PERU BOOM-BASS, BLEEPS AND BUMPS FROM PERU’S ELECTRONIC UNDERGROUND.

PERU BOOM-BASS, BLEEPS AND BUMPS FROM PERU’S ELECTRONIC UNDERGROUND.

Nowadays, the world is a much smaller place. Partly, that’s down to the internet, which has been a boon for music lovers. In the pre-internet days, music lovers were less aware of the music being released around the world. Granted, there was a brief upsurge in interest in world music. Suddenly, some people took an interest in Afro-beat and Latin music. That was as adventurous as most people’s musical taste became. Then came the internet.

Suddenly, an internet savvy generation of music lovers were embracing disparate and eclectic musical genres. They immersed everything from Champeta to Cumbiana, and Dendi to descargo. From there, they moved on to gaita, kawina, Mapale and pachanga. Soon, record companies cottoned on to this sudden interest in what many referred to as “world music.”

Suddenly, compilations of Afro-beat and Latin music were making their way onto record shop shelves. Eventually, the more adventurous record companies dug deeper. They began to release compilations of Algerian, Arabian, Asian, Columbian, Cuban, Haitian, Indian and South American music. There were even compilations of music from behind the old “Iron Curtain.” It seemed that hardly a week went by without a new compilation being released. Many of these compilations were totally different from what many people expected.

Often, the music was funky, soulful and dance-floor friendly. Other times it was rock and psychedelic. Essentially, the music had much in common with the music being released in Britain, Europe and America. Music it seemed was a common currency worldwide.

Across the globe, there was a commonality in the music people were making. People were making rock, soul, funk and dance music from London, Lisbon and Louisiana to Lusaka and Lima. In each of these cities, music scenes had sprung up, with the participants sharing the same common interest. In some case, that had been the case for over fifty years, with music scenes coming and going. That was certainly the case in Peru, which has always had a vibrant musical scene.

That’s still the case today. One of the most vibrant and thriving music scenes in Peru today, is the electronic music scene. Especially, the Peruvian tropical bass and electronic music. Its documented on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground, which was recently released by Tiger’s Milk. The inspiration for Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground came when Tiger’s Milk founder Martin Morales, visited a rave in Lima in 2012. That was a momentous occasion, one that forever changed Martin’s life.

That night in Lima, Martin danced alongside scenesters, hipsters and hedonistic youths looking forget their woes. Thunderous drums, pulsating bass lines and galactic lasers provided the backdrop to the evening. So did a soundtrack of bass, dubstep and the chicha and cumbia that could be heard in Peru during the sixties and seventies. Martin was mesmerised this melting pot of people. They came with one thing in mind, to loose themselves in the music. It didn’t matter their race or religion, or colour or creed. Instead, it was all about the music.

With this in mind, Martin returned home from Lima. He was left with the memories of this heaving mass of humanity who oozed energy, emotion and joy. This had made a big impression on him. He wanted to share this music with others.

Martin knew that previously, no record company had released a compilation of the music he had heard in Lima. So Martin decided to put together a compilation of tropical bass and digital cumbia. This wasn’t going to be easy. So, he brought onboard Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne who helped him compile Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. 

By the time Martin Morales, Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne set about choosing the tracks that would make their way onto Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground, they were already practised in the workings of Peruvian music industry. They had already released several compilations. However, this compilation was different. The tropical bass and digital cumbia scene wasn’t just about the music. It was a subculture were music and art went hand-in-hand.

With this in mind, Martin Morales, Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne began drawing up a list of potential tracks for  Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. Eventually, they settled on sixteen slices of tropical bass and digital cumbia. This included tracks from Animal Chuki, Chakruna, Deltatron, Dengue Dengue Dengue!, Piraña Sound System and Tribilin Sound. Some artists feature more than once. Indeed, Tribilin Sound feature four times, while Chakruna and Deltatron feature twice. Given their importance in the tropical bass and digital cumbia scene, and the quality of music they produce, that’s understandable. Now that Martin Morales, Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne had chosen a track listing, their mind turned to the other important part of Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground, the artwork.

The Tiger’s Milk team were aware of the colour, energy and and vibrancy of the tropical bass and digital cumbia scene. They had been fortunate enough to witness the ornate and extravagant stage backdrops. Even the flyer and posters advertising raves were colourful and vibrant. This extended to the masks that some of the artists wore. Then there were the records. Some of the covers were bold, bright, garish and referenced the graffiti art of the hip hop era. With all that in mind, Martin Morales, Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne set about creating artwork that not only would do the music justice, but gave the listener a flavour of the tropical bass and digital cumbia scene.

To do this, the Tiger’s Milk trio brought onboard one of the top Peruvian artists, Ruta Mare. He was given the job of creating the artwork for Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. Ruta Mare’s design is bold and striking, and references eighties electronica. However, it’s also representative of disparate facets of the tropical and global bass scenes. With the artwork complete, and the track listing chosen, Martin Morales’ musical journey almost at an end. 

This musical journey began in a rave in Lima, back in 2012. Fittingly, that’s where Martin Morales journey came to an end. At the Hard Party at Noise in Lima, some of the top Peruvian tropical bass acts launched Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. At last, what had been one of Peru’s last musical secrets was being heard by a much wider audience. 

Given how talented that artists on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground are, that’s no bad thing. Music is for everyone, not just for a few discerning tastemakers. The wider record buying public deserve to hear the music on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. It was made by eleven talented Peruvian producers. 

This includes Animal Chuki, whose track Luto, opens Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. Animal Chuki are nu-cumbia production team featuring Andrea Campos and Daniel Valle-Riestra. Luto originally featured on their debut E.P. Nativa, which was released on the Spanish label folCORE NETlabel in 2012. Quickly, Luto draws the listener in, and leaves them wanting to hear more from this talented duo.

Deltatron feature twice on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. Their first contribution is the mesmeric Ego Trip. It was initially released on the Track Meet Compilation 02 in October 2013, on the Track Meet label. It’s a timeless sounding track, one that’s hard to resist. That’s also the case with the anthemic El Que Abandona No Tiene Premio. It’s a joyous, hands in the air anthem. 

The best way to describe Dengue Dengue Dengue! are sonic explorers. Their contribution is Como Bailar Cumbia, a track from their 2012 debut album La Alianza Profana. It was released in 2012, on the Auxiliar label. Como Bailar Cumbia features a myriad of space-age sounds, samples, squelchy bass lines and electronic beats. The result is music that’s futuristic, funky and innovative.

Piraña Sound System’s Naranja Limones is a real fusion of genres. Apart from psy-cumbia, elements of electronica, experimental, jazz and techno can be heard. All these genres play their part in a captivating and intriguing track.

Chakruna also feature twice on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. That’s no bad thing. Cumbia Achorada and Sonido Chichero, which features Chapilitta, oozes quality. They show the standard of music being produced within Peru’s thriving electronic music community. 

The maxim everything comes to he who waits, proves to be true with Rolovo’s Outropical (Version B). It’s something of a slow burner, with an almost lo-fi arrangement. That doesn’t matter. Gradually though, the arrangement builds; sweeping the listener along atop a wave of music that represents Peru’s past and present.

Straight away, Qechuaboi’s Iseecumbiapeopleagain has the listener hooked. Again, the arrangement is somewhat lo-fi. It’s also slow, robotic and has a hypnotic sound. That’s until a bass synth and thunderous drums prove to be game-changers. They play their part in another anthemic track; just like the ones that Martin Morales first heard at that life-changing rave in Lima, back in 2012.

Pe Garcia’s Subete A La Noche seems to draw inspiration from a variety of sources. This includes Acid House, eighties electronica and trance. They seem to have influenced Pe Garcia as the track takes on a big room sound. 

Elegante and La Imperial’s Tardes has an intriguing sound. At the start, it’s understated and elegiac, cinematic sound. Before long, a dark, moody and experimental sound descends. The two sides of Tardes coexist side-by-side, and play their part in an intriguing and cinematic track.

Five years ago, Los Chapillacs self-released their debut album Odisea Cumbia 3000. Since then, one of Peru’s most popular cumbia bands star has been in the ascendancy. No wonder. It just takes one listen to the Deltatron Remix of Los Chapillacs’ Marcha Del Chullachaqui to realise why. It’s musical Prozac, that’s guaranteed to brighten your day.

So far, I’ve mentioned ten of the eleven artists that feature on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. They’re responsible for twelve tracks. The other four tracks come courtesy of Tribilin Sound. El Carmen, Underground Cumbia, Negroide and Eduardo Y Hank, which closes Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground showcase one of the leading lights of the Peruvian music scene. They combine the music of past and the present, to make the music of the future. This is no ordinary music. Instead, it’s catchy, full of hooks, moderne and often, has a timeless quality.

Three years ago, Martin Morales first encountered the music on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. Since then, he’s been on a musical quest to share what’s one of Peruvian’s music’s best kept secrets. That’s what the tropical bass and electronic music on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. It’s almost unknown outside of Peru. Not for much longer.

Through the efforts of people like Martin Morales, tropical bass and electronic music will be heard by a much wider audience. Previously, it was an underground phenomenon in the clubs of Lima and beyond. However, now tropical bass and electronic music is making its way to a record shop near you. That’s thanks to the Tiger’s Milk trio of Martin Morales, Chakruna and Duncan Ballantyne. They’ve spent not just weeks or months compiling  Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground, but years. It’s been a labour of love, but one that’s been worthwhile.

That’s apparent when you listen to the sixteen tracks on  Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground. It was made by twelve talented artists or producers. They showcase not just the talent within the Peruvian music scene, but the quality of music being made. Hopefully, Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground will lead to an upsurge in interest in Peruvian tropical bass and electronic music. Maybe, the music on Peru Boom: Bass, Bleeps and Bumps From Peru’s Electronic Underground will be providing the soundtrack to raves much further afield than Lima, where Martin Morales first encountered the music he’s grown to love, enthuse and eulogise about.

PERU BOOM-BASS, BLEEPS AND BUMPS FROM PERU’S ELECTRONIC UNDERGROUND.

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