Traffic Sound

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Traffic Sound
Origin Peru
Genres Peruvian rock, Folk rock, Psychedelic rock, Latin rock
Years active 1967—1972
(Reunions: 1993)
Labels MAG Records
SONO RADIO Records

Traffic Sound was a Peruvian rock band founded in 1967 by Manuel Sanguinetti (vocals), Freddy Rizo-Patrón (rhythm guitar), Jean Pierre Magnet (sax), Willy "Wilito" Barclay (lead guitar), Willy Thorne (bass) and Luis "Lucho" Nevares (drums). Freddy and Manuel had met in school and played in Los Hang Ten's. Freddy and his older brother Jose originally thought of founding "Traffic Sound".

The name was chosen because of their penchant for a traffic light, placed as a souvenir in the attic of the Rizo-Patróns house, where they held their practices, after a wild night in Lima.[1]

Albums[edit]

After a year of continued rehearsals and private shows they tried their luck at Peruvian psychedelic emporium The Tiffany with great success and recorded his first album "A Bailar Go Go" in 1968 with label MAG. It contained versions of songs by The Doors, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly and The Animals. In later albums they included their own music with a fusion of Andean and Afro-Latin sounds. They held gigs in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Their second album "Virgin" (1969), all original material, catapulted them to legendary status especially because it contains the absolute icon of Peruvian Psychedelia, "Meshkalina".[2]

In 1970 they recorded another LP named "Traffic Sound", aka. III, aka. "Tibet's Suzettes", where they blend the Psychedelic spirit with an Andean folk sound, and give the necessary step to be closer than ever to progressive rock.

In 1971 Braniff International Airways organized the first South American Tour of a Peruvian band, and Traffic Sound was well received in demanding markets such as Argentina and Brazil.

After the tour they switched to bigger label Sono Radio and released four singles. At this point Willy Thorne left the band and was replaced by Zulu or Miguel Angel Ruiz Orbegoso on bass and keyboards, with whom they recorded their last LP, "Lux". Incredibly, during a massive strike of Sono Radio workers the master tapes disappeared and were only found in 1996. This album is different to the previous, the Andean influence is more evident and some political concerns were expressed.

The band held a memorable concert at the Teatro Segura in Lima together with the Contemporary Orchestra of Peruvian jazz pianist Jaime Delgado Aparicio in 1971[3] and disbanded in 1972.

Aftermath[edit]

Saxophonist Jean Pierre Magnet began a successful solo career.

In 1973, bass player Zulu was invited by label IEMPSA to record his own album. After three releases, a mention in Billboard magazine and his music being heard among much of Latin America and the Latin market in New York, he retired because of a devoted desire for preaching the Bible.

Singer Manuel Sanguinetti founded Radio Doble Nueve, Peru's rock radio station,[4] in 1979.

In 1993, Traffic Sound members got together again for a concert at Muelle Uno, Miraflores, and launched new versions of their old hits, a London remasterization CD of "Virgin" for Europe. Since 2005 they have met several times (at Hotel Los Delfines, Asia beach and The Dragon Racing Club of Punta Hermosa). Repsychled Records has since re-released "Virgin".

Two of their songs, Lux and Yesterday's Game were used in episodes of American TV series Life on Mars.

"Meshkalina" (1968)[edit]

Lyrics of Traffic Sound's most popular hit contain references to the Inca civilization of Peru:

Yáhuar Huaca wondered why he was high once

Raped the witch and killed the wild Ayarmaca

Let me down meshkalina

Let me down meshkalina

Full of bull he was, oh God let me tell you

Spread the weed one day, all over his empire

Let me down meshkalina

Let me down meshkalina

F*** stayed for fifteen days in his lab once

He said, "Man it's here, let's try my new substance"

Give me some meshkalina

Give me some meshkalina

We went driving hard and wild across the country

We were having fun, even though we were dying

Let me die meshkalina

Let me die meshkalina

Now I know it's time for you to start learning

About the games we play everyday, every morning

Discography[edit]

Albums[5]

  • A Bailar Go Go (1968)
  • Virgin (1969)
  • Traffic Sound, a.k.a. III, a.k.a. Tibet's Suzettes (1971)
  • Lux (1971)
  • Yellow Sea Years (2005)
  • Greatest Hits (2005)

Singles[6]

  • Sky Pilot-Fire (1968)
  • You Got Me Floating-Sueño (1968)
  • I'm So Glad-Destruction (1968)
  • La Camita-You Got To Be Sure (1971)
  • Suavecito-Solos (1971)

References[edit]