Utter the name Fania Records to a group of people, and if there are any music nerds or vinyl junkies in the audience, their ears will surely perk up. Beginning in the ‘60s and growing into stature in the ‘70s, the legendary New York City record label was responsible for providing a leg up for fledgling Latin talents in the five boroughs, as well as helping boost the visibility of salsa and Latin music to a global level through a stacked roster of musicians that included Willie Colon, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Hector Lavoe. As the decades wore on, and salsa music receded from the public’s eye, so too did Fania Records. The label shuttered in the ‘80s, and its catalog disappeared. But after the fortuitous discovery of original analog recordings in a storage unit in the Hudson Valley, the label is back, ready to join the rest of the world in the 21st century as Fania has teamed up with global bass DJ crew Calentura.
A collaboration between party outfit Late Night Laggers and music collective Subsuelo, Calentura is a monthly dance party that moves around to different clubs in the Los Angeles area, blasting out hefty servings of twerk-heavy Latin rhythms and tropical bass hits that give credence to the event’s name. And Calentura teaming up with Fania makes perfect sense, the traditional salsa music that the label championed in its heyday a forefather to Calentura’s trademark blending of salsa and electronic music. To that end, the label digitized those unearthed recordings and handed them over to Calentura, who let some of the biggest DJs and producers have a crack at the label’s lustrous catalog for the remix compilation album, Calentura: Global Bassment out March 11. Featuring remixes from Bomba Estereo, Jillionaire of Major Lazer, Branko, Uproot Andy, and Captain Planet, the collection of songs gives the Fania catalog an update while keeping the label’s distinct musical DNA intact.
To celebrate the release of the record, Fania will present next month’s Calentura on March 12 at the El Rey Theatre. The album release party will feature the thundering, Brazilian tropical bass group Tropkillaz, Peruvian DJ duo Dengue, Dengue, Dengue!, and Oakland (by way of Panama) dancehall rap group Los Rakas.
Tickets are on sale now. For more information click here.