Coming straight out of the laid-back Central Valley, California town of Stockton come Los Vampiros, one of the tightest Latin bands in the area during the early and mid 1970’s. Fronted by the charismatic Enrique Olivarez, Los Vampiros played smoking hot cumbias and rancheras to lively crowds around California and even enjoyed modest success in Mexico. They released only two LP’s and a handful of 45’s on their own custom / private label called Discos Vampiros (Enrique’s son Tommy drew the vampire bat and text of the label’s unique logo).
In addition to their love for the Rancheras and Cumbias popularized in Mexico and that were at that point sweeping across hispanic areas of the USA, Los Vampiros also crafted their own brand of heavy Latin Funk. On this their first album, entitled Para Ti (For You), two tracks immediately jump out as winners for us funk and soul fans.
“Communicate” is a classy organ and horn-led slow funk track with a timely social message to help out your fellow brethren in need. But with “Arriba Tipo,” Los Vampiros pick up the pace and unleash a short but potent Latin Funk instrumental that allows the band to showcase their superb musical talents. There’s even a timbale solo in there!
Prized by collectors around the world, this is one of the finest Latin Funk efforts from anywhere in the West Coast during the time. Enjoy!
Los Vampiros de Enrique Olivarez – “Communicate” & “Arriba Tipo”
Taken from the Para Ti LP (Discos Vampiros, 1972, Stockton, CA)