If you remember the ten volumes of the Love Peace And Poetry compilations featuring obscure Psychedelic bands from ten different countries, the covers adorned with Californian sixties Go Go dancer and model Cheryl Strode – then you may have come across Aguaturbia on Volume 10 (focusing on Chile). Two Aguaturbia tracks were featured – Erótica and I Wonder Who.
The band were controversial in their day as they embraced the Hippie Culture in a society that was vehemently anti-drugs, with a dominant Catholic morality that were outraged by their debut album sleeve, featuring all four members naked. The second song on the album, Erótica was an outrageous moaning female masturbation fest courtesy of lead singer known simply as Denise. At some point Denise and Carlos Corales were married respecting one conservative institution at least but their overall presence caused a stir in a country where in 2016 abortion remains illegal. They courted more controversy when in 1970 they released Volumen 2 showing Denise nailed to a cross.
Aguaturbia’s music was a mix of original songs, jams and cover versions in a Psychedelic Blues Style, something like the San Francisco band sound from the 69/70 era. Over two albums they covered Jefferson Airplane’s Somebody To Love but they weren’t afraid to wander either side of the Summer Of Love. They covered The Shirelles’ Baby It’s You, originally released in 1961 (The Beatles released it in 1963 on Please Please Me as did American group Smith which was probably where they heard it as it became a major US hit reaching No.5 in 1969).
They recorded a slightly mad version of Tommy James And The Shondells’ Crimson And Clover, Grand Funk’s Heartbreaker, Bread’s Guitar Man and a bizarre version of Jailhouse Rock featuring Carlos Corales’ fluid bluesy guitar style. Tapping into different decades with their cover version choices, it’s fascinating to hear them jump from this fifties cover version to E.V.O.L. the following track on their second album Volumen 2. A brilliant dreamy Psychedelic jam with explosive fuzz guitars and ethereal vocals, this track alone is worth the price of admission – wild guitar from Carlos as Denise sings “Everybody’s Making Love”.
If you are looking for an original mint copy of their debut album you could be looking at around 5,000 USD. As I understand it the last reissues of the first two albums were limited to a run of 500 copies, so if you see vinyl copies you may want to snap them up while you still can. A compilation was released in 1993, Psychedelic Drugstore (I’m not sure if this was CD only). There is also this:
Although the band officially broke up in 1974 after two albums and some non-album singles they occasionally play in Chile with Denise and Carlos and new members. Sadly original drummer Willy Cavada died in 2013.
Denise Corales – vocals
Carlos Corales – electric guitar
Willy Cavada – drums
Ricardo Briones – bass