I got hit listening to a bunch of Peruvian reissue records lately, which in turn made me want to post a few of my own Chicha gems. If I had to explain this new renaissance in Cumbia music though, in its most simplistic way, is that all this popularity is not without merit. The music is great and I am happy to see interest in this genre of Latin music. I myself have to tip my hat to Eamon Ore-Giron (Dj Lengua) – if he hadn’t had all his aunts and uncles running around Lima Peru buying records for him, I would have never really been in tune to this genre 10 years ago. So in whatever form it comes in, it is all warranted.
All in all, some pretty awesome songs in this bunch. If you note, I started with the more popular groups to the more obscure one’s. Los Mirlos are the godfathers of Amazonian Cumbia and they really do justice to Hugo Blanco’s “Cumbia Con Arpa”. The only song that isn’t from Peru is from Los Dinamicos Del Ritmo (Mexico maybe), yet they have that tripped out guitar sound down pretty well. Not sure if Los Vagos De Paramonga are any relation to Los Orientales, but they rip-off their song “Lobos Al Escape” in some new direction. Lastly, cumbia that seems politically topical is also quite common in this genre. Take the song Vietnam on the Do Re Mi label (Huayño acts tend to show up on this one). Although there is no real indication of why Los Pankis would have used that name for the song, I get a feeling that it’s possibly a Huayño view of the outside world - sympathetic view of the downtrodden? or something that might sell a record? Who knows? Asi, asi, asi!!!