Various Gozalo! Bugalu Tropical

Bugalu/boogaloo’s brief lifespan as a soul-infused dance craze lasted just over two years in its birthplace of New York City during 1966 to ’68. This garage-y, low-down music has always had cult followings around the world and it has remained popular in Colombia. But Peru? Who knew? This collection, which spans from 1966 to ’69, may be the best boogaloo set ever assembled. This style comes out of the mambo tradition and is not as directly influenced by the soulful sounds of Harlem, but these bands display phenomenal chops, pop sensibilities and a predilection to jazz vamping. In some ways, the music on Gozalo! is an update of Cubop for a late ’60s dance floor, with a touch of British Invasion influence thrown in. Also notable is the use of electric guitar over Latin rhythms, which was uncommon in New York at the time, except in Joe Bataan’s work. There’s a brash, young vibe to this music, which certainly characterised the NYC variety, and that extra attitude pumps up every single one of these 26 tracks. There are a few surprises: La Sonora de L. Macedo’s "Guayaba” dates from 1967 and is one of the first true Latin rock freakouts, with screaming guitars over a mod-ish soul jazz beat. Peru’s psych scene was flourishing at the time and I’d be curious to find out more about the crossover of the musicians between these two scenes. This is one of Vampisoul’s best collections ever. Buy it! (Vampisoul)