The Beginners Guide Timba is the first major compilation to comprehensively showcase the contemporary Afro-Cuban style of salsa, otherwise known as timba. Timba was born in the barrios of Havana in the early 1990s when a new generation of innovative young Cuban musicians created a sound that blended traditional Afro-Cuban dance rhythms, such as rumba and son, with the swing of New York salsa and jazz, reggae, funk, rock and hip hop.
This fresh, uniquely Cuban sound was aimed squarely at a young audience, employing much Cuban street slang of the day, and was labelled timba to distinguish it from the less musically complex salsa coming out of the U.S, Puerto Rico and Latin America. Typically, a timba line-up will include a full “rock” drum kit alongside traditional congos and bongos, melodically sung verses will lead into rapped or shouted choruses, while the songs themselves often give way to heavily percussive breaks.
Throughout the 1990s, as Cuba opened-up to the outside world, via tourism, commerce and cultural exchange, Timba’s popularity spread beyond Cuba’s borders. Today, people can be found dancing to timba in nightclubs around the world, from London to Tokyo, Sydney to New York.