07/03/2019: “Babarabatiri” by The Quantic Soul Orchestra

The original version of this is Cuban mambo, released in 1969 and performed by the bandleaders Beny More and Perez Prado. It was recorded in 1950. The song was originally written by Antar Daly, another Afro-Cuban.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra, in contrast, are an English band, centred around Dj Will Holland. They specialise in this sort of old-school soul and funk.

The main thing carried over from the original is the brass, which is easily the most Latin thing on the cover. It’s a great melody, with a slight variation that gets repeated over two bars.

The Quantic Soul Orchestra version is hard hitting, with a slightly gritty feeling, especially on the frantic drum break. There’s even a more dubby sound effect towards the end of the song, helping it fade away with a quiet dignity.

The cover version was released in 2003, although there was a more famous version in 2001 by the Gypsymen, a Todd Terry project.

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