One of my current favorite CDs is the incredible compilation The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru, released last year on Barbes Records. I can't recommend it strongly enough, and you should really go out and buy it immediately, if you have not done so already.
Searching for more Chicha to satisfy my craving for irresistible good-times music, I recently found another compilation in a dark and dusty corner of the Internet. Called Chicha For The Jet Set, compiled by DJ Sonido Martines from Buenos Aires, it is apparently all ripped from vinyl 45rpm singles, and not available commercially (or on the blogosphere, for that matter). So here it is for free download, sure to cheer you up and get you dancing:
Amor Indio - Amor Indio | Los Esplendidos - Muchacha Provinciana | Los Clabeles de Pucallpa - Lamento del Maderero | Conjunto Génesis - Mi linda Haydee | Los Henry´s - Cumbia del Amor | Los Escorpiones - Los Sentimientos | Los Mirlos - La danza de los mirlos | Los Yabar Juniors - Marionetas | Grupo Rosado - El super corcho | Grupo Samoa - La Chinchilla | Amor Indio - Ave pa´ve | Manolo Avalos y su Conjunto Tropical - Cumbia la Cachaca | Mario Cavagnaro y Su Sonora Sensación - San Lázaro | Los Escorpiones - Igual me da | Manzanita - Serrano con orgullo | Los Iguales - Saca chaca | Los Mirlos - Lamento en la selva | Manzanita - Un sabado por la noche | Amor Indio - Chivato Bailarin | Los Iguales - El sonido de los mirlos
If you want more cumbias, check out DJ/Rupture's Mudd Up! show archives on WFMU. In fact, Sonido Martines dropped in twice in 2007 to answer questions and spin some music, on July 18 and on August 29. Listen to the archives and find out what the cumbia rebajada craze is all about. (My theory is cough syrup, but Sonido claims it has to do with bad batteries in Mexican sound systems.)