Sometimes a record finds you.
I was at a Charles Bradley concert perusing a crudely set up merch table when the LP caught my eye. Its cover featured the word “Cuzco”, and the Peruvian police uniform I had learned to recognize in my many months spent in Peru. On the back, I discovered that the record is the soundtrack for an independent film set in the Andean city. For $13, I gave it a shot.
When I got home I discovered that the mysterious house band Los Sospechos was comprised of members of some of my favourite groups (Menahan, Antibalas, Budos) and that it was a wild mix of Afro-Funk, Dusty Cumbia and even a beat track. This OST quickly became one of my favourite soundtracks in my collection, and when I played a cut from it on the MIMS Radio Show, everyone asked about it.
The standout track for me is the wild “Jano’s Revenge”. Starting with a spooky intro and dark, thumping bassline, the track is brought to a crescendo by the Antibalas Horn Section who really bring this Afro-Funk banger to life. My personal favourite is the ephemeral Las Sospechas (Night Theme) which sounds like an incredible sampled beat but in fact serves as an incredibly cinematic interlude. Il Carbonaro takes us for a ride into a spaghetti-western-style dub with High Noon, and you can find the distinctive Menahan sound in the enigmatic Mirror Door. Add a modern take on traditional Cumbia with the sister vocal duo Las Hermanas Ponce de Leon and this soundtrack is immensely rich in quality and variety.
Car-Del Productions (a subsidiary label to Colemine Records) did an incredible job bringing together these songs on a soundtrack and releasing it on vinyl. This is one of those special records that comes out of left field and is a musical knock out!Purchase Album