Chicha is a corn-based alcoholic drink, and chicha, the music, is Peruvian cumbia as it came to be known in the late ’70s. But it all started in the late ’60s, the era covered by this album. Unlike the genre’s usual accordion-based sound, these cumbias are all about Farfisa organs and, especially, the guitars, grooving freely among AfroCuba, surf, and psychedelic effects. Ironically, the best tracks on the album are not cumbias, but fierce descargas (Cuban jams) by the superb Manzanita y su Conjunto. If you don’t already have Volume 1, pass it up for this one instead. Thanks to inclusion of the pioneering and most influential names in the genre (Enrique Delgado’s Los Destellos and Berardo Hernández’s Manzanita y su Conjunto), Volume 2 is much better. Chances are good you’ll never hear cumbias like these anywhere else.
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