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Various Artists: ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes

Chris M. Slawecki By

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ANDINA captures The Sound of the Peruvian Andes from vinyl singles originally released by Sono Radio, Iempsa, El Virrey and other Peruvian labels from 1968 to 1978, a most tumultuous social/musical decade. The first installment in a new Tiger's Milk Records compilation series, assembled by Tiger's Milk co-founders Duncan Ballantyne and Martin Morales with Peruvian musical expert DJ Andres Tapia del Rio, ANDINA continues the label's regional exploration of the unique musical roots and fruits of Peru (which already includes Peru Boom, Peru Maraviloso and Peru Bravo).

ANDINA serves up Peruvian musical tapas, offering numerous small platters of many distinctive, sometimes overlapping, flavors and tastes. "Andina means lady from the Andes, or a dish, or a song," Morales explained to Billboard upon ANDINA's release. "You need to wiggle your hips to something, and you also need to cry. It's a tough landscape; you need your own blues."

Electric guitars snake the cumbia rhythm into several singles, such as "Todos Vuelven," a 1943 hit single updated for the Age of Aquarius by cumbia group Los Walkers de Huánuco (and revisited in the 1980s by Rubén Blades). "Zelenita del Año 2000" (Los Bilbao) opens with that trebly, trembling cumbia guitar hook but is quickly overrun by a downpour of bass and percussion; the centering bass sound allows the percussionist (especially the timbalero) to freely dance around its edges.

Other selections center more upon piano than guitar, such as Manolo Avalos' "Rio de Paria," which sounds like a recitation of traditional or folk music; and the call and response chattering between orchestral horns and piano in "Caymeñita," cumbia plus brass led by pianist Lucho Neves. The sound and ensemble grow even bigger in "Perla Andina," a broadly-drawn, formal-sounding ode to the Andes mountains from Alicia Maguiña con Mario Cavagnaro y su Sonora Sensación.

Through the beneficent lens of retrospect, ANDINA in turns sounds raw, elegant, naïve, and unconquered—in other words, like a genuine celebration of the joyously messy human spirit.

Track Listing: La Chichera (Los Demonios del Mantaro); La Mecedora (Los Compadres del Ande); Todos Vuelven (Los Walkers de Huánuco); Recuerda Corazón (La Peruanita); Loca Loquita (Los Bárbaros del Centro); El Lorcho (Los Compadres del Ande); Zelenita del Año 2000 (Los Bilbao); Rio de Paria (Manolo Avalos); Caymeñita (Lucho Neves y su Orquesta); Descarga Huanuqueña (Los Jelwees); Cholita (Los Sabios Del Ritmo); Perla Andina (Alicia Maguiña con Mario Cavagnaro y su Sonora Sensación); Mi Casacancha (Conjunto Los Luceritos de Casacancha); Cumbia en los Andes (Huiro y su Conjunto); Agua Dulce (Los Turistas del Mantaro); Le Celosa (Los Bárbaros del Centro (La Celosa); Toyascha (Conjunto Kori Cinta de Huancavelica).

Personnel: Los Demonios del Mantaro (La Chichera); Los Compadres del Ande (La Mecedora); Los Walkers de Huánuco (Todos Vuelven); La Peruanita (Recuerda Corazón); Los Bárbaros del Centro (Loca Loquita); Los Compadres del Ande (El Lorcho); Los Bilbao (Zelenita del Año 2000); Manolo Avalos (Rio de Paria); Lucho Neves y su Orquesta (Caymeñita); Los Jelwees (Descarga Huanuqueña); Los Sabios Del Ritmo (Cholita); Alicia Maguiña con Mario Cavagnaro y su Sonora Sensación (Perla Andina); Conjunto Los Luceritos de Casacancha (Mi Casacancha); Huiro y su Conjunto (Cumbia en los Andes); Los Turistas del Mantaro (Agua Dulce); Los Bárbaros del Centro (Le Celosa); Conjunto Kori Cinta de Huancavelica (Toyascha).

Title: ANDINA: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Tiger's Milk

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