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Descarga Review: Notes about new releases.
Important New Titles...
BLOQUE 53 | AZUCAR NEGRA | DJ EL CHINO'S SOLAR LATIN CLUB VOL. 3 | MAYIMBE Y BARBARO FINES | DANIEL MARTIN | LA SONORA DE BARU | JOHNNY RIVERA ...and MUCH more!
BLOQUE 53
Tumba Puchunga
Bloque 53 (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA INTERNATIONAL; SPAIN
EditorsPick: Bloque 53 is back with a swinging vibes-based salsa project that will seduce you right on to the dancefloor. Get ready to be reminded why you fell in love with salsa in the first place. With this, their third release, Joaquin Arteaga and his crew, all craftsmen of clave, continue to raise the bar for Afro-Antillana dance music. Bloque 53 is part of the new generation of salsa orchestras, and have defined themselves as one of the premier dance bands to evolve over the past several years. Fortified with vibes and trombones, the band seamlessly mixes cutting edge salsa dura with the heavy swing of classic roots salsa auténtica. Singers Yadira Ferrer, Damian Alonso "el Bombon" and Freddy Ramos quickly bring their latest production to a full sizzling boil. A Big DJ Alert and Very Highly Recommended. (BP)
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AZUCAR NEGRA
...Se Acabó El Pescao!
BIS (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: SALSA/SON; TIMBA; CUBA
EditorsPick: Brand new from Leonel Limonta Massó and his timba powerhouse band Azucar Negra, the offshoot from the esteemed Bamboleo. Limonta wrote a lot of material for Bamboleo, notably their highly regarded second album Yo no me parezco a nadie ...a song that is also resurrected on this new album. Guest Tania Pantoja does more than justice to this classic, and on El Jonrón as well. Limonta, who has composed material for Charanga Habanera and Isaac Delgado, formed Azucar Negra back in 1997, and they have been a pillar of timba ever since. With additional guests coro singers Dayan Carrera and Ailyn Dayera. For timba fans worldwide, Very Highly Recommended. (BP)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
DJ El Chino's Solar Latin Club Vol. 3: Salsa Mundial
SolarLatinClub (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA INTERNATIONAL
EditorsPick: Ok, folks... a new DJ El Chino Solar Latin Club compilation just arrived, and this is very good news for those of you discerning salsa listeners out there. El Chino scours the world for the hardest, most swinging salsa jams, and on Volume 3: Salsa Mundial, he does not disappoint. In fact, this one just might be his best yet. Alex Alvear & Mango Blue, Calibre Orquesta, Tromboranga Orquesta, Latin Soul Salsa Fusion, Habana Con Kola, La Gua Gua and Quinteto Cha are just some of the amazing orchestras on this one. Every track, red hot and ready to rock the dancefloor. Very Highly Recommended. (BP)
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MAYIMBE Y BARBARO FINES
De La Habana A Perú
Cuba Music Records (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: SALSA/SON; TIMBA; CUBA
EditorsPick: Pianist and composer Barbaro Fines studied at Caturla Conservatory in Havana, and is very close with both Manolito Simonet and Juan Formell, so it's no mystery why the quality of his timba orchestra is so high. Now based in Peru, Fines has crafted an album with Van Van-esque flavor and a stong songó rhythmic bottom. Meaning, essentially, a first-class timba dance club experience. Packed with excitement-building piano preludes to high-voltage compositions -- all written and arranged by Fines -- De La Habana a Perú is a welcome addition to the collection of premium timba. Highly Recommended. (BP)
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DANIEL MARTIN
Cuba All Stars: La Historia 2003-11
DMK / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: POP/OTHER; POP LATIN; CUBA
EditorsPick: Cuban singer and bandleader Daniel Martin's latest release presents a wide range of pop styles, with flavors of urban Cubatón, balada, funk, salsa, Afro-conga, rock and more. It's well produced and features an interesting mix of special guests ranging from Teresa García Caturla to César López (Irakere), members of Buena Vista Social Club, Camerata Romeu, Osmani García and others. Martin is after the international market, and while most of the album is in Spanish, there are bonus tracks in English as well. Recommended. (BP)
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LA SONORA DE BARU
Homenaje A Un Grande - Jhon Dee
Global/Fuentes (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2008
Category: SPECIAL INTEREST; XMAS; COLOMBIA
EditorsPick: Formed in 2008, La Sonora De Baru's mission is to pay tribute to the gran ídolo de la música tropical, Rodolfo Aicardi. Jhon Dee is the fresh young voice that gives volumes of new life and vitality to this traditional, rhythmic, trumpet-packed Colombian cumbia. Some of the best cumbia I have heard in quite awhile. This music is highly charged and totally fresh. Highly Recommended. (BP)
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JOHNNY RIVERA
El Noble De La Salsa
Lluvia Music Group/Selecto-O-Hits / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA
EditorsPick: Mr. Rivera's new project is further evidence that salsa romántica can be a very strong force on the dancefloor. Rivera's band is comprised of top players from both New York and Puerto Rico. There's conguero Sammy García, timbalero Pablo Padin, bongocero Carmelo Álvarez and co-producer Carlos Martínez on piano. Certainly one of the best gems here is Cosas de Mi Tierra, a típico salsa-guajira number composed by Tommy Sánchez, that features guests Luis Perico Ortiz, Nino Segarra, Rubén Rodríguez, Richie Bastar and others. It's a beauty. (BP)
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JOHNNY ALBINO
Historia Musical, 40 Éxitos 2-CD Set
Fuentes (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2003
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA; PUERTO RICO
EditorsPick: 40 beautful boleros are packed onto this 2-disk set by Johnny Albino y Su Trio San Juan. With "Historia De Un Amor," "El Último Beso," "Coincidencia," "María Dolores" and a ton more... (BP)
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OSCAR CASTRO NEVES
Live At Blue Note Tokyo
Zoho / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: LATIN JAZZ; LATIN JAZZ; BRAZIL
EditorsPick: "This project, Live at Blue Note Tokyo, is endearing to my heart for several reasons: first – it was done in Tokyo. Japan is a land that never ceases to mesmerize and educate me with its culture, its history, and its people. There is, I feel, a strong connection between Japanese and Brazilian melodies, and I believe that part of this connection is the embedded emotion that both convey. Second- this CD is the result of our performances at the Blue Note Tokyo, home of the highest quality music and one of the best jazz clubs in the world, a universal icon. Third- it brings together old and new friendships. Airto Moreira and Leila Pinheiro, artistic giants, who have been my good friends and musical partners for many years..." - Oscar Castro-Neves
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JOSÉ MIGUEL CLASS
Tus Reliquias
Petty Discos/DG / CD
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA; PUERTO RICO
EditorsPick: Vintage boleros, vals, rancheros and pasodobles from Puerto Rico. With "Tus Reliquias," "Celos Sin Motivos," "Te Conoci" and much more. (BP)
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FRUKO Y SUS TESOS
Fruko Tropical
Global/Fuentes (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2008
Category: CUMBIA/VALLENATO; CUMBIA/VALLENATO; COLOMBIA
EditorsPick: Here's a cumbia-packed 2008 release by Fruko. With "Brisa De Diciembre," "Al Compás De Las Polleras," "Algo Se Me Va" and more. (BP)
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JUAN LEGIDO
En Puerto Rico
Riney/DG / CD
Originally released: 1966
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA; SPAIN
EditorsPick: Vintage boleros featuring the songs "Te Quiero Porque Te Quiero," "Bajo Mi Cielo Andaluz," "Luna De España" and more. (BP)
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BENNY MARRERO
El Inmortal Benny Marrero Y Los Panamericanos
Type/DG / CD
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA; PUERTO RICO
EditorsPick: Vintage boleros, vals, merengue and guaracha from Puerto Rico. With "Tus Reliquias," "Dulce Amada Mia," "La Cuica" and much more. (BP)
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GABINO PAMPINI
Salsa Romántica A Mi Manera
Fuentes (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2007
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA COLOMBIA
EditorsPick: Back in stock! This is Pampini's first new release in quite a few years. The Panamanian singer has been living and working in Colombia for some time and has quite a loyal following who are attracted to his straight-ahead, no-nonsense, sonero style. On this release he shows his slightly more romantic side with tracks like "A Mi Manera" ("My Way"), "Esa Mujer," "Mi Segunda Tierra" and others. There are original tracks penned by Mr. Pampini as well as material by Manuel Alejandro, Joan Sebastian, Juan Gabriel and even a salsa version of Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." With Jaime Galé on percussion, Pablo Grajales on piano, Andréa Aguirre and Carlos Mora on bass, and many others. (BP)
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EL TRIO REYNOSO
Autenticos Merengues Dominicanos... Vol. 3
Petty Discos/DG / CD
Originally released: 2008
Category: MERENGUE/BACHATA; MERENGUE; PUERTO RICO
EditorsPick: Vintage merengues from Trio Reynoso. With "De Que Es Que Priva Dolores," "Las Flores," "El Sinverguenza" and much more. (BP)
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BENNY SANCHEZ Y SUS GUITARRAS
Que Estas Haciendo De Mi
Petty Discos/DG / CD
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA; PUERTO RICO
EditorsPick: Vintage boleros, pasillos, rancheras and guaracha from Puerto Rico. With "Romance De Mi Destino," "Imposible Amor," "Muchachita" and much more. (BP)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
DJ El Chino Presenta Los Dinosaurios Vol. 2: Salsa & Mambos Underground
SolarLatinClub (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA
EditorsPick: Back in stock! DJ EL Chino is at it again, tirelessly scouring the Earth for that impossible to find guaguanco, mambo or salsa track. El Chino never ceases to amaze us with both his persistence and his knowledge of rare and incredible dance tracks by obscure bands. On Los Dinosaurios Vol. 2, he's unearthed material by Rafael Mancedo y Su Combo Dominicano, Caballo y Su Conjunto, Conjunto Century, Sabotaje, Itty Torres y su Orquesta Sabor Latino, Moscovia and many others. A pure delight. Just when you thought that there just couldn't be more, El Chino shows up with a new trove of must-have tracks. A collector's pot of gold. Killer stuff, and Very Highly Recommended.

DJ El Chino nos sorprende nuevo con su ultima compilación de excelentes temas dedicados a la salsa de los años 70’ y 80’. Después de su fabulosa selección de su compilación LOS DINOSAURIOS VOL. 1, esta vez nos sorprende de nuevo con LOS DINOSAURIOS VOL. 2 donde nos encontraremos con 23 temas en los que recordaremos las buenas Orquestas de estas décadas (Montunos, Guaguancó y Mambos). Felicitaciones DJ CHINO por el excelente trabajo de difusión de la salsa y colocarnos en nuestras manos estos temas en formato original. - DJ Tabasalsa (Julian Tabares)
(BP)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
Fania: Recuerdos Románticos, Vol. 1
Universal/Vene Music / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA
EditorsPick: Nice 13 track compilation of romantic material from the vaults of Fania. Features La Lupe, Impacto Crea, Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz, Ismael Miranda, Lebron Brothers, Hector Lavoe, Santitos Colón, Cheo Feliciano and more. (BP)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
Fania: Recuerdos Románticos, Vol. 2
Universal/Vene Music / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: BOLERO; BOLERO / BALADA
EditorsPick: Nice 13 track compilation of romantic material from the vaults of Fania. Features Ismael Miranda, Lebron Brothers, Hector Lavoe, Santitos Colón, Vitin Aviles, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, Justo Betancourt, Cheo Feliciano and more. (BP)
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RECENT TOP PICKS...

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Subway Salsa: The Montuno Records Story 2-CD Set (plus 29 Page Booklet)
Vampi Soul (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA: CLASSIC 1960s or 1970s NEW YORK
EditorsPick: The shop Record Mart, one of Latin New York's most important historic musical landmarks, served as the home base for Montuno Records, a small but important independent label started by proprietor Jesse Moskowitz in the 1970s. This collection samples the recordings from Montuno's catalogue that exemplify danceable Afro-Antillean music, from Nuyorican salsa to Haitian compas, Latin jazz to traditional Cuban genres as well as several interesting hybrids incorporating funk, doo wop and Brazilian sounds. Includes tracks by key artists such as Airto Moreira, Manny Oquendo y Libre, Son de La Loma, Totico y sus Rumberos, Lou Pérez. Comprehensive liner notes by Pablo Yglesias aka DJ Bongohead, including an in-depth interview with Jesse Moskowitz, plus original LP artwork and many unseen pictures. (Very Highly Recommended) (label)
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CHICO ALVAREZ
El Montunero: Country Roots/Urban Masters - With the Palomónte Afro-Cuban Big Band
Mafimba / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: SALSA/SON; SON, GUARACHA, GUAJIRA
EditorsPick:
(Featuring Edy Martinez, Ruben Rodriguez, Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, Luis Mangual Jr., Johnny Rodriguez, Mauricio Smith Jr., Oscar Hernandez, Sergio Rivera, Eddie “Guagua” Rivera and many others!)

The big band sounds of Machito, José Curbelo, Count Basie, Tito Puente, Tito Rodríguez and many others were as natural to New Yorkers as the unrelenting noise of the subway.
So, what would you think if I told you that there is someone currently in the process of discarding the safety of the small combo for the uncertainty of a big band? In fact, there is already someone who has successfully completed the dreaded transition. He is a well-known New York radio personality, the vocalist and bandleader Ernesto "Chico" Alvarez...
Palomonte's repertoire includes original tunes and cover versions of recognizable hits of the past updated, in modern arrangements, to reflect today's popular styles. The group's sound is undoubtedly that of a big band that includes a five horn brass section, four reeds, piano, bass, drum set and a full Latin percussion detail with Chico on lead vocals - all of it under the masterful musical direction of the highly regarded Colombian pianist Edy Martinez. Call it salsa or són, Chico and his whole crew have well absorbed the Afro-Cuban idioms and have produced an album's worth of fine dance music that never loses its true essence... With the release of this album, Chico has finally gotten the sound of his big band captured. The album charts are definitely designed as music for the dancing crowd... (Very Highly Recommended)
(Gabe Romero)
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ORQUESTA MAYÓMBE
Con El Ritmo Del Tambó (Vinyl LP)
Palo / VINYL LP
Originally released: 1981
Category: SALSA/SON; SON, GUARACHA, GUAJIRA
EditorsPick: Extremely rare and hard to find vinyl LP that was NEVER released on CD! We got our hands on some of these LPS: brand new, sealed, ORIGINAL PRESSINGS from 1981. Very strong guaguanco, montuno, guaracha, and rumba that features very heavy hitters like Orestes Vilato, Oscar Hernandez, Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros, Jose Mangual Jr., Mauricio Smith, Felo Barrio, Ronnie Baro, Hector Torres and others. Lead singer, Chico Alvarez! Collectors and DJ Alert. Quantities are limited, so order now. (BP)

El Tambor. Desde los bohios y barracones de esclavos....desde los famosos solares habaneros....hasta los teatros y salones mas lujosos del mundo, la historia del ritmo cubano siempre estuvo ligada a la de su creador....el negro!
El Tambor. En 1936, se escucharon por primera vez los tambores batá fuera de los templos religiosos. Una decada despues, repicaban sus cueros juno a una orquesta sinfónica en la cuidad de Paris. Al mismo tiempo, la sonoridad del tambor de barril, o tumba, interpretada por el pionero afrocubano Chano Pozo, recorria por los pueblos de America, y, por mediación del músico afroamericano Dizzy Gillespie, se dio a conocer como conga drum. Se le llamo asi erroneamente, pues se utilizaba la palabra conga para denominar el ritmo afrocubano comparsa, que el turista americano llego a conocer como the konga (la conga) y se identifico con el artista de television Desi Arnaz.
El Tambor. Objecto de veneración y culto, interprete de nuestras deidades africanas, perseguido por las autoridades racistas, los golpes de sus parches han narrado el dificil camino del negro en nuestros tiempos. Hoy dia, el tambor goza de una inmensa popularidad. Esto se debe mucho a la imigración en los ultimos 30 años de varios grupos de la región del Caribe, particularmente de Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti y Republica Dominicana.
El Tambor. Rey de nuestros insrumentes musicales....desde el antiguo son al mozanbique, de la rumba de solar al guaguancó....hasta lo que actualmente llamamos salsa, el tambor repite la sasbrosura de su tumbao inigualable...escucha! Tambo Djuka....Tambo Batá....Tambo de Fundamento. Tamb Aratá....'cucha el eco del tambo!
(liners)
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ISRAEL "CACHAO" LOPEZ
Cuban Jam Sessions in Miniature "Descargas"
Vampi Soul (original import) / CD
Category: DANCE TRADITIONS; DESCARGAS/MAMBO; CUBA
EditorsPick: (With bonus tracks!) The roots of modern salsa can effectively be traced to these 1950s jam sessions. Of course, there are many other parts to those roots, but the vernacular created here is the pool from which much has been, and continues to be, borrowed. Hard to beat this CD.

"The master of the bass leads an all-star lineup in one of the most swinging records in the history of Latin music. Tata Güines laying down his funky tumbao, 'Yeyo' Iglesias popping the bongoes, 'El Negro' Vivar (my favorite trumpet player) wailing away, 'Peruchin' Justiz digging into the piano--not to mention the great Cachao himself locking it all into place. 'Fuhgeddaboudit' (as we say in New York) - anyone who doesn't feel like dancing when 'Cógele El Golpe' kicks in, has got either ice water in their veins, or wouldn't know a bongo from a banjo--even if they were hit over the head with it." (Henry Fiol)
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NG LA BANDA
Mis 22 Años: 2-CD Set
Egrem (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2011
Category: SALSA/SON; TIMBA; CUBA
EditorsPick: All I can say is ....WHOA!!! This one, folks, might very well be the timba release of the decade. In-friggin-sane!!. Ok, let me list just some of the special guests: Lázaro Valdez, Juan Formel, César "Pupi" Pedroso, Pedro Calvo, Giraldo Piloto, Changuito, Ignacio Rubén Cervantes "El Chispa," Elito Revé, Adalberto Alvarez, David Calzado, Alain Daniel, Angelito Bonne, Haila Mompie, Alexander Abreu, Roberto Hernández "Robertón", Ricardo Amaray, Mayito Rivera, Columbia Del Puerto, Cristian Alonso, Rey Alonso, Moises Valles "Yumuri", Rafaelito Ley, Lázaro Dagoberto, Chucho Valdés, Vania Borges, Osdalgia Lesmes, Ricardo Leyva... and more! Is this, like, the entire royal family of timba in Cuba? If not, it's pretty darn close. Super Very Highly Recommended. (BP)
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
Nu Yorica Roots: The Rise Of Latin Music In New York City In The 1960s
Soul Jazz Records (original import) / CD
Originally released: 2000
Category: SALSA/SON; SALSA: CLASSIC 1960s or 1970s NEW YORK
EditorsPick: New edition of long-out-of-print Soul Jazz bomb of non-stop killer 60s Latin! Comes with extensive sleeve notes charting the rise of Latin music in New York in the 1960s and wicked photographs and artwork of Izzy Sanabria, New York Latin's graphic design genius. The first CD copies come with limited edition 4 postcard exact reproduction poster set.
Nu Yorica Roots! is the third release in Soul Jazz Records Nu Yorica! series and focuses on New York Latin music in the 1960s. Featuring dancefloor classics such as Tito Puente's 'Oye Coma Va' and Joe Cuba's 'I'll Never Go Back To Georgia' through to the original Afro-Cuban sounds of Machito and Mongo Santamaria alongside the experimentalism of Eddie Palmieri's 'My Spiritual Indian' and Ray Baretto's 'Acid', Nu Yorica Roots! covers all aspects of Latin music. Mixing elements of Latin, funk, R'n'B and jazz in equal doses the sound of Latin music in the 1960s that grew out of Spanish Harlem signalled the arrival of a new style of music as much influenced by the sound of black America as by its Cuban roots. The album contains many classic, as well as rare, tracks from all the masters of Latin music such as Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Machito, Ray Barretto, Joe Bataan etc. as well as unknown gems... (label)
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ALEXIS Y SU SABOR HABANERO
Mi Tumbao
Lubrillante Record / CD
Originally released: 2012
Category: SALSA/SON; TIMBA; CUBA
EditorsPick: Su carrera musical comienza en 1993 con el grupo Son y Salsa, al poco tiempo pasa a formar parte de la orquesta La Monumental. Alexis tuvo un historial largo antes de decidirse a formar su propio grupo musica. Aquí pueden ver parte de su historial: Grupo Son o Salsa, La Monumental, Juan Carlos Alfonso y su Dan Den, Enrique Alvarez y Charanga Latina, LM Sobredosis, Denis y su Swing, Hermanos Morenos, Chico Alvarez, Raulin Rosendo, Tropicana all stars, Lisandro y su Tratado, entre otros. Alexis Llerena crea su propia agrupación en el 2009 y ahora esta apunto de lanzar su primera producción musical con un sonido muy peculiar para los amantes de la música Cubana. Alexis viene de haber tocado en orquestas como Dan Den, Cubanoson y otros grupos radicados en Nueva York. Su música esta echa para el bailador, con una cadencia irresistible que te hará mover los pies sin parar. (label)
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