Unfortunately the front cover of this release it too ugly to show, but check out this tracklisting. This new 4-disc set from Rock Beat is called Los Nuggetz – 60’s Punk, Pop and Psychedelic from Latin America and is by far the most comprehensive legitimate compilation of its kind and with better fidelity than most. Since this year, for me, has been one long exploration of first Brazilian, then Mexican, then Spanish 60s sounds, it really feels like a fitting way to end 2013. As usual there’s a lot to be said about a Nuggets-type compilation, especially the selection of tracks. And while this comp doesn’t aim at diversity (a lot of the same artists appear on all discs) it’s absolutely got a lot of uncompiled inclusions. As someone else has already written, the title is not representative because (like the original Psychodelicias 6CD set compiled by one “Sylvain”) the theme is rather “Spanish and Portuguese language” tracks, which means some bands are European. While the compilers have steered clear of tropicalia (cf. The Roots of Chicha) and jovem guarda (no Os Mutantes!) they’ve also missed out on some of the more interesting stuff that was recorded in the early 70s – which was when ’68 psych first hit South America big time. We’ve got a couple of tracks from the Kaleidoscope LP, but missing La Maquina Del Sonido, The Flying Karpets, La Revolucion De Emiliano Zapata, Spectrum, The Beat Boys, The Walkers etc. There’s also nothing by the groups that were featured on Nuggets II, probably deliberately. So while we don’t get Los Shakers from Uruguay (probably my favourite South American group), we get the Spanish Los Shakers instead. I’d rather have seen Los Shakes from Mexico on it, with their amazing take on “Pushing Too Hard”. Speaking of covers, pretty much half of the songs are cover versions of American or British groups, but that’s nothing to scoff at when a lot of them are wilder and more raw, as many DJs have discovered. The biggest suprise is probably that Los Saicos, who recieve a lot of attention these days, with dozens of reissues already out, are not included. My favourite track is probably The Pets from Venezuela (still looking for their lone s/t LP) with their heavy fuzz version of “Hello I Love You” by The Doors. I’d never heard Os Lobos before, whose 1971 folk-rock masterpiece “Miragem” might be the best original on here. All in all, you get to hear some amazing groups like Los Shains, Los Nivram, Los No, Los Pops and Los Belmonts.
If you want to dig deeper I would recommend the following compilations. For Spain: Spañish Ñuggets, Sensacional Soul Vol. 1-3 and El sol es una droga Vol. 1-4); Bolivia: Psicofasicos de Bolivia, Argentina: Diggin’ Down Argentina – Nuggets From the Rioplatense Scene 1969-75, Mexico: La noche de los hippies – ’65-’70 Punk a la Mexicana; Peru: Back to Peru Vol. 1-2; Brazil: Brazilian Nuggets – Back From the Jungle Vol. 1-2, Brazilian Guitar Fuzz Bananas – Tropicalia Psychedelic Masterpieces 1967-1976, Soul Braza – Brazilian 60s & 70s Soul Psych Vol. 1-2 and Selvagens – Brazilian 60’s Punk Artyfacts Vol. 1-3.