Archive for August, 2010

Los Vampiros de Enrique Olivarez

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

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)


GUEST POST: DJ Sport Casual

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

This week DJ Sport Casual, a well renowned DJ from Brooklyn, hits us with some heavy Central American Latin Funk Rock! Make sure to check out his website and listen to all the killer mixes he’s posted.

-Slim Jenkins

Picked this LP up sometime over the summer from a New York area flea, just another long shot that ended up in the yes pile. It is one of the many Latin American party records where side a is one long medley of covers and/or general happy tunes that even abuelita can get down with. I think Central American countries did this the most, even with their rock bands, as we have here. Not sure how it happens, maybe the label, maybe the manager, or even abuelita putting pressure on the band to make something commercially viable/she can dance to. Then the band gets to put some heavy stuff on the other side. So I was more interested in side b, and it turned out to be a pretty killer side b. Warning: this LP sits quite close to Malo S/T in my LP boxes… if Santana-style fusion jams make you angry you may want to look away now. But if you like the idea of something that sounds like Los Dug Dugs going Descarga, then hit play! PS: I made it into a medley :)

– Sport Casual

Crema Purpura – “Pa’ Vacila”


Guest mix for SOFRITO

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Make sure to check out my latest Heavy Latin & Caribbean Mix, which the kind folks at Sofrito have posted to their great site.