Casa de Trova - Cuba 50’s (Pure Pleasure)

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Casa de Trova - Cuba 50’s (Pure Pleasure) - Vinyl Record

by Alejandro Almenares

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Pure Pleasure
180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed

La Casa de Trova. The house of the troubadours. It’s a place of almost mythical status in Cuban music, the home of so many of the glorious songs that have come out of the island. Even Paul McCartney has made his pilgrimage there. For Alejandro Almenares, it’s a place he visits every single day, still carrying his guitar as he goes to play and talk with friends. And it’s the inspiration behind his album "Casa De Trova" (Tumi Records: release: February 25, 2014). For Almenares, the connection to the house is deep. His musician father, Angel Sanchez Almenares, was one of the founders of the Casa. »I was there when it all began, too,« he recalls. »I grew up listening to them playing there, the trovas and soneros. I’m 76 now. I’m the last of the founders still alive.«

It’s a house filled with memories of all the tunes that have filled the air over the years – and still do. As a child, Almenares took them all in as naturally as breathing. When he was 10 years old he began attending music school staying until he was 14, »when I had to quit in order to work and help my parents.«

Two years later he was a professional musician, playing the music his father had written and performed in groups like Los Taínos, Trio Oriente and Las Guitarras Internacionales. A lifetime of music, and, he adds with a smile, »so many bands that the number and names escape me now.« If you’re a fan of the Buena Vista Social Club, this guy’s gonna make them seem like a bunch of posers. Composer, vocalist and tres guitarist, Alejandro Almenares delivers the real thing from Cuba here on this set. This double vinyl set contains the same songs (although in different order); the difference is that the first features his rich and full voice, while the second features his material as (mostly) instrumentals. Flutes, percussion, violin, soprano sax, guitars and intermittent vocal choruses accompany Almenares on the gentle and fragrant instrumental takes of “No Critiques Al Nene” and “La Nina Que Yo Ame”, while vocalists Tony Rodon, Eva Grinan, Jose Cabrera and Ismael Borges deliver tales of passion on “Mujercita “Linda”, A Tu Retrato”, “Te Vi Y Te Contemple” and “De Lo Que Quiero Saber” respectively. The simplicity of the old world charms are on abundant display here. No gimmicks, no frills, just earnest notes and, like the best of cooks, letting the simple ingredients do all the work in creating the flavor that makes your mouth water. Essential listening!

About Pure Pleasure

At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.

During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.

A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.

We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.

We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.

To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.

LP1 - Vocals
1. No Critiques Al Nene
2. La Finca De Vila
3. Mujercita Linda
4. Te Vi Y Te Contemple
5. El Son De Vicentico
6. A Tu Retrato
7. La Chica De Mi Rosal
8. Esa Guitarra Que Suena
9. Lechero
10. La Nina Que Yo Ame
11. De Lo Que Quiero Saber
12. Pepillito
13. Con Amor Te Pagare

LP2 - Instrumentals
1. No Critiques Al Nene
2. El Son De Vicentico
3. Pepillito
4. Te Vi Y Te Contemple
5. Con Amor Te Pagare
6. Lechero
7. A Tu Retrato
8. Mujercita Linda
9. La Chica De Mi Rosal
10. La Nina Que Yo Ame
11. De Lo Que Quiero Saber
12. Esa Guitarra Que Suena
13. El Mismo Paso
14. La Finca De Vila

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Vinyl records are able to capture the purest quality of recorded music in true form. This is possible because the initial recording is captured on an analog source (usually tape) for the ultimate in High Fidelity sound, it is then pressed onto virgin vinyl. Analog recordings capture the bottom end (or bass) while adding sweetness to the high end (or treble) better than any digital recording ever could. Analog systems are still commonly used before they are digitally transferred to CD. This means that the sound then is altered in the transfer process when CD's are produced. The word fidelity means accuracy and faithfulness. High Fidelity sound is faithful to the original sound made by the artist, capturing maximum accuracy of what was intended for the listener to hear. Vinyl records capture those sounds for the ultimate High Fidelity listening experience!

180/200 GRAM Vinyl LP

These vinyl records are produced with 180 or 200 grams of high definition premium grade virgin vinyl. This is a higher quality audiophile pressing than the typical vinyl record of 100-120 grams. These limited edition LP's are manufactured with the hi-fi enthusiast in mind. A 180 or 200 gram LP is sometimes also referred to as an audiophile pressing, there is a higher bass response and an even warmer High Fidelity sound. 180 or 200 grams LP's are typically manufactured in limited amounts and are considered collectibles, commanding a higher price.


Typically, a vinyl reissue is a repressing of an original LP, usually extracted from the recording's master-tapes. In some cases, reissues are remastered to lower surface noise and improve overall sonics. Reissues help preserve the music of an original recording, especially when original LPs become unavailable or can no longer be found. Reissues can be pressed on a variety of thickness from 150 gram to 200 gram and offer a great opportunity for records collectors to own many classic recordings.

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