Cholo Visceral – Vol II (Tonzonen Records)

I have been playing this album for a few weeks now and with each listen I seem to be finding something new. It has definite Jazz leanings, a sprinkle of prog and some good old fashioned psych rock, but what it has more than anything is a whole lot of surprises. Cholo Visceral are a Peruvian band that started out as duo and over the years has morphed into this version of the band with seven members, which means you get one hell of a sonic treat. This album kind of reminds me of a game that I play with my kids on holidays, I drive and they shout left or right and we see what we find. This album does that a lot, it’s never a straight road and by the time you reach the end of the each track you are never quite sure how you have got there.

‘Explosión del Misti’ opens the album and is a twelve minute trip of what at times can seem like organised chaos. The first time I played it I was amazed how many times it caught me off guard with its time changes or sudden bursts of guitar. This is really the theme of the album take the track ‘Cholacos’ (my personal favourite) it has long meandering passages where the band seem just locked in a gentle groove and then just as you are really starting to let the almost ‘Floyd‘ like sounds gently wash over you, a sharp spiky guitar  gives you a rude awakening and your off to the next level. This is something the band seem to revel in and in the hands of lesser mortals this would become irksome rather than exciting.

The biggest surprise for me was the almost folk like ‘Jarjacha’ because despite its changes in tempo and sound, they are brief and occasional and this leaves you feeling like you have just listened to an interpretation of a folk song. Another album highlight is the fantastic  ’10 años de terror’ which comes across like some kind of Doom/Jazz hybrid in fact it got me thinking of Black Widow and Aphrodite’s Child.

I have only touched on what this album has to offer and I have probably missed the mark completely. All I know is if you in the mood for something different and exciting then look no further than this, with hints of Hawkwind, Gong and even Soft Machine this is the kind of album that not only breaks the mould but reassembles it into something completely different. This amazing double album can be found here.





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