Speed Merengue

Email received:

Hello, I came across your speed merengue version of ‘Barcelona Nights’ and was intrigued by this new form of merengue. I understand you coined the term. I have seen many people using it recently. Is it a new trend?

I write about music scenes for the Guardian and would like to write about this.

Do you plan to make any more speed merengue?

No, not exactly a new trend. The email is signed John McDonnell, who does appear to write for the Guardian. Barcelona Nights, the Speed-Merengue version was released on the Rumba Collection in 1997. (((click on the link and then the green triangle to hear the song)))

When I discovered this type of very fast Merengue in the Summer of 1996, while playing guitar on Nestor Torres’ album Burning Whispers in Miami, this trend was likely already a few years old. That type of fast Merengue has interesting similarities to Drum ‘n’ Bass… double-time drums + half-time bass.