ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: Cumbia Beat, Volume 2
Spain’s Vampisoul Records is back with a second edition (of two discs, to boot) of Peruvian cumbia-psych chicha music from the 1970’s (with a handful of tracks from the late 60’s and two from the 80’s). There have been a ton of chicha reissues over the past few years, so I keep waiting for a quality dropoff that hasn’t yet happened – there’s plenty of really good and previously unreleased stuff here. One of my favorites on this set is disc 1-track 9, which has a mixture of twang and psychedelia that’s 100% chicha. 1-18 has a real 60’s garage feel; 2-16 sounds like Santana trying their hand at a Peruvian sound; and 2-5 is a lovely slower number with a beautiful vocal by Carlos Ramirez Centeno. And Juaneco Y Su Combo, the organ-driven combo from the heart of the rainforest and probably my favorite of all the chicha bands, has two excellent tracks on here, 1-4 and 2-1. Groovy!
TOP TRACKS: Disc 1: 4 9 18 Disc 2: 1 5 16
ALSO RECOMMENDED: Disc 1: 5 8 11 13 14 17 Disc 2: 2 8 13