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Peru Bravo: Funk, Soul & Psych in Peru's Radical Decade (CD/2LP, Tiger's Milk Records, 2014)



After the bloodless military coup in 1968 in Peru by the armed forces of General Velasco, his Revolutionay Government enforced left-leaning policies. But the nationalization and reforms were not that successfull in the end. The crackdown on the press in 1974 soon led to Velasco's downfall. Relations between the United States and Peru were tense during that radical era, but that didn't stop the American culture to spread through and influence Peruvian musicians, as this 'Peru Bravo' attests with its Latin soul, rock, funk & psych selection of treasures. The connection is quite obvious with the pure early 70s psychedelic rock of Laghonia, some Santana-sounding Latin rock from Traffic Sound for example - an even more on the covers picked here: 'Hey Joe' which Jimi Hendrix made popular, The Meters' ' Cissy Strut' or Steppenwolf's 'Sookie Sookie'. Some other tunes gather diverse influences. Jean Paul El Troglodita blends psychedelic soul with beat/pop on the sung parts and funk on the instrumental ones, evoking James Brown's 'Out Of Sight' with funk breaks and a San Fran psych rock chorus… After the majestic 'Peru Maravilloso' compilation released last year (see our october 2013 playlist), this a new essential release of Peruvian gems from the past!

Peru Bravo Funk Soul and Psych in Peru Radical Decade
Various - Peru Bravo: Funk, Soul & Psych in Peru's Radical Decade
(CD/Gatefold 2LP) Tiger's Milk Records, 2014-09-23

Tracklisting :
01. Laghonia - Bahia
02. Traffic Sound - La Camita
03. Jean Paul 'El Troglodita' - Everything's Gonna Change
04. Cacique - Cacique
05. Los Holy's - Cissy Strut
06. Thee Image - Outasite
07. Black Sugar - Checan
08. Los Belking's - Sabata
09. Telegraph Avenue - Sungaligali
10. Los Texao - Sookie Sookie
11. Jeriko - Hey Joe
12. Los Destellos - Onsta La Yerbita
13. Los Nuevos Shains - Pancito Caliente
14. The Mad's - Aouh Aouh
15. Los Comandos - El Sermón

Links :
Tiger's Milk Records : official | bandcamp | facebook | soundcloud | twitter | youtube



Press Release :
Peru Bravo is the second long player and compilation album from Tiger's Milk Records set to be released on September 23rd.

It tells the whirlwind story of a culture in flux when, during the late '60s and early '70s, Lima boasted dozens of young bands full of ideas, spontaneous and unfazed by the instability in Peru. Featuring alternative heroes Traffic Sound and Laghonia alongside a selection of unheralded short-lived groups, Peru Bravo is a funk-fuelled ride through a radical decade.

It would be only a matter of years before this movement disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived as a new, uncompromising military dictatorship, led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, took hold.

Peru Bravo was compiled by top chef, author and restaurateur Martin Morales, Duncan Ballantyne & Andrés Tapia del Rio. It features 15 tracks and unearths the full spectrum of incendiary underground funk, soul and psych sounds between 1968 & 1974 (the reign of Velasco) including versions of Jimi Hendrix's 'Hey Joe', The Meter's 'Cissy Strut' and a Steppenwolf's 'Sookie Sookie'.

Peru Bravo Funk Soul and Psych in Peru Radical Decade

The Beat
The burgeoning domestic scene of the late '60s fed off the loudest beat, garage and rock 'n' roll records arriving from the States & UK, both imported or licensed into Peru, and powered forward, under-pinned by a strong revolutionary spirit. Students and teenage bands swelled in numbers and spotty-faced guitarists across the city fretted and licked with gusto. As the '60s turned into the '70s and as American funk, soul and West coast became growing influences, the underground music scene in Peru diversified rapidly.

The appetite in Peru for surf and garage made way for louder, more raucous sounds as some domestic bands tuned in to the splintered reverberations of the counter-culture and anti-war movements in the US. There was a newfound desire for a fluid sound and fresh fusions. Bands like Black Sugar, Los Belking's and Thee Image looked north to Tower of Power, The Meters and early Chicago - groups who were mixing R n B, soul and funk into their repertoire.

Velasco & Santana
Concerts, however, became less commonplace. Either they were shut down by the military junta or promoters felt obliged to cancel shows, all fuelling fear in the young. Watching a friend's band could lead to prison or worse. In 1971, Santana was scheduled to play concerts in Peru but the tour was abruptly cancelled with no official explanation - a significant and damaging moment for the scene.

By the mid '70s, alternative guitar music had all but disappeared. Tropical sounds and cumbia ruled the airwaves and bands like Los Destellos were leading the pack. Some see the demise of the underground as a direct outcome of the dark cloud created by the fear ramped up by Peru's military government. In truth, it was probably a mix of coercion, young bands running out of steam and a natural popular sway towards the more localised sounds of the country.

In Peru, "bravo" has a double meaning. It can refer to something that is edgy or dangerous but can also be celebratory, as in English. The choice of the title of this collection reflects both as we highlight a wonderfully brave and creative period during particularly tough times.






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