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Alt.Latino Encore: Remixing Classics, Fania Opens Its Vaults

Branko mixes classic sounds with new sensibilities in his remix of "Herencia African."
Courtesy of the artist
Branko mixes classic sounds with new sensibilities in his remix of "Herencia African."

This is an Encore presentation of Alt.Latino.

Even better the second time!


This week on Alt.Latino, we venture into a long-running conversation about remixing classic recordings. Along the way, we feature a new album released by Fania Records called Calentura, in which the label sent a handful of DJs and producers a treasure trove of original masters from the Golden Age of the brash and innovative Afro-Caribbean music known as salsa.

I can already hear some of you reacting to the concept:

"Malditos! How dare you tamper with perfection?"

"Would you repaint a Frida Kahlo masterwork?"


Those are fair reactions.

So we decided to invite one of the talented DJ/producers who contributed a track to the album: our pal Uproot Andy, whose music we've featured on Alt.Latino before. We also invited the man behind the mixing board for many of the Fania sessions: Jon Fausty, who gave us so many timeless recordings.

What you hear this week is the kind of detailed discussion about art, culture, originality and plain old personal opinion that helps us put the whole remix culture into context. So come armed with your strongly held opinions — and, more importantly, your love for Fania — and give it a listen. Let us know what you think.

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Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.