Vintage Electric Guitar Meets Cumbia and the Tropical Sounds of Peru

Various Artists - Peru Maravilloso
Various Artists – Peru Maravilloso
Various Artists

Peru Maravilloso (Tiger’s Milk, 2013)

This compilation takes the listener to 1960s and 1970s Peru, to a time when traditional tropical music was combined with electric guitars, 1960s pop (including the Beatles), and 1970s rock, soul, Andean music and psychedelia, generating a distinct hybrid sound. Although Peru has its own Afro-Peruvian music, most of the tropical influences found on this recording come from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean (primarily Cuba), early salsa from the USA and cumbia from nearby Colombia.

Mambo and later salsa were big at the time and Peruvian musicians followed similar musical paths as musicians in other countries. Although some of the tracks highlight the sound of brass, this compilation is really about the electric guitars. I’m not a big fan of chicha and pre-Hendrix 60s guitar, but if you are a music aficionado who is into the 1960s and early 70s retro guitar sound, you will certainly enjoy this album.

The compilation was put together by Duncan Ballantyne (UK), Martin Morales (UK/Peru) and Andres Tapia (Peru) for Tiger’s Milk Records, which is part of Ceviche, a Peruvian restaurant in London.

The compilation features well-known artists from the era such as Lucho Neves and Felix Martinez y su Chavales. Highlights include the protosalsa ‘Sueño de Amor’ by Zulu with its timeless sound that has aged well; and the slow cadence cumbia ‘El Chacarero’ by Los Gatos Blancos.

Track listing:
01. Lucho Neves y su Orquesta – “Macho de Machaguay”
02. Chango y su Conjunto – “Salsa 73″
03. Juaneco y su Combo – “La Cumbia del Pacurro”
04. Los Zheros – “Para Chachita”
05. Pedro Miguel y sus Maracaibos – “Piraña”
06. Paco Zambrano y su Combo – “Meshkalina”
07. Los Gatos Blancos – “El Chacarero”
08. Zulu – “Sueño de Amor”
09. Los Orientales – “Bailando en La Campiña”
10. John Benny y Los Ribereños – “Trinan Las Golondrinas”
11. Los Ecos – “Me Siento Feliz”
12. Lucia Cruz – “Toro Mata”
13. Manzanita y su Conjunto – “El Zambito Rumbero”
14. Félix Martinez y sus Chavales – “La Gallina”
15. Aniceto y sus Fabulosos – “Los Fabulosos en Onda”
16. *Los Zheros – “Descarga De Los Zheros” (on vinyl only)

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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