Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tarkus “Tarkus” 1972 Peru Heavy Psych


Tarkus “Tarkus” 1972 Peru Heavy Psych 
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In early 1972, Telegraph Avenue broke up. Walo, the drummer, was visited by two friends from Argentina: Guillermo Van Lacke and Darío Gianella. This trio began to play some music at Walo’s place. Finally, Alex Nathanson joined them as the singer, but now singing in Spanish. And so, these two ex-Telegraph Avenue members along with the two Argentine musicians began to play heavy rock music in Lima. They called themselves Tarkus–and they were definitely too loud for the scene of that time! Their eponymous album was recorded (on eight channels) in only five weeks, and features all original tunes–the first heavy rock LP from South America. And what a record: eight tracks jammed with killer guitars, yelling vocals and powerful bass and drums. They had an original heavy sound influenced by Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, with touches of the music of Almendra or even Pappo’s Blues…~


Tarkus was a Peruvian hard rock band formed in Lima, Peru in 1972. Peruvians Alex Nathanson (singer & acoustic guitar), Wallo Carillo (drums and percussion), Argentina born Dario Gianella, and Guillermo Van Locke. 
It was Van Locke, the bands bass player who approached Carillo and Nathanson, both members of the group Telegraph Avenue, who had just finished recording their first L.P., an album that would become the best seller of all Peruvian rock groups in the 70’s. 
Nathanson and Carillo took a break from Telegraph Avenue to join Van Locke to explore mixing progressive with hard rock. The new group was baptized Tarkus, based on a mythical creature that lives deep within the soul. The group were pretty successful in concert but lacked a melodic element. That would change with the arrival of Dario Ginella, an Argentinian guitar player and prolific composer. 

After months of playing together the band was signed to MAG, a Peruvian label. Their sole album was recorded in 1972 and the band was awarded total creative control. Fifty copies were made, all promos on the MAG label. Only a few were sold in stores. 
The L.P. had heavy rock, good compositions, good musicianship, and a futuristic vision, but was too advanced for Peruvian rock fans. I would have sold well in the U.S., but in Peru, the label decided not to release the album due to low demand. (making copies of this L.P. EXTREMELY rare). At the end of 1972, the band went their own ways and Carillo and Nathanson regrouped with Telegraph who went on to record a second L.P. and continues to perform in Peru today…..~


Tarkus was born after the 1971 split of Telegraph Avenue, one of the most popular Peruvian bands at the time. TA member Walo Carrillo was joined by Argentinean musicians Guillermo Van Lacke, whom he had met previously in Lima, and 16-year-old Dario Gianella. They got together and started making music very influenced by bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and Deep Purple. They immediately developed a heavy, hard rock sound uncommon in Peru, and asked former Telegraph Avenue member Alex Nathanson to join them. They recorded their first album between April and May of 1972 for the MAG record label, which was expecting something closer to Telegraph Avenue and didn’t know how to market such a heavy sound. Soon after, guitarist and main composer Dario Gianella decided to leave the band to follow his religious faith, just before they presented their debut LP live. As a result, the band disintegrated without making their official debut and only around 50 promo copies of the album were actually distributed. Time has given this LP the significance it rightly deserves as one of the foundations of Latin American hard rock, and Vinilísssimo is proud to present this new vinyl reissue. Housed in a gatefold sleeve; on 180 gram vinyl.“Continuing with their new series of ‘updated’ versions, Repsychled Records will release another jewel box issue, this time the album of choice is the only record by Tarkus. In early 1972, Telegraph Avenue broke up. Walo, the drummer, was visited by two friends from Argentina: Guillermo Van Lacke and Darío Gianella. This trio began to play some music at Walo’s place. Finally, Alex Nathanson joined them as the singer, but now singing in Spanish. And so, these two ex-Telegraph Avenue members along with the two Argentine musicians began to play heavy rock music in Lima. They called themselves Tarkus – and they were definitely too loud for the scene of that time! Their eponymous album was recorded (on eight channels) in only five weeks, and features all original tunes – the first heavy rock LP from South America. And what a record: eight tracks jammed with killer guitars, yelling vocals and powerful bass and drums. They had an original heavy sound influenced by Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, with touches of the music of Almendra or even Pappo’s Blues. Re-packaged issue with 16-page booklet with lyrics, biography, press comments from news papers clippings, and some unseen photos that doesn’t appear on the 'Deluxe version’ (repsychled cd 1007). Artwork is reconfigured, with great photos from the band’s personal archive. This reissue was created using the original master tapes, and was remastered very carefully with tube amplifiers. Support this licensed issue: it has great unseen photos and sound remastered from the original mastered tapes, all at a very economic price!”…~



Maybe this can be the first Heavy album in Spanish, and we’ve already talked about this Peruvian / Argentine Tarkus (there’s another Brazilian band with the same name) at the entrance of the self-titled disc on Telegraph Avenue, and even though a few days ago it was not we had, here it is, a hard-to-find figurine, accompanied by his story and the commentary of his record. While we could infer that this might look a lot like ELP, it actually has more sound to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Polyphemus and Pappo’s Blues and the other glories of hard rock. Here, the surprise of the day, an almost unknown record that I recommend you listen to. ….~




Tarkus, the heaviest of all hard rock/progressive bands from Peru was formed in 1971. The members were the Peruvians Alex Nathanson and Walo Carillo and, the Argentina born, Dario Gianella and Guillermo Van Locke. It was Guillermo Van Lacke, the group’s bass player, who approached two members of Telegraph Avenue: Alex Nathanson, singer and acoustic guitar, and Walo Carrillo, drums and percussion. Both musicians have just finished recording Telegraph’ s first lp, an album that was going to became the best seller of all lps by Peruvian rock groups in the 70’s. 

Nathanson and Carillo decided to temporarily leave Telegraph to join Van Lacke and explore new musical ideas on the direction of mixing hard rock with progressive. The new group was baptized Tarkus, after a mythologicalTarkus, the heaviest of all hard rock/progressive bands from Peru, was being that lives deep inside everybody’s soul and has the function to protect the individual’s morality against the external world. 

The trio was pretty successful in concerts but the melodic element was missing. Finally arrived in the persona of Dario Ginella, an Argentinean guitar player, friend of Van Lacke, avid fan of Led Zeppelin, and who was, like Guillermo, a prolific composer. After months playing together, the band signed a contract with MAG, a Peruvian label, to record an album (LPN-2423). Tarkus was recorded from April 3rd. to May 16th., 1972. The studio gave the group total freedom to record their music the way they wanted it. The recording, under the technical direction of Carlos Guerrero, was done with love and dedication. 

Fifty copies were made, all of them test pressings with the standard MAG label, to be giving as promotional material, and a few copies that were sold in stores. The LP had it all, heavy rock, excellent compositions, good musicianship and futuristic vision, but it was too advanced for Peruvian rock fans. In USA it could have sold thousands of copies, but in Peru, the label decided not to released because of the low demand, making it the most sought after album from South America. The insert, containing the lyrics of all songs, was never included with the promo copies. Even today this recording sound fresh and contemporary, it has the makings of a true classic. 

Tarkus had a few live presentations, the most famous being the one at La Plaza de Acho, together with Pax, El Ayllu, El Polen, Kabul, etc…At the end of 1972 the members of the group decided to follow their own paths in life. Alex Nathanson and Walo Carillo continued with Telegraph Avenue and went to record a second LP (Telegraph is still active giving concerts in Lima, Peru), Guillermo Van Lacke returned to Argentina where he is a successful music producer, and Dario Gianella travelled to settle in Miami, Florida, where he does studio work. ….~











Credits 
Bass, Cornet – Guillermo Van Lacke 
Drums – Walo Carrillo 
Guitar – Dario Gianella 
Recorded By – Carlos Guerrero, Victor De La Cruz 
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Alex Nathanson


Tracklist 
A1 El Pirata 3:20 
A2 Martha Ya Esta 5:45 
A3 Cambiemos Ya 3:30 
A4 Tempestad 3:20 
B1 Tema Para Lilus 4:45 
B2 Tranquila Reflexion 3:20 
B3 Rio Tonto 4:22 
B4 Tiempo En El Sol 2:15 

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