Loé Loá - Rural Recordings Under The Mango Tree by Betsayda Machado y la Parranda El Clavo

Loé Loá - Rural Recordings Under The Mango Tree was originally released in 2017. The title is meant to be taken literally - Betsayda Machado recorded this LP out in the open air of her hometown of El Clavo, Venezuela. The ‘Parranda’ of her backing band translates as ‘party’, and there’s certainly a spirit of movement and rhythm to these bustling drum instrumentals (a legacy, perhaps, of El Clavo's African heritage). However, there is also pain and worry to Loé Loá borne out of Venezuela’s difficult political situation. A powerful piece, Loé Loá is now set to wax for the first time courtesy of Olindo Records.

Limited Vinyl LP £17.99 ORLP003

LP on Olindo Records. Edition of 500 copies.

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Loé Loá - Rural Recordings Under The Mango Tree by Betsayda Machado y la Parranda El Clavo
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8/10 Will 23 July 2019

'Rural Recording Under The Mango Tree' opens with a collection of voices singing unaccompanied. It's a defiant expression of the collective, and something that reminds you of the human cost of the crisis currently unfolding in Venezuela. The singers express these problems in the lyrics of these songs, but place them in among expressions of joy. It's this juxtaposition that reminds you of just how prevalent the problems are, even in moments of joy these problems can't be ignored.

Betsayda Machado is the driving force behind this record. She's a Venezuelan legend who recorded the album outside in her hometown of El Clavo. Apparently, in performances like this there are often a hundred or so singers, as opposed to the 17 on this record. It would be amazing to hear something like this in the flesh, but listening to this record you really get a sense of the power that the drummers and singers can achieve. The rhythms are dense and often aggressive. The interplay of percussion and voice presents the music not as a collection of instruments, but as one whole.

I see the word 'human' bandied around a lot in reviews, used where 'emotional' or 'wistful' might do, but listening to 'Rural Recordings Under The Mango Tree' you get a sense of what real human music sounds like. It sounds angry, joyful, and most of all on this record, defiant. 



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