A cascabel is a jingle bell, so cascabelito is the tiny jingle bell. Can’t say I hear much by the way of jingle bell percussion on Cascabelito, however it has an undeniably tropical sound. Rolling guitar riffs underscored by crisp percussive fills. For my taste, however the prize on this 45 is the B side Pistaco. Not sure if this is a spelling error, but a Pishtaco is a creature of Andean lore that feeds off of people’s fat/blood, much like a vampire. And the B side is as monstrously good as you’d hope. Starting off slow, the quickening strumming, gives way to an onslaught of percussion before Acosta rips into an almost Spanish-sounding guitar riff at a break neck pace. This gives way to a descarga style guitar riff punctuated by a call and response with the percussion section. Highly recommended.
Composed of the Chacòn brothers, Carlos and Arturo. Carlos played not only lead guitar but also led composition duties for the conjunto. Brother Arturo was also listed as author of a few tunes. I’ve sourced from Youtube videos that thier bassist was Guillermo Parra, congas, Alfredo Chavez, and on the guiro, Jose Ramos.
Regardless of who was playing the guitar, Los Tic Tac provide some of the most high-energy cumbia sounds of any conjunto I’ve heard from the era. While lacking any sonic gimmickry popular with peers such as Los Orientales (either Maximo’s or Victor’s) or the fuzz sound of Aniceto Salazar, aside from some reverb here or there the group makes up for in spades with its creative arrangements and accomplished guitar work. Sophisticated riffing, with an oft solo that reveals the natural fluidity of a master guitarist.
Here is a mix to give you a taste:
The songs are:
La Mentirosa (Liar Woman)
El Carreton (the Large Wagon)
El Dormilon (the Sleepy Head)
Cuidado Con El Toro (Careful With the Bull)
La Casposa (Freckled Woman)
La Cosecha (The Crop)
I’m currently trying to track either of the brothers down, but what I can glean from youtube comments is that Brother Carlos is in Brazil today.
UPDATE 5/23/2017: What great fortune, the blog received a comment from none other than Carlos Chacon Paredes! He is currently in Sydney, Australia. Hopefully more updates to come!