|Singer Lucho Carrillo and guitar player Fernando Diaz Loli|
Cumbia All Stars came to Berlin after several performances starting with their concert at the World Music Expo in Cardiff (UK) representing Peru. Artists from around the world like Sidi Touré from Mali , Les Tambours de Brazza from Congo or the famous Van Van from Cuba were also there.
Sitting at the same table (shortly before their concert) I was honored to see the musicians who played in bands like Compay Quinto, Los Destellos, Los Diablos Rojos or Los Beta 5 : the founders of Peruvian Cumbia, now known by various nicknames, including "Psychedelic Cumbia" or what I like most "Cumbia Beat".
Lucho Carrillo (who answered my questions) was for four decades the lead singer of Los Diablos Rojos, with whom he toured through the country. Under the direction of Marino Valencia he recorded ten Lps : "Our cumbia was aguarachadita" he told me confident , "we had our own style, Los Destellos their own style too, you recognized our sound immediately, not like the groups from now sounding similar to each other "
GUITARS IN THE ORBIT !
Asking about their European tour he told me that in the peruvian carp of WOMEX they initially had trouble checking the sound. But then people, their audience, surrendered completely dancing to the hot music that they carry in their drums, guitars and blood.
In addition to be excellent musicians, Cumbia All Stars are perfectionists of sound and proudly want to leave a mark on the European public. Their concert is like opening the door of their homes and like letting you into their world, a world in which sympathy and joy of life make you spend an unforgettable night .
"Thanks to Selvámonos, because of them we are here. They wanted us to play the authentic, original Peruvian cumbia. At the beginning they casted about twenty musicians, but now only eight stayed." As he said it, I saw them eating. It was clear that they fitted together very well.
At the concert in Glashaus Fernando Diaz Loli started playing his stratocaster, making his “solo” with his teeths in the style of rock and roll! Or Manuel Pecho, coming out of the shadows to do a bass solo , starting with deep to the higher notes!
What defines Peruvian Cumbia as music style? " Electric guitars! " answered Enrique Yllescas, "We added effects like Fuzz and Wah Wah " remarked Lucho "And Los Pakines used the Tape Echo" ( predecessor of Delay) - added Enrique again.
"And how this reinterpretation of cumbia was accepted in Colombia, these new sounds from Perú? I asked with curiosity : "Well” - Lucho Carrillo told me - “years ago, I was invited to Bucaramanga in Colombia, and when I arrived they had closed several streets of the city. It was a tremendous party in the whole city. They had put together a huge sound system. More than three blocks of people dancing in the street and they were dancing Peruvian cumbia! The DJs put Los Destellos, then my group Los Diablos Rojos... Everything! I had stayed 15 years living in Colombia, but fate brought me here, to Europe, to be the voice of Cumbia All Stars."
"After Berlin, when we will return to Perú, we will complete our recordings of the first album with the band, we´ll gonna finish the mixing and mastering" concluded Lucho Carrillo.
Jose Rodriguez "El Gato", manager of the 2013 European tour, told me that the album will be officially launched on January 3rd in Lima. He also said that they are working with La Gris Films, for the realization of the next video clip, which will be released about March 2014.
My thanks to Selvámonos team, especially José Rodríguez and Juliette Boggio and Lakino.
Ricardo Garcia, Sótano Beat correspondent from Berlín.