Dominga Salazar Azula (1924-2008), known as Tita Duval, was an Argentinian-born female accordionist, saxophonist and singer based in Medellín, Colombia, known first for bringing live tango music to the cold mountain climate of her adopted Antioquian city, where she had early success and popularized the genre in the 1940s, opening in subsequent years her own restaurant/cabaret called El Tambo de Aná, where she performed with her group constantly as the house band, as well as touring throughout Colombia and other countries in the region, even visiting São Paulo, Brazil, in the late 1950s. She was also enamored of the tropical music from Colombia’s steamier coastal regions, and had hits later in her career with the trendy track ‘Cumbia a go-go’, recorded for the Sonolux label in the 60s, and the relatively authentic sounding ‘Oye mi cumbia’ for Discos Fuentes in the early 70s. Thus she was equally lauded for her abilities interpreting tangos as well as cumbias, a skill perhaps as unprecedented and unique as it was improbable. She was primarily thought of as an “old-school” traditional sounding player whose best years were behind her when she agreed to “internationalize” and update her sound, plugging in her sax and getting funky, à la Eddie Harris, joining forces with Isaac Villanueva, Fruko and the Fuentes crew in 1974. Recorded with her husband Roberto Rey (Adán Azula), the well-known Argentinian music entrepreneur who had also emigrated to Colombia, “Cumbias internacionales” was an attempt to fuse foreign hippie peace ’n’ love bubble-gum pop sensibilities with the tropical music that Duval was famous for. Unfortunately this type of thing is usually a record label exploitation device where some marketing hack decides to cash in on a trend of the moment, often resulting in the music sounding forced or at the worst, risibly misguided. Thankfully that’s not the case here. Aside from the previously mentioned single ‘Oye mi cumbia’, which was quite conventional sounding and therefore became the hit single off the record, the resultant album was probably a flop at the time but is now a sought after gem prized by beat-loving crate diggers the world over because of its wacked-out vibe (‘Zombie rock’ is notable for being such a dope song title!). In retrospect, the rest of the LP is a brilliantly hip, exotic experimental Afro-psychedelic brew that’s even more mind-blowing when you consider Tita Duval was 50 and her husband was 60 at the time it was recorded.