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Los Speakers - En El Maravilloso Mundo De Ingeson (1968/2013) review

Los Speakers “En El Maravilloso Mundo De Ingeson” (Kris, 1968/Shadoks, 2013)

This Columbian trio’s final album (named after the studio, Ingeson, where it was recorded) is a delightfully varied, wacky, and wonderful snapshot into the psychedelic diary of Bogota, ca. 1968. It opens with a wandering soul whistling aimlessly until the sound of a train nearly runs him over. Then it gets really weird! “Por La Mañana” drifts along like a Renaissance madrigal full of medieval woodwind instruments and “Oda a La Gente Mediocre” [“Ode To Mediocre People”] encourages listeners to break out of their humdrum lives and “open your minds to dreams, free yourselves, and look to the future.”

The about-faces continue with the screaming fuzz guitars of “Hay Un Extraña Esperando En La Puerta” [“There Is A Stranger Waiting At The Door”], the toytown pop of “Si La Guerra Es Buen Negocia, Invierte a Tus Hijos” [“If War Is A Good Deal, Invest Your Children In It”], and assorted percussion-filled sing-alongs full of marimbas, maracas, oboes, flutes, clarinets, etc. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear these loonies were swallowing acid like breath mints and listening nonstop to The Mothers of Invention, The Fool, Hapshash & The Coloured Coat, and the Incredible String Band.

“Historia de Un Loto que Florecio en Otoño” [“The Story of A Lotus Which Bloomed In Autumn“] opens with a flushing toilet and then introduces a blistering blues guitar solo behind helium-induced Martian voices relating a tale of a blossoming lotus. It all ends with “I love you” translated into a half-dozen languages and recited by someone who sounds like he’s trying to belch the alphabet…backwards. That’s when my CD player seized on me and kicked the CD out – I shit you not.

A laughing gnome is looped (musically speaking!) at the beginning of “Niños”, which then morphs into a lovely little harpsichord-driven pop ditty… until another screaming fuzz solo breaks up the festivities. These guys certainly don’t have any patience for complacent listeners, as tracks change directions half a dozen times on their way to their codas, which sometimes feels like the musicians just got tired of playing the song and wanted to start another one! Song interludes include burps, squealing cats, insane laughter, trains, a drunken cocktail party like something out of Zappa’s “America Drinks And Goes Home”… it’s a virtual DeWolfe library on acid. And the whole thing ends with an atomic bomb exploding on Bikini atoll. Did I mention this is Columbia? In 1968?!?!

It’s almost as if a bunch of “niños” got a hold of some instruments at the local music store and decided to see what sort of sound each one made. It’s insanely brilliant, completely hummable, ferociously naïve, politically subversive, and belongs in the record collections of anyone who already has any of the albums by the aforementioned groups. The reissue includes comments from all three members, the lyrics translated into English, and loads of rare photos (including the band running through the forest naked) … what else?

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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