Traffic Sound was a progressive psychedelic rock group which existed in Lima, Peru from 1967 to 1972. Their name comes from a streetlight which the band kept in their rehearsal space which was a token of an infamously crazy evening of debauchery in which they took part. They have, in later years, come to be revered as a severely influential band in the genre because of their bawdy, intense and highly experimental approach to making rock records.
In 1964, high school students Diego Garcia Sayan, brothers Freddy and Jose Rizo-Patron, Ramon Orbegoso and Felipe Larrabure, formed the group Los Hang Ten's. Within the next three years, several musicians were added to the line-up, including vocalist Manuel Sanguinetti.By 1967, Sanguinetti had left the group and was followed the brothers Rizo-Patron out of a shared interest in branching off into new musical frontiers. The new endeavor, Traffic Sound, adopted members from Peruvian super-group Los Mads and included Manuel Sanguinetti (lead vocals), Jean Pierre Magnet (sax and wind instruments), Willy Thorne (keyboards), Willy Barclay (bass) and Lucho Nevares (drums) in addition to the Freddy and Jose Rizo-Patron on lead and rhythm guitars, respectively.
The first gigs for Traffic Sound came in 1968 at the Tiffany Club in Lima. The band's hard work and transcendental live shows grabbed the attention of Peruvian label MAG Records who signed the band later that year. The band recorded several singles in that next year, covers of The Doors, Cream, Jimmy Hendrix and others. In the end, the singles came together as the album "A Bailar Go Go."Within the next year, the band continued not only to intensively play live but also to work on more original material and band collaboration. In 1969, Traffic Sound recorded the album Virgin, one which is considered by many to be not only a brilliant achievement in rock en espanol but one of the greatest psychedelic albums of all time.
The following year saw the band expanding even beyond its strongly rooted American and British influences. The album "Traffic Sound" (1970) brings Latin and Andean sounds and influences into the fold of the band's experimental psychedelic rock. The album is more improvisational than the band's past work and, at the same time, more individually Peruvian.
In 1971, Traffic Sound became the first Peruvian rock group to complete a South American tour. The band's international fame had grown and their style of music was in its highest demand. With the development of the band's popularity came the urge to find a larger and more cohesive label, Sono Radio. Upon signing, the band proceeded to record what would become their final album, Lux. Here, we can hear a band with a stern focus on the future and socio-political state of their country. Due to labor union troubles, the master recordings of this album were lost until 1996. In addition, new member Zulu replaced Willy Thorne on bass at this juncture.
As of 1972, Traffic Sound had played their final concerts and all of its members had decided to persue careers outside of music except for Jean Pierre Magnet, who has continued to be an able force in musical performance and composition within Peru.
- A Bailar Go Go 1968
- Virgin 1969
- Traffic Sound 1970
- Lux 1971
- "Yellow Sea Years" 2005
- "Greatest Hits" 2005