Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Belkings - Instrumental Waves (1966-1973)dotdotdotdot
artworkPeru's Los Belkings first came to my attention on the amazing Sons Of Yma compilation. Their music is not really surf, though there are elements here and some very surfable melodies. they were more like the Ventures of Peru, influenced by the Shadows and psychedelic fuzz. My only disappointment here is the omission of "Empujando Fuerte" from the tracklist.
Picks: Sabata, Atajame, Tal Como Tu Eres, Sabot Dulce, Crisol, Umbral De Amor, Okinawa 2000, Phi Fenomeno, Condenado A Muerte, Llora Como Un Bebe, Septima Patrulla, La Playa, Musica Para Las Flores, Corazon De Bronce, Sentimentos, Familia, Tema Para Jovenes Enamorados, Bolido De Fuego, Oriundo Capitan, Popeye El Lenador, Sinfonia Para Una Manana, Let Me, Illusionate Chica, Triste Soledad, Charly

Track by Track Review

Sabata dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Based on an intriguing circular guitar riff that's in sync with the bass and drums, "Sabata" uses a horn section out front to create a Latin jazz edge over this rock instro. Recorded towards the end of Los Belkings' life in 1973, it shows off pulsing psych influences pegged by the looming disco storm on the horizon.

Atajame dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

With extra long reverb on the drum kit behind the bongos in the break, "Atajame" pulses with heavy psych calling to the beginning of the seventies. Not unlike what was emerging on the Continent in some ways, the track wanders between hypnotics and thunder.

Tal Como Tu Eres dotdotdot
Pop-Psych (Instrumental)

This is almost bouncy, with remnants of surf over a pulsing pop psych backtrack. Slightly reminiscent of "What Have I Got Of My Own," and featuring a female voice right out of the Star Trek generation. "Tal Como Tu Eres" adds wah wah guitar to the soup, finalizing the pop-psych dream.

Sabot Dulce dotdotdot
Floating Guitar Romance (Instrumental)

"Sabot Dulce" employs stereo delayed guitar to create a haunting romantic air in this mid tempo, almost MOR song. While quite pretty, it straddles the line between elevator and soft rock effectively. It's the kind of song you might want to dislike, but can't.

Crisol dotdotdot
Lite Rock (Instrumental)

"Crisol" is a lite rock song played on modulated guitar over a middle of the road bed. The drums and percussion keep it from being solely MOR, and that keeps it interesting. The haunted vibes are really quite cool!

Umbral De Amor dotdotdot
Lite Rock (Instrumental)

A simple circular guitar line introduces this song, which features a post-surf melody riff. The addition of strings is a little disarming, giving it a sound like a blend of Percy Faith and the Ventures.

Okinawa 2000 dotdotdot
Eleki (Instrumental)

Very much in the Ventures' mold, "Okinawa 2000" is from 1973 (not 2000). Almost eleki twang and great drums drive this catchy song. The break makes use of wah wah in a gimmicky way, but otherwise, this is a cool song, and bound to catch eleki or Ventures fans' ear.

Phi Fenomeno dotdotdotdot
Backwards Psych (Instrumental)

Yup, where others dared to use a single backwards track in their mixdown, Los Belkings reversed the entire track. When reversed, it turns out to be a stereo version of "Septima Patrulla," which appears on the wonderful Sons of Yma comp. This is a much heavier track than others here, at least in parts. It sports a Euro lead guitar tone, and also uses heavy garage fuzz. The drums are splendid and the melody solid, with plenty of oomph in the delivery.

Condenado A Muerte dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti (Instrumental)

A touch of the spaghetti western mystic and melody sadness, bumped with a little fuzz and great drums. "Condenado A Muerte" is a very cool track that deserves a full surf treatment. The melody is compelling, and the backtrack on the heavy side.

Llora Como Un Bebe dotdotdotdot
Pop-Psych (Instrumental)

With a bit of faux sitar guitar effects and a slightly swirly psychedelic sound, "Llora Como Un Bebe" is a compelling semi-soft instro with a durable riff and drama. It's 1968 after all!

Septima Patrulla dotdotdotdot
Euro Garage Fuzz (Instrumental)

This is a much heavier track than others here, at least in parts. It sports a Euro lead guitar tone, and also uses heavy garage fuzz. The drums are splendid and the melody solid, with plenty of oomph in the delivery.

La Playa dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool post surf instro with a coastal sound and very surfable melody riff that calls to a Mexican surfari, or maybe an island adventure via the bottleneck guitar lines. Quite nice!

Musica Para Las Flores dotdotdot
Lite Rock (Instrumental)

Echoed guitar a la the Classics IV with strings. "Musica Para Las Flores" is a lite rock song that's kinda cool, yet not really memorable.

Corazon De Bronce dotdotdotdot
Pop-Fuzz (Instrumental)

Experimenting with pop fuzz, Los Belkings create an interesting track with a simple and somewhat heavy guitar line. "Corazon De Bronce" almost lumbers like off the beaten path psych instros did back in '69.

Sentimentos dotdotdotdot
Psych Fuzz (Instrumental)

Well now, this sure is cool! A subtle psychedelic warble fuzz guitar plays a decidedly 1969 line over the kind of track the Electric Prunes might have dallied with. If you like this genre at all, you'll find that "Sentimentos" grows on you. Towards the end, the vibes come in, just before the same psychedelic swirling keyboard they used in "Empujando Fuerte." Excellent!

Familia dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

"Familia" is a poppy lite rock journey with horns and interesting guitar work. Too close to pop for me, yet strangely attractive.

Tema Para Jovenes Enamorados dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

This Brian Welch song from 1967 is more Euro than the rest here, showing off the influence the Shadows had in Peru. "Theme For Young Lovers" is much better to my ears here than ion the original form.

Bolido De Fuego dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

On the swirly side of the pop-psych aisle, with a melody that's like a blend of Paul Johnson's "Tally Ho," "Andele," and "Lanky Bones." While it doesn't sport a surf sound, or even the South Bay sound, it does nonetheless call to the curl. A splendid track!

Oriundo Capitan dotdotdotdot
Country Near Surf (Instrumental)

What a cool track this is. The circular cowboy riff in the intro captures you, while the restrained fuzz melody adds a mysterious edge. Add to this, some sparkling surf chords, and you have a quirky, friendly, and very endearing track. "Oriundo Capitan" is just plain cool!

Popeye El Lenador dotdotdot
Pop-Psych (Instrumental)

Like some kind of strangely cool "Brandy" based instro, "Popeye El Lenador" is playful and unusual, with fuzz and vibes and pulsing piano. Psychedelic pop with a lite touch. It's the wah wah that ends up cementing comparisons to late period Quicksilver and "Riders On the Storm." Cool.

Sinfonia Para Una Manana dotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

"Sinfonia Para Una Manana" is lite-pop with exotic percussion, vibes and piano, and long psych fuzz guitar gently floating above the fray.

Let Me dotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

Thick almost Davie Allan fuzz rocks this sub-biker instro through a melange of B-movie scenes. While not quite as stylish and inspired as King Fuzz, "Let Me" is nonetheless a solid approximation of the real thing.

Illusionate Chica dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

With echoed guitar a la the Shadows and a surfable almost tango melody, "Illusionate Chica" is not far from the On The Move album sound of the Challengers. It's a very serviceable song with surfable credentials and a catchy melody that rides above an almost military beat.

Triste Soledad dotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

This 1970 instro is very poppy, even including horns and strings. The melody is very pretty, but the arrangement more or less forgettable.

Charly dotdot
Pop Fuzz (Instrumental)

Fuzz, horns, and filmscore ethics. Some of the guitar lines are interesting, and the flute is a nice touch too.