October 11, 2012

Cumbia Beat, Volume 2

ARTIST:  various artists 
TITLE:  Cumbia Beat, Volume 2 
LABEL:  Vampisoul
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

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