Perfect Songs - Que Bueno Baila Usted
Just because I don’t dance doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the power of good dance music. It all starts with the drum and the drum starts in Africa. The drum also is part of shamanistic rituals, so the rhythms and repetitions that come through the ages can all be traced back to primal rites and trance states that would either free the body from the mind or make them one, depending on how you look at it. The point is the best dance music has to tap into this. The infusion of African rhythm into a whole host of other traditions from Spain in Cuba, resulted in a rich palette of styles, pretty much unequalled anywhere else. To my mind, the best Cuban artist of all time is Benny More, and his best track not only brings to mind all these lofty ideas, but is a perfect song.
The complexity of this arrangement is amazing. Keeping it together is the repeating horn line that goes underneath it, over it, and through it, opposing the multi-layered percussion, and foreshadowing the filtered rave synth lines and beats in songs such as Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness. The intensity builds and builds but the whole time, Benny is in charge of this impending chaos like a mad shaman controlling the spirits. This is big band Afro Cuban Jazz, not so much being born, as it is breaking through from some other plain, bringing with it hints of everything that is to come from 70’s Salsa and funk to Hip Hop bragging and shout outs to looping electronic dance music and beyond. It’s big. It’s bold. It’s perfect.