Fiesta En La Jungla

27/04/2023Newly Formed Imprint Ritmo Del Barrio Reissues 1982 Amazonian Cumbia LP By Los Dexter's De Uchiza

Nothing lasts forever and change is a given. True, true. But some things are made to outlast the fickleness of time and carry the torch for generations to come. As its first LP release, the newly formed London-based imprint Ritmo del Barrio recently reissued the originally 1982-released psychedelic cumbia album "Fiesta en la Jungla" by Los Dexter's de Uchiza. The ten-track record is remarkable on so many levels, be it in terms of its place in the history of Peruvian cumbia or its sure-fire dancefloor authority. Though it also tells a story of perseverance and the ability to reinvent oneself in due time:

"'Fiesta en la Jungla' arrived when [Peruvian cumbia] was going through a major transition. In 1977, a passenger plane carrying most of the members of Juaneco y su Combo crashed, killing everyone on board. In 1980, Los Destellos retired, and Los Wembler’s released their tenth and final record, they were ready for a break. This left a big void in Peruvian music. Wasting no time, Los Dexter’s Emerson Ruiz Mosquera took the opportunity and gave his band new life, filling the band’s ranks with young and energetic musicians who were hungry for success," the release notes read. 

Los Dexter's de Uchiza were founded in 1970 by Emerson Ruiz Mosquera's older brother and four of his friends. By the time "Fiesta en la Jungla" dropped, the legendary formation was in its third iteration and Emerson no longer a young boy. Surrounding himself with new talent and revamping the group's sound proved fortuitous and ultimately resulted in a prime example of Amazonian cumbia that is bound to tickle the fancy of anyone even remotely interested in the genre today. Take a "healthy dose of surf guitar" and add "Amazonian dancefloor flourishes from Peru and Brazil alike" as well as "a dynamite rhythm section" and flamboyant electric organ to bolster the "powerful psychedelic sound" and you get just what the album title alludes to.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom