From Forced Exposure :
2020 repress. Soundway present the second volume in their Panama! series, showcasing the unique tropical music created in Panama during the fertile decades of the 1960s and 1970s. Panama is one of the world's great crossroads -- a bridge between North and South America, and home to the great canal that links the Caribbean and the Pacific. After soaking up the varied influences of Panama's diverse population, the dancefloors and bars spat out a heady mix that took in the raw vallenato of neighboring Colombia, the soul and funk of America, the calypso of Trinidad and the son and rumba of Cuba, all combined and re-styled in a uniquely Panamanian fashion, making Panama a central spoke in the wheel of Caribbean music. Writer and compiler Roberto Ernesto Gyemant travelled throughout the country in search of elusive records and reclusive musicians, tracking down hopeful tips and half-remembered names and addresses. Two years of digging through dusty warehouses and old radio stations in search of crackly records and dusty photos led to an exhaustive look at the musical culture of this fascinating country. If you think salsa is the sum total of Latin American music, then think again -- the hot sound of Panamanian musica tipica and calypso Español throws everything into the mix for a non-stop journey through Afro rhythms, carnival sounds, tipica soul, and cumbia madness. Listen to the heavy tamborito rhythm of Los Silvertones and you'll hear where the instantly-recognizable, syncopated beat of modern-day reggaeton was born. Check the countrified re-versioning of Willie Colon's classic "La Murga De Panama" -- a perfect riposte to those that think Latin music begins and ends with Shakira. Listen to "La Escoba" by Alfredo Y Su Salsa Montañera and see that the currently in-vogue sound of cumbia owes as much to Panama as it does Colombia.