Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Destellos - Los Destellosdotdotdot
Los Destellos are substantially off the surf path, but occasionally I come across something that's just plain fun and would fit between a couple of island surf instros just fine. So it is with Los Destellos. Primarily very well played and recorded cumbia peruana from Peru in the sixties.
Picks: El Renegon, Que Chola Tan Rica, Guajira Sicodelica, El Chucu Chucu, La Ardillita, Hermosa Melodia, Descarga Electrica

Track by Track Review


El Renegon dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Not quite surfish guitar with bongos and other percussion delivering a very happy melody. Decidedly light weight pop rock, but with the infectiousness of salsa and/or Sergio Mendez.

Que Chola Tan Rica dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

"Que Chola Tan Rica" sports a very tropical melody line with nearly surf tone and a decidedly coastal sound. The percussion is just fine, and the infectious nature of the arrangement makes it hard to resists.

Guajira Sicodelica dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana Psych (Instrumental)

With a bit of a Byrds reference at times, "Guajira Sicodelica" moves slowly with a sinewy backtrack. Long slow glissandos and modulated guitar tone add to the psychedelic sound. Very pleasant.

La Charapita dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

"La Charapita" is more a typical salsa pop number than anything else. The melody is very playful, and the percussion quite fun, but in the end, it doesn't really call you back. It's just pretty, light, and fun.

El Chucu Chucu dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Muted dry guitar rises as a locomotive starts up. You might expect this to be a cover of The Swanks' "Ghost Train," but it quickly becomes a straightforward Latin groover with a very cool melody. "El Chucu Chucu" would make a splendid surf instro.

El Avispon dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Soft pop guitar that's very enjoyable, but quite unremarkable. It just doesn't leave a lasting impression, though it is played really well.

Recordandote dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Pop is a Mediterranean style with Latin percussion. Sensual and flirty, with some very nice phrasing, but also very pedestrian sounding. The organ reminds me of Johnny and the Hurricanes at times.

La Ardillita dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

This is too cool. OK, it's very pop, but it has some meat and some really fine playing, as well as strong production values. It is the one track that shows that the bass is an upright. Very infectious, with some really cool chord work and a very playful melody.

Hermosa Melodia dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana Surf (Instrumental)

The backtrack suggests The Ventures' "The Lonely Sea," but there the similarity ends. Light, tropical sea visuals, island whammy, and a post-storm tranquility. Very nice.

Descarga Electrica dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Very fun and bouncy, with great percussion and a simple bass line. The guitar is really well played. Utterly infectious and rhythmic.

Cuando Vaila Nadia dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

A pretty but relatively pedestrian track with wonderful percussion. The melody is very nice, but not memorable. Just a fun rack.

La Malvada dotdotdot
Cumbia Peruana (Instrumental)

Lovely two-note chords and infectious percussion open this track. The melody is pretty enough, and the imagery small village peaceful. Seems like a lot of similar tracks - not really a standout.