Tag Archives: traditional

Los Apartamentos – Water Di Garden


Los Apartamentos’ debut Lp – Water Di Garden – Due out April 2019

If you know Mento, you’ll know Count Lasher’s track for Stanley Motta, ‘Water The Garden’, all about a young man who is unhappily exposed, and haffi ‘Reel Out The Hose’ while watering his lady boss’s jardin, and hopefully not a Jardin Publique as I&I French would a say, or things could have got illegal, yah get mi Fam?

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So while mooching about the Mento driven corners of the internet one ‘Winston’ of Mento band Los Apartamentos and I got in touch with one another. I had immediately responded favourably to the tongue in cheek band name, as I’ve always wanted to have a Pan Pipe group called ‘Los Pastillas Urinarios’ (the toilet blocks, you know those rancid chunks of pineapple in the urinals, uh huh .. yep that.. ), and I think Winston could spot a fellow lover of Jamaican Mento music too, as did I.

These boys look interesting I muttered to myself while flicking through Instagram. Winston by then had also hooked up with my radio show bigmikeydread reggae radio, and he showed an obvious love for the Mento I was playing on it, educating me about Calypso in Germany, where the band hails from and which has a long history of interest in Calypso and Mento; as do one or two other northern European countries like the Netherlands and Belgium.

Then a short while ago he posted a video of a tourist postcard which played Mento, one of those old records on cardboard affairs. It took me a while to realise it wasn’t a 50s-60s antique collector’s item, but his band’s promotional item, for an Lp entitled ‘Water Di Garden’ due out on April 19th on Jump Up Records. www.jumpuprecords.com

I expressed an interest and today his ‘promo pack’ landed, the postcard went straight on my turntable, and you can view a video of it spinning below. I do apologise that the sound on my short video is woeful, but it’s such a nice object, I had to show you all.

Lost Apartamentos
German Mento band Los Apartamentos are busy playing Mento, the lost music of Jamaica

Basically the guys came together out of a love of Ska and Jamaican music in the city of Cologne, trading old instruments for new ones, they built a bass lammelophone (Rhumba Box) and off they went. Spreading the music and the joy for a few years before being invited to record an album by Chuck Wren of Jump Up Records.

Rather wonderfully they recorded to one Mic, just as the producers of early Mento had during the balmy night time recording sessions of noisy 1950s Kingston, and that Lp of one take renderings of vintage Mento songs is released in April of 2019. I’ll definitely be checking it out, the small excerpt on the postcard promo sounds pukka, and that’s pukka to the ears of a highly over-critical lover of Mento who would tell you in a trice if it sounded a mockery in any sense.. it doesn’t, it sounds sweet.

Check back here for a review hopefully later this year. I’ll be getting hold of a copy for sure.

©2019 Murphy ☜

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02 Cunla (The Frieze Britches) ~ Terry Lees


March 02, 2010 04:15 AM PST
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The tune is called Cunla or sometimes ‘The Frieze Britches’

Terry describes it thus –

I had always liked Celtic music but growing up in England in the early 60’s I seldom got to hear much, only when my Mother (originally from Ireland) used to sing to us.
This is the first Irish Jig I learned to play and have been modifying it for many years.

I chose a DADGAD tuning as the notes fell ‘correctly’ and allowed me to go over the top with the ornamentation – a feature I love about Irish music.

I’m nominating Mark Mewman at Marknewman.com for the next link in the Musical Traces chain.

Best Wishes

Terry Lees

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Terry is without a doubt (he’s won competitions that prove it!) one of England’s best and most highly regarded guitarists.

Terry has a website here – http://www.terrylees.com/ , you can find details of what Terry is up to, where and when he’s next appearing and even the models of guitars he plays here.

A note on ‘Cunla – The Frieze Britches’, again as with the previous tune there seems to be very little information available about the song’s origins, though it does seem to be known in a fairly widespread way, check out Google for more references and even tab in order to learn it.

Find out more about what Musical Traces is trying to do here > Musical Traces

You can visit the musical traces podomatic site here – http://musical-traces.podomatic.com/

*The way the project works is that now Terry suggests someone for me to contact with a view to getting their musical work on ‘tape’ and I post that up with background to them and the song, thus moving onwards to new artistes and songs. Collecting like an armchair Alan Lomax.

Terry has suggested contacting someone called Mark Newman, let’s hope he wants to be the next step in the Musical Traces line!