DJ Le Spam & Spam Allstars blend improvisational electronic elements and turntables with latin, funk, hip hop and dub to create what they call an electronic descarga. It’s not a known genre. It’s hard to describe. It attracts many types of people. But as they look out and see people dancing salsa, next to break-dancers, and festival-goers driving for hours to catch a show -- they know something very special is going on.
Spam Allstars were formed by Andrew Yeomanson, a/k/a DJ Le Spam, was raised in Toronto, Bogota and London, and has called Miami home since 1993. He got his start by playing guitar in Haitian band Lavalas, and recording and touring with Miami based artist Nil Lara. Along the way he added to his vinyl collection, and when off the road he would DJ locally. These DJ gigs evolved into collaborations with live musicians, performing on an internet radio show, recording in his home studio, and the first of many residencies combining his samplers & DJ skills with a live band.
In 2002, Spam Allstars began a weekly residency at Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana, which continues today. In 2003 they started monthly residencies in New York City, Gainesville, Tampa, Atlanta, and New Orleans, and playing nationally wherever people would host them. Today they perform 200+ shows, and average 56,000 miles each year. They still do the weekly in Little Havana, and have monthlies in Miami and Miami Beach.
Spam Allstars are proud to have five independent releases - Electrodomesticos/2007; Contra Los Roboticos Mutantes/2004; Latin Grammy nominated Fuacata Live/2002; Pigs In Space/2000; and Pork Scratchings/1999 - on their own Spamusica Records label. Their most recent release was a compilation for World Music Network (owners of the Rough Guide) - Introducing Spam Allstars (2008).
Spam Allstars are Andrew Yeomanson/DJ Le Spam (turntables, samplers, guitar, bass), Tomas Diaz (timbales, vox), AJ Hill (saxes, vox), Mercedes Abal (flute, vox), Chad Bernstein (trombone, vox), Jose Elias (guitars/tres), Ted Zimmerman (trumpet), Lazaro Alfonso (congas), Adam Zimmon (guitars), & Steve Welsh (saxes).
For more info go to: www.spamallstars.com
dj le spam - turntables & samplers
tomas diaz - timbales, vox
aj hill - saxes
chad bernstein - trombone
jose elias - guitar/trs
adam zimmon - guitar
steve welsh - saxes
mercedes abal - flute
lazaro alfonso - percussion
ted zimmerman - trumpet
Introducing: Spam Allstars - World Music Network - August 2008
electrodomesticos - Spamusica - March 2007
Vinyl #3 - Spamusica 2006
Spam Allstars Contra Los Roboticos Mutantes - Spamusica - 2004
Vinyl #2 - Spamusica - 2004
Fuacata Live - Spamusica - 2002
Pigs In Space - Spamusica - 2000
Vinyl 1 - Spamusica - 2000
Pork Scratchings - Spamusica - 1999
more info: www.spamusica.com
Miami band finds a wider audience for its quirky yet infectious sound
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The world is fitting territory for a group whose sound, though rooted in Miami, is universal: an eve...The world is fitting territory for a group whose sound, though rooted in Miami, is universal: an ever-changing stew of thumping funk grooves, Latin poly-rhythms, hip-hop scratching, obscure old-school soul, oddball retro recording references, muscular horns, sweet Cuban melody and much, much more.
Introducing the Spam Allstars
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Spam creates a Cuban vibe mixed with hip hop and dub, with great swinging violin, horns, synthesizer...Spam creates a Cuban vibe mixed with hip hop and dub, with great swinging violin, horns, synthesizer solos and flute parts. It's fresh and highly danceable, and you'll wonder why you didn't hear of Spam earlier.
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"Often credited as pioneering the new Miami-fusion sound, a synthesis of electronic music with Latin..."Often credited as pioneering the new Miami-fusion sound, a synthesis of electronic music with Latin beats from Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, and other countries whose musicians have migrated to Miami, the Spam Allstars combine live and improvised electronic music and turntables in a vigorous rhythmic celebration that defies categorization."
setting the tone
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“[DJ Le Spam] sets the tone for the night, splicing, and pasting a bit of bass here, a chunk of drum...“[DJ Le Spam] sets the tone for the night, splicing, and pasting a bit of bass here, a chunk of drum beats there from old records while his band – follows him and together they improvise”
Super tight, funky, and hot
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"The music is super tight and funky, and the band is distinguished for being very hot on stage. Led ..."The music is super tight and funky, and the band is distinguished for being very hot on stage. Led by DJ Spam, the team ventures on a dreamy musical adventure that takes away all worries from the mind and sight…"
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At work now, Miami's Spam Allstars underpin their hypnotic Latin funk with electronic grooves, dub a...At work now, Miami's Spam Allstars underpin their hypnotic Latin funk with electronic grooves, dub and hip-hop. Yet their smouldering hornwork puts
their sound in touch with deeper jazz and soul sources; proof that music
doesn't have to be old, or even old-fashioned, to have a classic feel.
Charlie Gillett - Sounds of the World
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When people ask what do I do, my usual answer is, I play records on the radio. What, they say, you ...When people ask what do I do, my usual answer is, I play records on the radio. What, they say, you mean like a DJ? Yes, I ruefully admit, like a DJ.
For some reason, I rarely simply say, I’m a DJ. It used to be for fear of being confused with the clowns on Radio One. Now it’s because it feels a bit absurd for me to bracket myself with the whiz-kid celebrities who get paid thousands of pounds a night for playing what sounds like the same record for hours on end.
But every now and then I meet somebody who makes me proud of my profession, such as DJ Le Spam.
If I were a novelist, looking for an interesting central figure for a story of our times, I might call him Andrew Yeomanson. Lets make his parents an English father and a half-Venezuelan mother, have him grow up in Bogotá, Columbia, and then move him to Miami, where he has lived for the last fifteen years. He tries to make a living by playing guitar, but discovers that there’s more demand for a DJ than a musician, so he scours Miami’s second hand shops for interesting records to play, and makes sure he never gets booked in a place expecting to hear top 40 hits.
But the urge to play in a band never leaves him, so he begins to invite musicians to play over and between the records, spicing the mix with interjections from spoken word albums, a private passion of his. Naming the band the Spam All Stars, their third album wins a Grammy in 2003. Calling himself DJ Le Spam, in April 2005 he gets invited to play La Linea, London’s the annual Latin music Festival, and finds himself playing radio ping pong with a radio DJ twice his age on BBC Radio London.
When the radio DJ rashly introduces Betty Wright’s Clean Up Woman as the best record ever made in Miami, Andrew shows no hesitation in reaching into his box of 7” singles for the one to trump it: Everything's Gonna Be All Right by Robert Moore. And sure enough, there’s a rhythmic freedom in Robert Moore’s track that makes Clean Up Woman seem a bit stilted by comparison. The same musicians are involved in both, with guitarist Willie Clarke aka Little Beaver to the fore; Andrew had started the game with a fine solo effort from Beaver, predating the singles I know by him.
A disproportionate share of the best American music of the past fifty years was either recorded in the South, or was made by people born in the South. Despite its size, Miami has not been a major player for most of that period, when three cities dominated as recording centres: Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis, with the small town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, sharing the spoils for nearly twenty years, 1962 to 1980.
Throughout April, the Barbican is celebrating the musicians, song writers and singers of Memphis and Muscle Shoals, who attracted producers from across the country to come to make their records there. We will be broadcasting live from the foyer at the Barbican next Saturday (April 9th), on the night celebrating Muscle Shoals, and when I mentioned that Little Milton might drop in on us, Andrew had a nice story about going to see him play and getting his girl friend to request Grits Ain’t Groceries.
If I don’t love you, baby
Grits ain’t groceries
Meat ain’t poultry, and
Mona Lisa was a man.
(original title: All Around the World, by Titus Turner)
As if this was not enough entertainment for one night, we were delighted to welcome back Yasmin Levy, whose band included her regular guitarist Yehiel Hasson, the London-based Armenian duduk player Tigran Aleksanyan, and Yasmin’s husband Ishay Amir on percussion. As before, I melted under the combination of her gaze and her tortured voice, but Yasmin seemed more relaxed than the first time we met. Sure enough, her performance at Ronnie Scott’s the following night was a revelation. Where once Yasmin had stood stock still and simply emoted, now she is full of smiles and jokes. The power of her voice has never been in doubt, but she has learned how to pace her set, and has become an entertainer with limitless potential.
Equally arresting at Ronnie’s was the support act, Cristóbal Repetto, a young tango singer from Buenos Aires who truly does sound as if he has just swallowed a bunch of 78 shellac records. He was accompanied by three guitarists and Javier Casalla, who is said to be the only man in Argentina who plays the violin corneta. Nobody is going to argue - the instrument looks as if it has been cobbled together from a broom handle and the speaker horn from a wind-up gramophone, and the whole effect is very spooky, as if we were hearing dialogue from a Buster Keaton silent film.
Yasmin’s current repertoire features mostly Ladino songs, music, the music of the Jewish refugees who were forced to flee Spain after 1492, when the Catholics drove out or killed everybody who did not take up their faith. This was in contrast to previous centuries under the Islamic rulers from Morocco, who had allowed Jews to live in their own part of town, known as La Juderia, which is the name of Yasmin’s latest album.
Listener Jayne Reville emailed shortly after the end of the programme: It was an excellent show tonight, but why didn’t you mention the death of the Pope?
It seemed sufficient that the news bulletins dealt with it. But I was disconcerted by the uncanny timing in the announcement of the Pope’s death, during a programme containing a reference to past atrocities associated with Catholicism. Worried I might embark on a diatribe about the death, destruction and dogma associated with almost all organised religions, I was glad of the BBC’s policy of discouraging political or religious comments from its music presenters.
...a ritmo' hurricane
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A blend of samples, turntables, and big beats along with tres, timbales, trombones, and flutes keeps...A blend of samples, turntables, and big beats along with tres, timbales, trombones, and flutes keeps everything fluid and funky..... leave no booty unshaken in their wake, kind of like a ritmo’ hurricane.
Miami's Spall Allstars' mishmashed heat
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As Spam Allstars, they spin a web of heady grooves around Yeomanson’s uncanny manipulations, resul...As Spam Allstars, they spin a web of heady grooves around Yeomanson’s
uncanny manipulations, resulting in a harmonious melange of electronic
elements, samples of old Latin vinyl and the live muscle of a Latin conjunto. The band even coined a new genre to describe its confluence of improvisational electronica and hot Latin rhythms, especially those of the Afro-Cuban variety. Actually, they’ve invented two: Electro-descarga and electro-charanga. The former is an allusion to the behind-the-scenes jam sessions that fueled Cuba’s Golden Age of music in the ’40s and ’50s, and the latter a reference to the popular string-and-flute–infused Cuban dance form that emerged around the same time.
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" To call Spam Allstars unique is an understatement. This Latin-fusion band can make any listener fe..." To call Spam Allstars unique is an understatement. This Latin-fusion band can make any listener feel like: a. You're in a bar on Calle Ocho; b. You're at a hip-hop party in South Beach; c. You're in a disco in the Design District; and c. You're at a Santeria session in Hialeah. All at the same time."
" On this recording, there's charanga, rumba, guaguango and other Afro-Cuban rhythms mixed with jazz, funk and hip-hop, thrown in with electronic elements and turntables, all at dizzying speed. Alone, none of these rhythms define Spam. Combined, Spam Allstars is all of the above."
spam allstars play either 2 x 50 minutes sets, or one set of 75 minutes
sets vary with material, and are played continuously (no breaks between songs)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.