Edgar "El Travieso de la Salsa"
We asked Edgar to tell us what makes Vinyl Night so special
The Sound it's rich and full. Yes, if you buy a "Spanish Harlem" CD it will sound crystal clear, but "Spanish Harlem" is recording their new music with technology that is specifically designed to be recorded in CD format. Most Salsa from the 70s and earlier was not recorded with such technology. Most of them were recorded in mono and not stereo, and all the technology used was designed for vinyl recording and playback. So the best sound reproduction will come when we use the original recordings/equipment and salsa, just like any other music, sounds and feels better when the sounds are clean and rich. When it comes to salsa (70s and older), most DJs buy playlist or MP3s from other DJs, and they are usually copies of copies of copies of MP3s of vinyl, so the sound is usually choppy, dirty and thin. Even some of the remastered Fania CDs do not sound as rich as the original vinyl recordings.
Forgotten/unknown/not overplayed songs. Anybody can go to iTunes, Amazon, or any other music site and buy/download "new" Salsa music. There are also some sites that have some 70s Salsa classics. So in a way salsa music in no longer hard to find, but if I go to a club and pay a cover fee, I want to hear songs that I do not have on my computer or iPod, but things that only DJs will have. Vinyl has provided me with music that not many people will have - music that has been out of print for years. Also, my collection is mainly made up by South American bands that never had the chance to leave their countries and therefore are very rare here in the States. They didn't make much money, but they did it for the love they have for salsa, and you can feel that passion in the music. These vinyls are hard to find and pretty expensive. I have in my collection records that go from $100 for a 45 rpm to $1,200 for a LP vinyl. As a rule, I do not take my vinyl anywhere.
When I first talked to Hallie regarding All-Vinyl Salsa Nights, I really wanted to share this great music with as many people as I could. I believe that providing good quality music will encourage people to continue to enjoy Salsa dancing.
I will not play vinyl anywhere in Seattle other than Century Ballroom, so dancers will not be able to hear my tunes anywhere else. And remember: every single Salsa tune is played from vinyl not just a few. I have gone to some of the other vinyl nights popping around town, and they only play a few songs and the rest are CDs or MP3s.