Latin Freestyle was a dizzying, passionate, ultra-modern music. It was the aural equivalent of a can of thirst-quenching Quatro or a Spanish Harlem dance-off, and it became the electronically constructed bridge between disco and house.
Freestyle grew out of the electro sound of the early 80s, combined clean staccato rhythms with morse code synth hooks, and topped them off with emotive, usually female, frequently Latina vocals. There was plenty more going on besides: proto-house piano lines, Cuban percussion, high emotion and synth hooks to die for.
Put together and annotated by Bob Stanley (who also compiled the acclaimed “The Daisy Age” and “Fell From The Sun”), “Latin Freestyle” is the first compilation to cover the whole gamut of Freestyle from its early 80s breakthrough to its early 90s revival. So many classics… Lisa Lisa made the UK top ten with the 808 joy of ‘I Wonder If I Take You Home’. Stacey Q’s cosmically great ‘Two Of Hearts’ came out in 1986, while 1987 saw the likes of Company B’s ‘Fascinated’ and Exposé’s ‘Point Of No Return’ become huge UK club hits.
Today, Freestyle is a scene with a solid collector’s market, and rarities like Janelle’s ‘Don’t Be Shy’ sell for hundreds of dollars. It’s a classic summer soundtrack, finally condensed in one Ace Records compilation – “Latin Freestyle”.