Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Various Artists - Back to Peru: The Most Complete Compilation of Peruvian Underground '64-74

Various Artists - Back to Peru: The Most Complete Compilation of Peruvian Underground '64-74


The magic of compilations like this resides in their ability to to transport the listener to their era of choice, or at least give him/her an idea of the period. In 22 tracks, VampiSoul recordings takes us back to a period in Peruvian underground music in which psychedelia was recognizable everywhere. American influences are seen not only in the style of music played, but the language and image of the musicians themselves. However, as it usually happens, Peruvian musicians put some of their own influences on psychedelic rock, which makes this compilation a fun listen.

There are very few dull moments in which it may feel as if the performers are trying too hard to be American. Whether it's Los York's hazy atmosphere in "Abrazame Baby" or El Polen's take on Andean folk in "Mi Cueva", there's something distinctively Peruvian about the music on here, which can actually lead to non-Peruvian listeners or non-Spanish speaking listeners to miss some of the charm, especially in the lyrics. However, the compilation does not alienate anyone: A lot of the songs are in English and none feel "too Peruvian".

Back to Peru is essential for anyone interested in how American music influenced the South American underground, interested in garage rock, or anyone who wants a new take on psychedelic rock.

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