Wednesday 28 December 2022

Juaneco y Su Combo

Juaneco Su Combo were there from the start ie. the conversion of old school cumbia (of the Colombian variety) into electric Peruvian psych cumbia. There's an entire pre-history to this band but the combo we're interested in here is the one led by Noé Fachin who was "a wizard" or a "witch doctor" (depending on how good your Spanish is) of the guitar. 

Cabalito Nocturno was the opening track on their debut self-titled LP released by Peruvian label Imsa Records in 1969. Keyboards were pretty rare on early Peruvian cumbia, really only becoming prevalent when synths gained in popularity later in the 70s and into the 80s. 


This is their most famous tune featuring vocals although that lyrical guitar melody is competing with the chanting to be the star of the song. You gotta love that percussion too. It's always doing something to capture your attention. This featured on their second LP El Gran Cacique from 1972. For this record they signed to Alberto Maravi's Infopesa label. This was a successful partnership that lasted up until 1984 and yielded ten top notch LPs.  


This one is all about the rhythm. I mean it's all good, such a wonderful cumbia jam that distils the elements of the genre down to their bare essentials: great tuneful twangin' guitar, a bit of yelling/MC-ing, that infectious tropical beat...and at 2:43 you even get a breakdown which isn't all that common in 70s Peruvian cumbia. This is peak cumbia from the Amazon!

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