31 de Octubre – Milongueros

mendez.jpgBetter late than never. I had to leave town for a short trip, then my file hosting site was acting up last night. But here we are, once again…

Bolivia had its own record label in the mid-20th century called Mendez, pressed in La Paz. Although the examples I’ve come across were pressed poorly – with heavy, bumpy shellac and often in irregular sizes (9 3/4″ as opposed to the standard 10″, for instance) – they were purely a Bolivian product and that counts for a lot. There seems to have been some wonderful regional music captured on Mendez, although I know next to nothing about the extent of their output or how long they existed before being bought up by a larger entity (I do know that they pressed labels in turquoise, gold, and dark blue, as seen here).

The mysterious ensemble known as “31 de Octubre” consisted of a couple of guitar players, at least one probably playing the charango, and a soloist on the quena, or the traditional Andean flute. This track is labeled as a carnaval (the flip side is listed as a danza indigena), also known as a carnavalito, a particular musical style of Bolivia. It is a song from the Eastern part of the country, interestingly, not the Andean side. The title, Milongueros, refers to Milongas (or Milonga), the Argentine style of music, and playing. It’s a nice tune – short and sweet!

(Special thanks to Carol Blenda for help and information!)

31 de Octubre – Milongueros

Technical Notes
Label: Mendez
Issue Number: 203
Matrix Number: 53-L15

5 thoughts on “31 de Octubre – Milongueros

  1. The term “milonguero” refers to men who habitually dance tango in a place called a “milonga” where the three forms of dance music are played: tango, milonga, and vals.

    “Milonguero” refers to a lifestyle; men who didn’t work and went every night to dance in the downtown confiterias of Buenos Aires.

  2. greetings: discos mendez was founded in 1949 by the brothers gastòn and alberto mendez relasing the most selected bolivian artist as the female duo “las kantutas”, groups like “los planetas”, and the duo “larrea-barrios” and “larrea teràn” and the funny “re-fa-si” trio. the first items of the label was processed at the united states and in the early 50s they imported a cutting machine to la paz. the sound of the most of the recordings have a very unique sound with lots of reverbs and sound difficulties, but that details made the mendez label as a real document of the bolivian sound in the 50s and also reveals the lack of good recording equipments and mics. mendez was the first recording company in bolivia ending in the early 60s and inspiring other companyes as lauro records from cochabamba (1958).
    i was in bolivia in february of 2013 and sadly i said the most of the records from mendez label aren`t in good shape and sometimes the record sellers wants you pay ridiculous prices for unplayable shellacs (never go to linares street at la paz to buy records), but finally i found some mendez and acoustic victor records with bolivian stuff
    carlos reinoso valparaìso, chile
    pd: great page
    i invite you to hear some podcast of my radio shows , spinning at 78 rpm!:

    have a nice week

    glad to send you some stuff, my collection is based on latin-american records

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