Song of the Day: Los Wemblers de Iquitos “Sonido Amazónico”
From their 1975 LP on Decibel entitled Amazonian Cumbia, Los Wemblers de Iquitos bring you the classic, “Sonido Amazónico”. From the second I heard Peruvian Cumbia, known simply as “Chicha,” I was hooked instantly. I grew up hearing the North American instrumental guitar hits of artists such as The Ventures, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale and Link Wray.
Chicha is a match made in heaven for any lover of beautiful melodic electric guitar, but with a gorgeous twist. The rhythms of Columbian Cumbia, transplanted to Peru, are fused with the highland Andean melodic elements of traditional Huayno music along with surf & psychadelic-rock and electrified to life in this glorious, still-thriving genre. Up to three electric guitars play intertwining melodies just like the harp and guitar do in Huayno music and it gets me on my dancing feet every time.
Los Wemblers de Iquitos are the O.G.’s of Amazonian Cumbia, practically creating the foundation of the genre with their initial early 70’s releases. Formed in 1968 and consisting of guitarist Salomón Sánchez Saavedra and his five children, the group played primarily for working class Peruvians in their home of Iquitos, the capitol of the Peruvian Amazon. In 2012, after a long hiatus, they reformed and began touring again. They are still very much active and still very potent as a band. Check them out if you can!