October 14, 2010

Purple Chicha: Peruvian Cumbias Rebajadas (MR#1, 2010)



In anticipation of The Roots of Chicha 2 coming out on Barbés Records this month, I've decided to post a personal concoction of my own.  Like many people who had their first taste of chicha from Barbés' first Roots of Chicha compilation, I have since invested some time into tracking down any chicha I could find. Cumbias, on the other hand, are one of the most popular styles of music in Latin America, and therefore it's been much harder to find the real gems. One day, while searching out mas cumbias, I came upon a Sonido Martines playlist on WFMU for something known as "cumbias rebajadas. These slowed down, dubbed up cumbias reportedly emerged from Mexican urban centers like Monterrey as early as the 70s-- decades before DJ Screw and the Sizzurp scene of the nineties.  Limitation was the inspiration, as shoddy equipment and cheap phonographs in Mexico's discotecas couldn't keep up with the all-night dance parties.  Club patrons began to ask for more of these slow-churning dance numbers.

Chicha is both a style of music specific to Peru and a lightly intoxicating beverage.  Musicians in and around Lima began incorporating electric guitars and organs into their traditional ensembles, either influenced by the psychedelic music coming out of the First World at the time or simply because it was cheaper to buy these new, faddish instruments than the "specialty" items traditional Andean music demanded.  Suffice to say, if you are here by way of internet search, you are most likely aware already of chicha's lilting, otherworldy quality. 

Chicha is also a drank made by village women who chew maize and spit it into a large vat to ferment.  Saliva is an essential component to breaking down the corn mash.  Chicha is usually yellow, but purple corn is also used with spices and fruit to make a mostly non-alcholic beverage known as chicha morada.  Of course, the coincidental color of chicha morada has nothing to do with the prescription-strength cough syrup known as sizzurp or lean throughout the southern United States.  Nor have Peruvians gotten much into cumbias rebajadas.  In fact, chicha had always been looked down upon as slum music by most of Peruvian society until The Roots of Chicha compilation popularized it here in the States.  Ruminate on the cultural complexities of combining indigenous music unearthed by privileged Americans with fucked up Mexican party music and hip hop drug culture from the Dirty South as you get your lean on to Purple Chicha, slowed and throwed by yours truly.

PURPLE CHICHA

16 comments:

øשlqæda said...

murky sunshine purple pyramids

øשlqæda said...

justin case: http://avaxhome.ws/music/latin/historia_musical_de_la_cumbia_colombiana.html

Holly said...

This is totally blowing my mind!

Did you do the slowing, or did you find 'pre-slowed' tracks?


Feeling light-headed,

Holly :-)

Flash Strap said...

Thank you, sir. This is a gift and a pleasure.

Flash Strap said...

I've been slamming this into my ears for like 30 hours now, and it's... it's really good. THANK YOU MR. RECESS, thank you twice, thank you thrice.

øשlqæda said...

this mix is fire!

Petro Earl said...

Holly, these chichas moradas were slowed by mine own hand. I truly appreciate the kind words from you all. 2010 has been a musical orgy of discovery thanks to your two glogs. Couldn't imagine there being better ears out there to please.

Everyone should follow øשlqæda's linkage while the gettin's good; but if you know your shit from shoeshine, then probably you've already cut and tasted.

D. Klein said...

I am in love with you. This is some hot shit! Thanks for the slowdown! I'm beginning to realize that we're all a bit better off if we just slow it down a bit.

Juan Ricardo said...

We invite you to visit the Official page of INFOPESA, the most important peruvian record label (Los Mirlos, Juaneco y su Combo, Manzanita, Orientales de paramonga, Cuarteto Continental, Pasteles Verdes etc), artists featured in the compilations THE ROOTS OF CHICHA.
Visit us and discover new artists, tracks, videos and news.
Spread the word!
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Infopesa/125280644200601

nicholab said...

looks like i'm late to this party. this is so so great! thanks!

Petro Earl said...

Thanks y'all; and if you're hankering for more purple flavorings, I highly recommend Flash Strap's chopped-and-screwed trip through la jungla Exotica. His venerable glog has been a weekly venture of mine for some times now. Prepare for daze of discovering: http://flashstrap.blogspot.com/2010/12/exotica-for-new-year-flash-strap.html

Also, I welcome any of you fine folks to share this mix of mine in anyway you please. It don't make no nevermind to me.

Anonymous said...

The windchill in Kansas City is twenty degrees below muhfuggin' zero, I physically cannot walk in the streets for a foot of snow over an inch of ice -- and still, and yet, I think I've found what I need as a companion for getting tastefully faded in utter desolation and droning the fuck out. Gracias, güey!

aboynamedstew said...

Seriously, this mix has become the centerpiece of my summer jams. Thanks, and you've hit on something magical here.

hideo said...

AWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
(i um, dig the mix)

eniksleestack said...

Three years late to the party -- how's that for slowed down? These tracks are mind-blowing, other worldly, amazing....thanks

Arturo said...

hey man im barely finding out about this and its awesome. you should make a 2nd album with more songs. PLEASE