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Traffic Sound - Traffic Sound [aka: III / Tibet's Suzettes] CD (album) cover

TRAFFIC SOUND [AKA: III / TIBET'S SUZETTES]

Traffic Sound

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.27 | 22 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Peruvian Proto Prog

It is one of the major injustices of the music world that if a band does not hail from Europe or North America, their chances of an international breakthrough are greatly diminished. Traffic Sound are from Peru, where in the late 1960's and early 70's they were highly regarded and enjoyed considerable success. Developing out of a band called Los Hang Ten's, they released a handful of albums, this self titled effort being their second full album, but generally regarded as their first major release.

While listed here as Space rock/psychedelic, this album sits somewhere between proto-prog and that genre. The vocal style is often similar to that of Ian Anderson, so when flute is added on regular occasions, comparisons with Jethro Tull become inevitable. In general though, the music is lighter than that of Tull, "Yesterday's Game" for example being a catchy piece of 60's psych pop. The band seem to delight though in throwing curve balls, and in this case the track suddenly breaks into a heavier sax driven mood. Indeed, when sax joins the party, it tends to be in improvisational format, drawing the band briefly but admirably into alternative territories. Other comparisons which come to mind are the similarly named Traffic, Burnin' Red Ivanhoe, Audience and the obscure but remarkable Steel Mill.

"America" is not the Simon and Garfunkel/Yes number of that name, but a dreamy song with distorted vocals, similar to early Moody Blues songs, particularly those led by Ray Thomas. The feature track is the 7+ minute "Chicama Way", a melting pot of all the styles and sounds the band have amassed, held together by a catchy chant.

In its day, albums such as this could have been ground-breaking and hugely successful with the right exposure. Sadly, they remained largely unknown outside their own lands. The global nature of the internet has however allowed the rest of us to belatedly enjoy the fine music they contain.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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