El Apagon (The Blackout) starts out with a nice descending riff before the band explodes in a catchy wah-wah driven melody. The song has a nice breakdown in the middle before re-invoking its main theme. The song’s title is also of historical interest, I can’t be sure if it’s referring to blackouts caused by weak power infrastructure, earthquakes, or by roving bands of Sendero Luminoso rebels, of which one tactic of theirs was to destroy power infrastructure. The B-side Pa’ Oriente Me Voy is a very nice tune, with some swept fuzz guitar lines recalling a western film, until the fire melody begins to pulsate against the sharp congas. Highly recommended.
Month: September 2016
Los Atomos De Paramonga – Cumbia Arabe/Paseando Con Ella
Los Atomos (not to be confused with the Chilean band of the same name), one of a few bands to emerge with record deals from the musically vibrant north-of-Lima coastal town of Paramonga, Peru. The A-side is what you might call an innovative cumbia, others perhaps when it was released it called it a novelty and might help explain why this is a fairly rare cut. Cumbia Arabe attempts to meld traditional dark sounding minor key scales from the Middle East (North Africa?) into the Peruvian Cumbia paradigm. To my ears it works very well, and is recommended. I’m not sure if it’s my pressing or if it was intended, but it sounds woozy and wasted. The B-side is a more upbeat number, more run-of-the-mill, but good nonetheless. It has some nice guitar work and makes this a “file” worthy disc to add to your collection.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – Otra Noche Mas/Guajira Enamorada
Judging by the amount of times I’ve seen this disc, this one must have sold well. The A side is a nice upbeat cumbia with some arpeggios and a little stop-and-go rhythmic work to really profile Aniceto’s adept playing. The staccato intro of the B side gives way to some fuzzed out climbing percussion-underscored riff that, to these ears, is very enjoyable. Things get better at the outro when Aniceto gives us one of his better recorded guitar freakouts, and I’m only saddened that this fades out as soon as it does as you can tell he was really letting loose. Yet again, I find myself returning to the B side more often than Otra Noche Mas. This disc is not too hard to find and is definitely recommended for the great B side (A side is not bad, just not outstanding).
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – Los Fabulosos En Onda/Amor Sayanero
It’s around this time on the later DINSA releases that I find Aniceto is really coming into his own and has found his sound.Perhaps my favorite of all the 45s I’ve heard of AYSF, En Onda (Guajira Pop), starts out with a nice relaxed distorted fuzz tone over a lumbering rhythm section. The song alternates its riff across octaves with some nice flourishes here and there but the vibe is over all relaxing. That is until the bridge around the 2:40 mark where in typical fashion Aniceto lets loose and begins to shred until this fades out. Great stuff. The party continues on the B side with a very upbeat and spirited cumbia, one of only a handful of Aniceto discs that the A side has stood the test of time. Amor Sayanero isn’t bad, but En Onda is what you’re after.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – La Miel De Tu Labios/Viajando a Dedo
A lumbering slowly evolving song, La Miel De Tu Labios (listed as a Guaracha), has a nice rhythm section and nicely captures the percussive and at times staccato playing that Aniceto exceeds at. The catchier of the two songs lies in the B side “hitch hiking” (listed as a Guajira) a rapid number with a catchy theme and exemplifies all the best qualities of Los Fabulosos and Aniceto as he goes off on an extended solo excursion. This seems to be a rarer disc. Highly Recommended
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – El Ensarte/Cumbia De Machahuay
A Disco Ramirez release this disc includes one of Aniceto’s first penned tunes El Ensarte which, to some extent, showcases what would be his standardized formula for song writing: have a main theme or head, then solo a bit, while the rhythm section remains pinned to the beat, repeat as needed. It’s a solid start to a very entertaining career for the artist. The B side here is a cover listed as penned by Luis Pizarro Cerron (a major artist in the Huayno genre) and is a nice authentically and uniquely Peruvian cumbia of which the main theme easily places you in the Andes if you’ll only close your eyes.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – El Espeso/La Sayanera
El Espeso starts out routine enough, but at about the 1 minute mark Aniceto begins the guitar fireworks which make this a really nice track. Like so many of his other cuts however, the B side is the better song, La Sayanera switches between palm muted guitar riffs climbing triads and all across the fret board to create a very nice tune that is varied and remains interesting. Recommended.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – La Movedora/ Cholita Llorona
An energetic wah-wah effect flavored song, La Movedora, as the name implies will definitely get a dance floor moving. Around the 2 minute mark things get extra nice when the bass drops a nice line, to which Aniceto begins to solo a bit over before the group triumphantly congeals for the main theme one last time. The gem on this disc however is the B side Cholita Llorona which again makes effective use of the wah pedal. This minor-key song has a bit more interesting guitar work that really shows Aniceto’s ability to play with the quickness it also allows him to solo a bit which is always nice from this talented guitarist. This is a relatively easy to find (and inexpensive disc) which I’d recommend picking up.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – Carmelita/Negrita Mia
Beginning out with an almost “hit-the-road-jack” intro the song builds to it’s actual theme which invokes Andean scales and rings of a Peruvian cumbia in perhaps the truest embodiment. This makes sense, as it is one of the first (only?) releases Aniceto cut for Infopesa after Alberto Maravi moved his artists he had signed to DINSA to his new label (Infopesa focused primarily on indigenous sounds). Negrita Mia is a vocal tune, if you’re a purest for instrumental cumbias like me, this will detract from the desirability of this 45, and again I think this may have something to do with the change over to Infopesa. It’s not a bad song, and has some nice guitar work, but is not personally what I’m after.
Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos – Concierto Fabuloso/Morena Y Rebelde
A 60’s -invoking chorus of “ahhhs” and “oohhhs” starts out this rather weak cut which then proceeds to an oft repeated lack luster guitar riff over precussion before hitting on a guitar breakdown only to have the cycle repeat back with the “ahhs.” The B sides Morena Y Rebelde (Morena and rebellious!) is definitely a breath of fresh air after the A side’s twee monotony, however Aniceto has cut better 45s.