Thursday, May 7, 2009

LVJ Mission Statement

Latin Vinyl Junkie is first and foremost a collector's resource that brings together a large amount of information from a variety of sources. With each entry I try to include sound clips, large pictures, price data, value ranges, ratings, and other select pieces of information that can help you quickly decide if a particular record is one that you would like to own or not. LVJ also features a long list of frequently updated Latin record label discographies, which can provide perspective on the full extent of a label's (or artist's) output, and open the door to exploring an even larger amount of music.

I tend to not write lengthy reviews of records, so most of my entries will be terse, unless I have something novel, useful, or exciting to convey to the reader. Quite frankly, I don't really read reviews to find out a reviewer’s opinion of the music. I will read them for the writing itself (if the writer has a particularly interesting style), or if they contain useful factual information, but otherwise I would rather be doing something else. Most of the time I feel that I can succinctly sum up my opinion of a record using a simple 1 to 10 rating scale, so that is often all that you will see accompanying the pics and sound clips that gives my opinion of an album or song. Don't let a lack of words lead you to think that my ratings aren't carefully considered, though. Each album rating is calculated by dividing the number of songs that I like on an album by the total number of songs. The point of this attempt at being more objective is to help collectors cut through the BS, hype, and hyperbole that is rampant in the collecting world, so that they can better focus on the task of adding solid records to their collections (instead of a series of buyer's remorse-inducing duds). My opinion of a single song is subjective, of course, but I would never overrate an album based on one great song, since they all carry equal weight in my mind when I'm calculating ratings.

I do have particular sounds and styles that I am into, and this will come across in many of my entries and selections on this site. Most of my favorite records were released in the 1950's an 1960's and feature up-tempo tracks with dense percussion anchored by strong bass lines and piano riffs, and accented with spirited vocals and horns—musical traits that have their roots in the timeless Afro-Cuban sound of master musicians like Arsenio Rodriguez, Peruchin, Cachao, Patato, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz. Conversely, I have little patience for slow-developing songs with weak low ends, sloppy musicianship, and lethargic vocals--I need immediate and sustained brilliance in order for a song to really matter to me.

Another sound that I am also very much into is the boogaloo and Latin Soul sound of the mid to late 60's, with Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, Pete Rodriguez, King Nando, Ray Barretto, and the Lebron Brothers, being the main artists whose work from this era consistently stands out amongst the many other formulaic and uninspired boogaloo and Latin soul efforts.

In the end, I hope that you find the music and information featured on this site as enjoyable, useful, and valuable as I do, because I genuinely enjoy sharing it.

If you would like to contribute information to LVJ, feel free to contact me.


1 comment:

Bobby Marin said...

I think Reynaldo has done a remarkable job co-ordinating all of these vintage Latin releases. I can't tell you how many times I've had to refer to these pages while researching old recordings as I update the Codigo Music catalogue and its music. Keep up the great work, Reynaldo!

Bobby Marin
Mambo Music