The Latin Rascals…
Artist: The Latin Rascals
Title: Beyond The Future
Label: Sutra Records
Media Source: Recorded straight from 12-inch record to enhanced digital.
More About The Latin Rascals…
I find The Lastin Rascals to be class-act with stellar production and rich sound, standing on their own plateau. Just take a listen to their remix production on the following blogs which I’ve posted here previously:
- Information Society – “What’s On Your Mind” (all mix versions on that blog); and
- Mantronix – “Simple Simon” (You Dubba Regard)
Producers/DJs Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran — collectively known as the Latin Rascals — got their start as movers and shakers on the budding early-’80s New York City club scene, hosting an influential continuous-mix show on local dance radio. The duo went on to mastermind a number of Latin freestyle dance tracks, including work for TKA and The Cover Girls, among others. In 1999, the collection Mixmasters Vol. 1 was released, featuring reworkings of various Latin Rascals mixes by an array of DJs.
According to Answers.com about Albert Cabrera:
Better known as one half of The Latin Rascals, Albert Cabrera, along with partner Tony Moran, helped create the mid-’80s, edit heavy genre of dance music known as freestyle. Working as DJs in the early ’80s, the duo realized that after the disco backlash dance music wasn’t the most popular of genres. Still, they were working in the U.S. capital of club culture, New York, and after much hustling they were able to score a high profile gig as mix masters on WKTU’s popular “lunch time mix” program. It was there that they unleashed their bedroom edits, songs by acts like Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones that had been re-mixed and lengthened. Cabrera and Moran were then tapped by Fever records to produce The Cover Girls and the resulting single, “Show Me,” became a club hit. For the next few years the duo had a good little run, releasing their own dance singles, as well as re-mixing many a popular rap, rock, and R&B act. Their success was based largely on re-tooling other artists’ hits, though, and eventually the public’s interest in this format diminished and the duo parted ways.
The following FAQ about The Latin Rascals is cited from the Freestyle Dance Party site:
How did they meet?
Albert Cabrera was selling tapes of music he liked for $10, and walked into Dowtown Records, where Tony Moran just so happened to be working. Cabrera played some of his mastermixes for Moran, and on one occasion, Carlos deJesus was there.
Who was Carlos deJesus?
Carlos deJesus was a radio personality on WKTU. He overheard one of Cabrera’s mixes and asked him for a copy. The problem was, all of Cabrera’s mixes were on cassette, while the station needed them on reel to reel.
Well, guess who had a reel to reel? Who?
Tony Moran, of course, and he let Albert Cabrera borrow his, for which he gave him due credit.
How did they get their start?
They shook up the New York club scene in the early 1980s by hosting an influential continuous-mix show on a local dance radio station, WKTU. They would take other artists’ already popular songs and splice them together. They later moved to Kiss-FM.
Then what happened?
Arthur Baker contacted them.
Where have I heard his name before?
Well, he was the producer of “Planet Rock” and “I.O.U.” amongst many other hits. Arthur Baker gave the Latin Rascals their first editing job on the song “Breaker’s Revenge.” Soon, Aldo Marin from Cutting Records hired the duo to edit “B-Boy’s Break Dance” for which they were paid, to the surprise of the duo, who only wanted the experience and opportunity.
Then what happened?
Arthur Baker was so pleased with the results that he sent more remixing and editing work their way, including work on recordings by Hall and Oates, Diana Ross, and Brenda K. Starr.
Soon the Latin Rascals were a big hit on the dance floor. The Latin Rascals are often credited with making hits out of early freestyle artists TKA, Safire and the Cover Girls. Riding on the crest of their success as producers, Cabrera and Moran released their own material as the Latin Rascals.
But did they still produce for others?
Oh yes. In fact, Show Me was Tony Moran’s first top 40 gold record and really started the Freestyle movement in music. Many of that genre’s biggest stars, from TKA, Safire, and Lisette Melendez, all benefited from the talented duo.
What music did they make for themselves?
They made two instrumental albums, Macho Mozart and Bach To The Future, making classical music rather dance-able. Even “Arabian Knights” was originally an instrumental, but it did so well that the Latin Rascals decided to improve upon it by laying down a vocal track headed by Tony.
What was the effect of that?
Well, fans ate it up. That record put the duo in demand for shows nationwide, where the crowds would sing along to the words.
Wasn’t one of them married to someone else in freestyle?
That’s right! Albert Cabrera married Safire, who was greatly successful with “Boy I’ve Been Told.” Unfortunately, their synchronized success was also the undoing of the marriage, due to conflicting schedules and outside influences.
Well, I guess Albert still had Tony.
Yeah, but that professional pairing ended by growing apart. Tony was more into singing while Albert was into freestyle. Still, the breakup of Latin Rascals was amicable and each partner remains grateful to the other.
Then what happened?
Albert Cabrera wanted to keep making freestyle music but, by this time, its popularity had fallen just as disco had years before. He tried to update freestyle by blending it with the trendy trip-hop genre in his album Trip Hop Dance 2000. It featured the voices of Judy Torres, Corina, Lil’ Suzy, Joey Kidd, Sam Savon and Brenda K. Starr, while Tony Moran came back in to re-record an updated version of “Arabian Knights.”
Since then, what has Cabrera been doing?
He went to school for 5 years and began producing bass music, as he saw it as the closest to freestyle. He re-teamed with freestyle legend “Little” Louie Vega, creating “Rascal Dubs” in house music. He’s also been working with artists as musically diverse as KC and the Sunshine Band, David Morales, Mariah Carey, and Tori Amos.