Tuesday 20 December 2022

La Danza Del Petrolero - LOS WEMBLER'S DE IQUITOS

If you could do a basic equation of what Peruvian cumbia (aka psych cumbia) is it would be surf/fuzz/wah-wah guitars playing the melody line that in traditional Colombian cumbia would have been played by the accordion plus awesome danceable latin rhythms. Sure it's much more than that. I mean if I was an ethnomusicologist I'd be able to tell you the different types of latin rhythms utilised, their geographic origin and historical importance. Then there's Andean and Amazonian folk influences particularly in the singing style. Synthesisers increasingly play a role as the the style develops into the late 70s and 80s. There's a social and political element too but I suppose because the lyrics aren't in English that's less tangible.

Anyhow Los Wembler's original version of La Danza Del Petrolero is a totally infectious toe tapper with its very peculiar wall of rhythmic sound containing all sorts of chirps and fizzy noises bubbling away. From what I can gather the brief lyric translates as "This is the dance of the oil tanker. Where the black gold reigns" which makes sense as there was an oil boom in Peru at the time. 

The Los Mirlos cover of La Danza Del Petrolero came out a year later. The guitars are a bit more off kilter here. It's a wobbly psych cumbia journey that Los Mirlos make their own. I probably enjoy the Los Wember's maximalist rhythm more but the guitars in the Los Mirlos version are pretty noice so I guess it's like a draw. Then again if I had to pick one it would be the Los Wembler's de Iquitos original.  

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