Published Dec 10, 2013By and large, the earlier works of legendary Peruvian band and jungle cumbia pioneers Juaneco Y Su Combo have remained in the hands of diehard collectors. Fortunately, the band's original compositions have finally been pried from their vinyl sleeves in the form of The Birth of Jungle Cumbia, but not without problems.
Due to the poor quality of the original vinyl, audio issues rear their ugly head in some areas. Songs like the 1971 Peru plane crash tribute "Lamento en la Selva" feature odd audio warbles that distort the band's signature flighty arrangements. By the same token, these issues give the album a historic feel that chronicles a band starting to hone their signature sound. Opening track "Caballito Nocturno" is a shining example of this, with loose guitar riffs and punchy timbale beats that heed a haunting organ score. While rough around the edges, The Birth of Jungle Cumbia is an eclectic rough draft of a genre in its early stages. (The Vital Record)