Tiger's Milk Records Presents PERU MARAVILLOSO, Out 11/12
Tiger's Milk Records presents PERU MARAVILLOSO, the result of many years obsessively collecting Peruvian music: it's in their blood. With a focus on '60s and'70s Latin and tropical music this debut album, to be released internationally across all formats on November 12th, features a selection of vintage cuts and unknown treasures from one of Peru's most exciting musical periods.
Whilst recognizing the music of cumbia, guaracha and the electric sound of chicha, Peru Maravilloso owes as much to soul-jazz, Latin-jazz, rock and psychedelic as it does to the traditional styles of Andean, Peruvian criollo and Latin music that dominated the cultural backdrop of Peru during this era.
All of the tracks included have been specially re-mastered from their original 7" and 12" formats and have never been released since their original press in Peru.
THE SELECTION AND BACKSTORY
It was the dogged work of labels like Iempsa, Sono Radio, FTA and Infopesa who tirelessly promoted and produced the bands and tracks featured on this compilation. Much of these labels' output had some degree of Western influence as they recognized the tastes of Peruvians who were in tune with Jimi Hendrix and The
Beatles, artists who wrote songs with the electric guitar as fundamental to their sound. Many of the bandleaders of Peruvian groups were guitarists so their Latin compositions often took on a psychedelic twist often with simple hypnotic rhythms and repetitive bass-lines but always stamped with a unique mix of Peruvian, Andean, Spanish and African influence.
This record does not attempt to showcase a singular strand or genre. It's beauty lies in its raw diversity. Nor does it offer a window into the Peruvian rock or garage scene that was also present in the same period although there are certain clues in tracks like the horn laden reinterpretation of 'Meshkalina', originally written by one of Peru's most respected rock bands Traffic Sound, and the electrified groove of 'El Chacarero' by Los Gatos Blancos. It's clear that there was not only mutual appreciation of different styles by Latin and rock composers but a healthy desire to combine ideas and experiment.
The painstaking process of putting together Peru Maravilloso was undertaken with the premise of rooting and unearthing tracks that take the listener by surprise whilst avoiding the more mainstream sounds of cumbia and chicha prevalent at the time. 'Toro Mata' is one of the most famous folk songs from Peru and has been rearranged as an orchestral-jazz instrumental by Pocho Purizaga who worked with singer Lucia De La Cruz and cut his teeth with beat bands like 'The Dreams' and 'The Kendalls'. The prolific composer and arranger Lucho Nevesfrom Arequipa also offers an authoritative Peruvian stamp with his piano-jazz version of 'Mambo De Machaguay', a track with a huayño rhythm (a popular Andean style) that's well recognized throughout Latin America.
Cuban and Caribbean influences permeate the whole record with dance-based tracks like 'La Gallina' (chicken!) by Felix Martinez y su Chavales, one of the most recognized performers of cumbia music in 1960s Peru, and 'Piraña' by Pedro Miguel y sus Maraciabos who incorporate the classic Cuban style of son montuno with cumbia against soaring trumpets at an intense and mesmerizing speed.
As such Peru Maravilloso offers a first-of-a-kind snapshot of Peru in a bygone era, highlighting its many Latin expressions and identities, a country with a remarkable musical history, which never ceases to surprise.