Various Artists

Love, Peace & Poetry: Mexican Psychedelic Music

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Volume Two of the Love, Peace & Poetry series focused on Latin American psychedelic rock. Volume Seven zooms in on one of the countries featured at the time: Mexico. Its geographical proximity to the West Coast scene translated into a strong influence, and the appearance of very convincing psychedelic acts (although with a certain delay). The Q.D.K. Media label has unearthed 17 gems, each one a keeper. Sound quality is occasionally shaky (one track, by La Libre Expresion, features a good number of vinyl clicks and pops), but the track selection is enlightened, to say the least, and offers an attention-grabbing trip through obscure bands and fascinating music. Throning in the center of the track list is La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata's eight-minute piece "En Medio de la Lluvia," a stunning progressive psychedelic song that integrates traditional Mexican elements in a way that almost announces the flamenco-prog of Carmen (Fandangos in Space came out a couple years later). Another highlight is La Fachada de Piedra's "Roaming," a song that steals a bit from the guitar riff and groove of Jimi Hendrix's "Highway Child," and throws it in the Santana blender. Grupo Ciruela's singer tries too hard to emulate The Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin, but their song, "Nada Nos Detendra," works out nicely nonetheless. La Vida's heavy "Touch Me," and Nahuatl's acoustic camp song "Volvere" (judiciously used as the album closer) are also worth note. The other tracks are a bit more generic, but still make for an enjoyable album that can be taken as a springboard for further discovery (which will imply costly internet hunting), or more simply, as a self-contained introduction.

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