October 25, 2010

The Roots Of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru

ARTIST:  various artists
TITLE:  The Roots Of Chicha 2: Psychedelic Cumbias From Peru
LABEL:  Barbes

REVIEW:  The first volume of The Roots Of Chicha was one of the surprise hits of 2007, exposing an unsuspecting public to the peculiar blend of cumbia, twangy guitars and psychotropic drugs that fueled this Peruvian style.  This second volume casts a broader net – where volume one focused primarily on rural Andean bands, this edition is more urban, more Cuban, less psychedelic, maybe a bit mellower and provides a more well-rounded view of a genre that has remained popular since the 70’s in Peru’s slums but has barely been acknowledged in upper-class Peruvian culture.  Compiler Olivier Conan (who leads the revival band Chicha Libre) has put together another superb selection here – kudos to him for more or less singlehandedly bringing this great musical style to the attention of American and European listeners.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    2    4    9    15    16

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