The new album from Fake Fruit jumps into the lineup over at Rocks in Your Head quite nicely, with a post-punk sprawl that bounces around the speakers with a rubbery delight. The album’s immediacy is in no small part owed to songwriter Hannah D’Amato, whose fractured narratives and velvet wire vocals make the albums particularly enticing. I asked Hannah to make a pick for the Hidden Gems series and she’s come back with the feature’s first Cumbia cut. Check out how this gem from Los Destellos came into her life.
“My most prized hidden gem of a record has to be: “Para Todo El Mundo Vol.2” by Los Destellos,” cofides Hannah. “I know that Los Destellos are an institution being (literally awarded) pioneers of Peruvian Cumbia, but I feel like they are more known for their psychedelic flavored records. Don’t get me wrong, I love those too but I love the pure tropical cumbia sound when the effects on the guitars are not slapping you upside the head with phasers and flange. There’s just something very magnetizing about Enrique Delgado. So many musicians have played with him over the years that they say playing with him is like attending the University of Peruvian Cumbia. I stumbled across this record when I was in a late night YouTube hole looking up videos of some of my favorite Mexican trios playing live, and the algorithm got me good. I think I just obsessively watched videos of Los Destellos live before I listened to the actual record. If you really dig on YouTube you can find them playing massive budget Quinceañeras, and you can see their made for tv “live” performances. But, my absolute favorite video of them playing live is from “SUPER FESTIVAL DE LA CUMBIA PERUANA 1995”. They’re playing “La Ardillita” and you can tell they are hotter than hell because they’re playing their asses off, and they’re dressed to the nines in all black and white suits.”
“They have a choreographed jumping thing they all do together which is so endearing, and then about halfway through the video a badass woman dressed in a gold sequined leotard comes out and starts dancing her heart out. It’s so hypnotic and makes me feel so ready to dance whenever I watch it. But, the best part of the video is the last ¼ of the song when Enrique Delgado starts playing his guitar UPSIDE DOWN BEHIND HIS HEAD!!!! Mind you he’s not playing rhythm, dude is perfectly executing the lead line and the shots of the audience prove that I’m not over-exaggerating about how talented he is. The whole video is just *muah* (chef’s kiss), and it is probably the first concert I would go to if I had a time machine.”
“Back to the record: It’s got some big hits and there’s not one stinker of a song on it. I hope that it gets re-issued so I can own it on vinyl, but you can hear it on Spotify and YouTube until someone with money does the right thing and re-issues it. I love this record for all seasons and occasions. I think their live performances and the heart you can hear them putting into playing is a huge inspiration for me across all of my projects. At the end of the day, all those people playing are there because playing music together is their main source of joy. I always want to remember why it is that I play music at all, and it boils down to that same principle.”
The album was issued on CD originally, but as she mentioned, it is a bit harder to find of late outside of the digital realm. Even on Discogs the only copy is going for around $50, so I’d say enjoy here and like Hannah mentions, let’s hope for a reissue sometime. In the meantime, Fake Fruit’s new LP is available to pop on the home stereo right now over at Rocks In Your Head.