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Traffic Sound - Lux CD (album) cover


Traffic Sound

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Born a few months before the Junta took over Peru's control and declared many occidental novelties enemies of the "Peruvian heritage", Traffic Sound managed some four albums in a difficult context between censorship and the underground life. By the time of Lux, the group had become quite an accomplished one, especially with their previous album, Tibet's Suzettes; but here with this stunning solar & planetary gatefold artwork, TS grows another dimension and dares to become Peruvian.

Although the album starts on the 60s-ish title track (can't deny their garage roots), the mood is exploratory, progressive and Andean as Gusano can attest,. Although badly recorded (the vocals are really bad), the track is enlightened with a sweet flute and some Latino percussions, and there is a slight bossa nova feel in the rhythm. Up next are White Deal and its badly recorded sax intervention and the very percussive Poco, then almost a reprise with Big deal. Ending the album's first side, Inca Snow is a bluesy manner.

Opening the flipside is the album's centrepiece is the 10-mins+ Marabunta with tons of flutes and saxes (Magnet is clearly the better musician in the band) , then almost dies to lead into an organ solo and some Machiavelic folk to cap it all off. Past the unremarkable Survival track, Beautiful Day is quite an enthralling piece and features some fuzz guitars. The closing Revolution is probably why this was their last album, and a good way to close up.

Well my South American adventures had not strayed this far up north, if you'll except Brazil's Bacamarte, as like most progheads, I stuck to the Southern tip if Latin America, which were more Occidentalised during the 70's than was the more-Amerindian countries. Despite its horrible sound, Lux is a worthy album, but it's nothing all that exceptional either and I suggest trying their previous effort first

Report this review (#224797)
Posted Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The end of the road

Having enjoyed an all too brief existence, Traffic Sound's final album "Lux" was released in 1971. Prior to recording, Willy Thorne (bass and keyboards) left the band, to be replaced by the wonderfully named Zulu.

The album is understandably influenced by the political turmoil which affected the band's homeland of Peru at the time, the music displaying stronger local styles and sounds than previous offerings. Those ethnic influences are muted though on the opening title track, which mixes The Doors with other late 60's pop.

As the album develops, the sax and flute which distinguished previous outings increase their presence. Tracks such as "Inca snow" are interesting and for their time adventurous, but they do end up sounding a little clumsy now. The feature track is the 10 minute "Marabunta" a piece which melds several variants of prog (and non-prog) and also features some laid back sax improvisation.

"Survival" and "A beautiful day" are the lightest tracks on the album, and were presumably intended as potential singles. As such, they are very much of their time and pleasantly inoffensive. They do though sound rather out of place in the context of the album.

In all, a good album for the band to close on. While never likely to start a revolution in music terms, the band is to be admired for producing fine music at a turbulent time in their country's history.

Report this review (#452309)
Posted Thursday, May 26, 2011 | Review Permalink

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