Music

Various Artists: Andina: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes

Vintage music from the Peruvian Andes makes for a lively compilation, although it loses something in the translation from past to present.

Andina: The Sound of the Peruvian Andes: Huayno, Carnaval & Cumbia, 1968 to 1978
Various Artists

Strut / Tiger's Milk

20 Oct 2017

Part of a larger group of companies dedicated to promoting Peruvian culture, Tiger's Milk Records partners up with Strut, one of the foremost labels for vintage funk and dance music from across the globe, to release compilation Andina. The 1960s and '70s music from high up in the Peruvian Andes are the tracks collected for Andina and are a lively bunch, quick and catchy, with percussion running rampant behind nimble guitar and piano lines.


It's a far cry from most of Tiger Milk's other compilations, funky, tropical outings with more of a psychedelic bent. Here, the air is thin, and the music is dizzying. Each song is characterized by a lot of repetition - a lot of repetition - making it clear that this music is meant less for casual listening and more for serious dancing.

While there is little variation within each song, there is some to be found between songs. After two tracks of happy, midtempo bouncing, instrumental Los Walker's De Huánuco track "Todos Vuelven" picks up speed and adds a sharper energy to the mix, a definite highlight. Later on, "El Lorcho" by Los Compadres Del Ande brings in organ and violin; the two instruments hand the lead part back and forth, a seamless relay that adds romance and excitement. Los Bilbao continues in that dramatic vein with "Zelenita del Año 2000", a tight and intricate track that largely stays in one melodic hotspot, a showstopper. Closing the album is Conjunto Kori Cinta De Huancavelica's ethereal "Toyascha", a song that climbs the mountain heights and keeps going, rising into the cloud forest canopy.

Listen too long while sitting still and you might lose your mind a little; each song's two or three discrete musical passages stick with you whether you like them or not. As infectious as these kinds of Carnaval music and cumbia are when you're in the mood, hearing nonstop celebration music when there is, in fact, no parade in sight, gets hard to handle. The repetition in each song is underscored by vintage recording quality, all the elements in most tracks set at the same volume and sticking together in a way that is hard to process. It's an inevitable side effect of the source material, as likely to transport a listener to a different time and place as it is to irritate.

If I sound like I'm waffling on taking an actual stance on Andina, it's because I am. There is something wonderful about the prospect of archived music being unearthed and released, recordings that have withstood the years. Andina is music from a time that was once the present, and having it at our fingertips now lets us connect with that time, perhaps to understand it on a visceral level that would otherwise be impossible, lost somewhere in a fixed past.

Andina lives on, thanks to Strut and Tiger's Milk, there for us to experience over and over. But the selections are hard to parse, and so far removed from their original context that it is difficult to appreciate in its current form. But the work these labels do together is admirable and promising. May the deep digging continue.

5
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Reading Pandemics

Pandemic, Hope, Defiance, and Protest in 'Romeo and Juliet'

Shakespeare's well known romantic tale Romeo and Juliet, written during a pandemic, has a surprisingly hopeful message about defiance and protest.

Film

A Family Visit Turns to Guerrilla Warfare in 'The Truth'

Catherine Deneuve plays an imperious but fading actress who can't stop being cruel to the people around her in Hirokazu Koreeda's secrets- and betrayal-packed melodrama, The Truth.

Music

The Top 20 Punk Protest Songs for July 4th

As punk music history verifies, American citizenry are not all shiny, happy people. These 20 songs reflect the other side of patriotism -- free speech brandished by the brave and uncouth.

Books

90 Years on 'Olivia' Remains a Classic of Lesbian Literature

It's good that we have our happy LGBTQ stories today, but it's also important to appreciate and understand the daunting depths of feeling that a love repressed can produce. In Dorothy Strachey's case, it produced the masterful Olivia.

Music

Indie Rocker Alpha Cat Presents 'Live at Vox Pop' (album stream)

A raw live set from Brooklyn in the summer of 2005 found Alpha Cat returning to the stage after personal tumult. Sales benefit organizations seeking to end discrimination toward those seeking help with mental health issues.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

'Avengers: Endgame' Faces the Other Side of Loss

Whereas the heroes in Avengers: Endgame stew for five years, our pandemic grief has barely taken us to the after-credit sequence. Someone page Captain Marvel, please.

Music

Between the Grooves of Nirvana's 'Nevermind'

Our writers undertake a track-by-track analysis of the most celebrated album of the 1990s: Nirvana's Nevermind. From the surprise hit that brought grunge to the masses, to the hidden cacophonous noise-fest that may not even be on your copy of the record, it's all here.

Music

Deeper Graves Arrives via 'Open Roads' (album stream)

Chrome Waves, ex-Nachtmystium man Jeff Wilson offers up solo debut, Open Roads, featuring dark and remarkable sounds in tune with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus.

Featured: Top of Home Page

The 50 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.

Books

First Tragedy, Then Farce, Then What?

Riffing off Marx's riff on Hegel on history, art historian and critic Hal Foster contemplates political culture and cultural politics in the age of Donald Trump in What Comes After Farce?

Reviews

HAIM Create Their Best Album with 'Women in Music Pt. III'

On Women in Music Pt. III, HAIM are done pretending and ready to be themselves. By learning to embrace the power in their weakest points, the group have created their best work to date.

Music

Amnesia Scanner's 'Tearless' Aesthetically Maps the Failing Anthropocene

Amnesia Scanner's Tearless aesthetically maps the failing Anthropocene through its globally connected features and experimental mesh of deconstructed club, reggaeton, and metalcore.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.