Record Store Day Exclusive. On December 23, 1972, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.25 on the Richter scale devastated Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. Thirty deadly seconds were enough to destroy the center of the city and cause a death toll of 19,000 people, with 20,000 injured. The aftershocks and fires caused by the disaster exacerbated the situation. In the world of art, the inspirational power of great tragedies is widely known; artists leverage the excess negative energy to generate and transform it into pure creativity and beauty. Alfonso Noel Lovo, a young Nicaraguan musician, studied at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in 1973. New Orleans, is only an hour from LSU; Alfonso planned to record his ideas there over free weekends. Alfonso "Poncho" Lovo was a member of a well-known family in Nicaragua, a clan of livestock owners involved in big business. Son of the Minister of Agriculture and later triumvir of the Government Assembly, he was on a plane returning to his native land when it was hijacked in 1971 by a Sandinista group. He was recognized in mid-flight by one of the hijackers and used as a hostage to negotiate the release of a political prisoner. Alfonso Lovo was shot several times. Miraculously he survived, albeit seriously wounded in the torso, abdomen, and left hand. After several life-threatening operations, Alfonso Lovo returned to New Orleans, the place where all his influences and intense experiences would crystalize into his passionate first album: Terremoto Richter 6:25 - Managua. The recordings come from late night sessions during the weekends. Improvisation predominates. The studio owner, Tracy Borges, helped him to get session musicians like Michael, flautist and sax player for Bourbon Street. The New Orleans female soul choir also features on the record. Poncho recruited Silvio Lacayo on acoustic guitar, Cristóbal, a Colombian timbales player, and Marcos Ostrander, a conga player from Panama. Terremoto is a marvel of essences; it distils freshness, ingenuity, and the desire to experiment with limited resources. Poncho took each recording home and worked on them with a TEAC 3300. He listened repeatedly to the initial tracks "to invent what to add afterwards" in the next session. Terremoto, his first record, delivers a refreshing mix of psychedelic rock, mazurka, jazz, Louisiana blues and African folk. Limited reissue for RSD 2017.
reviewed by Vampisoul 04/2017