Close

Los Wembler’s de Iquitos

Peru

The psychedelic sound of Cumbia Amazonica

There’s nowhere on earthquitelike Iquitos. The capital of the Peruvian Amazon, it’s home to half a million citizens and yet the nearest road is six days away by boat. But, despite this extraordinary isolation, the late ’60s cultural revolutionmanaged to reachthis outpost –namely when the five Sanchez brothers plugged in electric guitars and formed a band. The music they came up with was like no other. Taking the psychedelic sound that wasdominating airwaves in the West, they fused it with local styles, most notably cumbia, to create their own genre: Cumbia Amazonica. More than 50 years on, it still sounds undeniablygroovy, a steamy, swampysoundfired along by distorted guitar that carries distinct echoes of Dick Dale’s surf-rock. When the world turned less psychedelic, up in Iquitos, Los Wemblers didn’t change a thing and the original line-upremains intact, as bass player Emersonpoints out. “We still haven’t gone to the other side…”