November 26, 2010

LOS DESTELLOS - Los Destellos (1967) + Constelación (1971)

Enrique Delgado began learning guitar from his mother at age 5 in the slums outside Lima.  By 13, he joined his first touring group.  Growing tired of his son's continual absence and questionable lifestyle,  Delgado's father eventually kicked him out.  For his remaining teen years, he stayed with friends when he wasn't cutting his teeth on the road in mariachi backing bands.  In 1955, Delgado struck out on his own with his folk group, Los Palomillas, but he didn't break new ground until he switched to the electric guitar with Orquestra Fantasia in 1962.  Delgado found himself at the forefront of Lima's Nueva Ola (New Wave).  Beat bands inspired by Anglo pop were a phenomenon the world over, and Peru was no exception, producing a rich variety of garage, pop, and rock records in the 60s and 70s.  In 1966, Enrique Delgado started a new group, Los Destellos, imposing South American folk stylings on his Beat bandmates.

Los Destellos incorporated lilting Andean slum melodies into rock 'n' roll music for their self-titled debut, but the addition of a timbalero is what made them a true innovation.  Timbales were used to keep time in many South American musical styles, but Enrique Delgado used them to incorporate cumbia into the standard Beat ensemble, making him the fathering pioneer of cumbia Peruana.  He would expound on this idea in the years that followed by taking an ever larger ensemble of folk players in a more psychedelic direction.  In this way, Los Destellos also anticipated Chicha, their seventh LP Constelación being a proto-standard of the genre.  In 1975, Delgado's sister, Edith, also joined the band, which by that point had grown to include a sprawling number of musicians and a sizable hype crew.  Enrique continued leading the group until his untimely death in 1996 from medical malpractice.  Edith continues touring today with the current incarnation of Los Destellos.


• Might I also suggest Purple Chicha: Peruvian Cumbias Rebajadas (A Murky Recess Mix)?
• DATO CURIOSO:  Los Destellos originally had a female singer, but she left the group before they recorded their first record.  Her name was Elsa Salgado, and the band pays her tribute with two of their most popular songs, "Elsa" and "Para Elsa."
• Find Los Destellos' illustrated discography here.


Holly said...

I'm really looking forward to exploring these lps - thank you!

Petro Earl said...

You are most welcome, Holly. And thanks for your kind words about Purple Chicha as well.

Anonymous said...

Awe-inspiring Post, Thank you

As a final note , give permission me thank you for your understanding with my English as (I am convinced you have figured this at this moment ,), English is not my original language so I am utilizing Google Translate to form out how to compose what I really want to write .

Ivan Alsace said...

Muchas gracias !

Ivan Alsace said...

Muchas gracias !

Alex Wanderley said...

Thank you sooo much i'm from

i really appreciate your blog
thanks for this post!

Hodie said...

Oh, Psych amazonic cumbias... great!. Great work Mr. Murky... Links still working well!. Really, I think it's very true, what those guys of Chicha Libre said: "... May they be the next big thing in a alternate universe".
Thanks a lot from Brazil.

Paul Harvey said...

I am so happy to see the links still working! I have just discovered the universe of the Los Destellos and I was quite rightly told, these are the first two albums I should listen to - absolutely incredible music!

Many many thanks for keeping the blog up and of course, for allowing the links to stay up, you have made me very happy!