Abuela's Living Room - Pop-Up Records
The three pop-up records developed for the final outcomes are ones that stood out from my childhood and were important to the development of salsa as a genre of music. These three also had a big impact on music in Venezuela. I decided to use very similar visual language in each record, taking imagery from live performances for the interior pop-ups. The halftone quality and the dots used for the layers unify the records, creating a cohesive series. The covers and back covers are based on the original records, but I have redesigned parts to add to the cohesion. Each record contains a brief explanation of its impact in the salsa world on the back cover.
Dimension Latina by Dimension Latina
Dimensión Latina is one of the most famous salsa groups to come from Venezuela in the 70s, and one of the more influential groups in the early history of the genre. Their unique arrangements and elaborate choruses propelled them beyond Venezuela, to international stages. Dimensión Latina had its international debut in New York City’s Salsa International Festival in Madison Square Garden in 1977. Although they did not form part of Fania Records, their popularity was comparable. The Venezuelan band was also the introduction to Oscar D’León El Faraón de la Salsa (English: The Salsa King) who started his career with the group as lead singer, and is well known to this day. Dimension Latina’s music aired for over 30 years, becoming a household staple in Venezuelan homes.
Celia & Johnny by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco
Celia & Johnny is an album by CeliaCruz and Johnny Pacheco, released in 1974 by Fania Records, a label thatPacheco created in 1964. Celia Cruz’s powerful vocals coupled with JohnnyPacheco’s groove kicked off one of the most important periods of salsa history,‘The Golden Age’ of salsa. The album’s themes became important as well,speaking on politics, history, and social justice, which marked theirsurroundings at the time. This album sparked what we know of salsa music today,as no other album before Celia y Johnny had popularized the genre. Salsa (English: Sauce) became the peculiarname to a flavourful genre which Johnny Pacheco explains, “When I was rehearsing with the band, I saw that we had Dominicans, Cubans,Puerto Ricans, and two Jewish fellows. When you make a sauce, you havedifferent ingredients. And when I saw the band and the singer I thought, thisis what we got. We got salsa.”
Siembra by Ruben Blades & Willie Colon
Siembra (English: Planting) is an album by Rubén Blades and Willie Colón, released in 1978 by Fania Records. It is one of the best selling salsa albums in the history of the genre and of Latin music. The record has sold over three million copies worldwide, and all the songs on the album have been hits at one time or another in various Latin American countries. With its social commentary and unique sound, Siembra set itself apart in the salsa world, and became and remains one of the most original and impactful salsa records. The messages in the album of cultural pride, social justice and political liberation, spoke to Latinx folks living in times of intense political oppression. The songs became anthems of liberation.