(This post was meant to happen three weeks ago, so forgive the nonsensical opening, which made perfect sense when the ground was saturated. – Lump)
Okay, one week of rain behind us…and another week of rain lies ahead. Rather than immersing myself and you, dear readers, in languid overcast vibes again, I aim to straight-up vaporize the clouds with flaming-hot HEAT from the Equatorial South. First up, we have a triumphant rascal of an album by Tito, a “progressive band” from 1977 Mexico and currently a favorite gem, mined from one of many late nights trawling YouTube. In its sub-30 minute expanse, Quetzalcoatl completely rewires my perception of Mexican music; It’s cinematic and psychedelic, tender, odd and improbably sprawling despite being a patchwork of cosmic synth vignettes. Interestingly, while drinking deep from the full album (easy and recommended), I started to notice subtly repeating themes which makes me wonder if this is a concept album of sorts. As this is the sole release from the band Tito, and the lone release on the Discos Tixbi label, and the band personnel is unclear, the story of Tito is a total mystery to me and I absolutely love it that way.
Next stop is Iquitos, the capital of the Peruvian Amazon and home to smoldering, essential Cumbia outfits Los Wembler’s de Iquitos and Ranil Y Su Conjunto Tropical. The first thing that grabs me upon seeing Los Wembler’s second album La Danza Del Petrolero is the outrageously sultry cover image. Straight out of the gate, the listener is pulled into a sweltering deluge of raw, incomparable Cumbia Amazonica. The titular first track is utterly undeniable. Thank Earth Mama that we live in a time when records like these have been uploaded to the web; they’re both so precious and scarce that *if* one were able to chance upon a copy in the wild, it’d easily cost several hundred dollars, if not more (I’d certainly be willing to skip a few dozen meals and/or a month’s rent). I know I said early on that I’d try to avoid turning these entries into an obituary, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that brothers Jairo and Emerson Sanchez, founding members of Los Wembler’s, and Ranil singer and founder Raúl Llerena Vásquez sadly passed away recently due to complications with Covid-19. Keep Peru and the whole damn global fam in your hearts and jam these artists mightily. Send them up to glory by gyrating to their music with wild abandon, just as they damn-well intended.
Tito – Quetzalcoatl (especially “Pecado y Muerte”) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcTSdRP0fEg&t=769s
Los Wembler’s de Iquitos – La Danza Del Petrolero https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D82WVRTzWQU
Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical – Las Oladas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb5u9FoCYBk