. issue XVI : ii .

by barathron

. artist : various artists .
. album : el sonido de tupac amaru .
. year : 2011 .
. label : masstropicas .
. grade : a .

ElSonido

Barbes Records’ two The Roots Of Chicha compilations and Vampisoul’s Cumbia Beat set have introduced thousands of listeners to the pleasures of Peruvian psychedelic cumbia. They’ve also opened the floodgates for chicha reissues — it turns out that there were dozens if not hundreds of cool bands playing this style in the 60’s and 70’s in urban and rural Peru. Exhibit A is this reissue from Masstropicas, a record label that’s the outgrowth of a pioneering chicha blog. There are 14 songs here (divided between an LP and a 7-incher), only one of the artists is on any of the pioneering Barbes and Vampisoul compilations (the ubiquitous Los Destellos), and everything on here is every bit as interesting. I recommend “Mi Enamorada,” “Cariño Cariñito,” “Tu Primer Amor,” “El Preso,” and “Rico Vacilon,” but really you could simply play any of them. The bonus 7-incher includes four songs by four different bands fronted by singer Carlos Ramirez Centeno, “el patron de la cumbia.” Mike at Masstropicas promises me that he has more good stuff still to come, so the chicha revival still has legs. Get on board now.

by Bill Lupoletti

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