. artist : various artists .
. album : peru maravilloso: vintage latin, tropical and cumbia .
. year : 2013 .
. label : tiger’s milk .
. grade : b plus .
There’s more to Peruvian music than chicha – that’s one of the messages of this fine debut compilation from Tiger’s Milk Records, an outgrowth of London Peruvian restaurant Ceviche. This is a well-researched look at the Latin and tropical sounds of 60’s and 70’s Peru, with none of the tracks re-released since their original local pressings. A good example of their deep digging is the first track, “Mambo de Machaguay,” which sounds like a standard swank 60’s big band mambo but also incorporates a traditional Andean rhythm. “Salsa 73” is a descarga (jam session), a popular style among Peruvian Latin combos of the era; “Piraña” is a Cuban son montuno crossed with the ever-popular cumbia rhythm. And they didn’t leave chicha out of the mix entirely: “La Cumbia Del Pacurro” is a beauty by Juaneco Y Su Combo that somehow hadn’t yet been reissued, “Me Siento Felíz” is the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” as a psychedelic cumbia instrumental, and “Los Fabulosos en Onda” is a new one on me, some sort of chicha power ballad (an instrumental once again) with a Santana-like guitar lead. Nice job, gentlemen.