catch my flight home (actually had to fly from Llubjana in Slovenia because Trieste airport closed at weekends) through possibly the most intense rainstorm I have ever seen.

ANYWAY, the soundtrack to these motorik escapades was a cd he burnt for me (sadly now missing presumed lost in the graveyard of umarked cdrs). It was my first introduction to Cumbia. The strange, slow, cha-cha-chaaa rasp of the shakers echoed in me for weeks afterwards. It was like being in a Jim Jarmusch movie, if Jim was a colombian exile driving around italian foothills, lubricated with fearsome espressos, whilst chaperoning a bright-eyed and hell-bent trombonist. Good times.

I struggled to identify any of the tracks when I got home, and the only one I could find was this strange (and modern – the rest of the tracks sounded like they were from the 60’s or 70’s) creature. I think it’s about snakes. and dancing of course. Your MC is a pitched down vampire.

If you’re out there Claudio – thanks man, it was a blast.


posted by magic


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