Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back to Peru Vol II, Sensational Soul Vol. 2

(Vampisoul) Back to Peru Vol 2 will Lima your bean! If you are expecting the kind of straightforward garage rock or Stones covers heard from the many groups from Spanish-speaking countries compiled over the years by this fine label, adjust your brain. This is an unbelievable collection of deep psyche, surf rock, garage trash, soul, folky Monkees music, Country Rock, and anything else that appealed to the ears of Peruvian hallucinogen ingesters between '64 and '74. Every track on here sounds different and every one is super psychedelic in its own way, and every one is my favorite, so it's hard to single out any, but I'll try. Standouts include: a trippy track by Los Destellos that simulates a pot smoke haze and quotes "Volare;" Los Shain's "Gua Guau a Go-Go," a mellow garage groove with vocals by actual dogs; Jaguar, a band that sounds like the vampiric Ventures; the off kilter soul music of Los Far Fen; and a slightly twisted Lesley Gore cover by Monik.  Top it off with a thick booklet with much needed contextualizing liner notes (and amazing photos) and you have a panckage that tears the Peru-oof of the sucker! Not as consistent is the Spanish Soul/Funk comp "Sensacional Soul Vol. 2." While nothing on this groovy comp of 1965-1972 cuts (that add psyche, rock, prog and Santana-grooves to the soul mix, and features zero minstrel show black voice imitations) is ever as lazy sounding as an early 70s porn soundtrack, there's also nothing on here that could have made U.S. black radio take notice. That said, by the time disc 2 rolls around (and it's not in chronological order, disc 2 just happens to be better) you get into some deep shit, particularly Los Pekenikes super funky "Polucion," which I assume is covering the same ground as Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy me the Ecology" but sounds badder than anything on his "Troubleman" soundtrack (one can definitely imagine a nice Blaxploitation flick beatdown to this music) and the funk scat inanity of Lone Star. But if this writeup sounds lukewarm, don't take that as a deterrent...the thick booklet of informative liner notes and unbelievable photos and repros of the lurid cover art to almost every track here makes this a bargain at any price.

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