While in Peru visiting family in 2017, I ended up making the trip to Jirón Quilca (the word Jirón is the Spanish term for ‘street; from the Spanish colonial era), a street in downtown Lima where there are several record shops and vinyl dealers. Jirón Quilca is in the old, dusty, colonial section of downtown Lima surrounded by unique businesses(or galleries) that sell magazines and other forms of analog media. I went to Jr. Quilca to look for Afro-Cuban music, Salsa(Fania, NY, PR, Colombian), and Afro-Peruvian records, as those are the musical genres I am most interested in and collect.
Walking down Jr. Quilca, I came across a few record dealers, some who just held down a street corner near the entrance to a larger shop or gallery. Others with more traditional stores, and large organized collections, but still a unique ‘old school’ vibe- like they had been in business in the same location for 50 years, and had never repainted the walls and rarely dusted. This is exactly what I was looking for!
As you can imagine, some of the record dealers in downtown Lima are straight up characters. They are vinyl hustlers, caught in a musical time-warp, relying on the records they sell daily, and extremely knowledgeable of their craft and tropical musical genres. While I did find several Afro-Cuban and Afro-Peruvian records, I started to listen to some of the old Chicha or Peruvian-Cumbia records, mainly 45’s. Chicha is a style of cumbia that started in small towns in the Amazon region of Peru like Iquitos. It has elements of Colombian Cumbia, as well as Afro-Cuban elements, but it is unique as the sounds are also inspired by traditional music from the Andes of Peru like Huayno, and of course sounds and life in the Amazon jungle. The use of the electric guitar is used melodically to sing traditional Peruvian riffs and scales in a grungy, ‘lo-fi’ manner, giving the music a unique sound and character. These are some of the Chicha 45’s purchased during this trip!
To me, these sounds are mesmerizing- they transport you to that jungle town where the heat warms your blood, your mind connects to the rhythm of the bass and percussion, and your body flows with the guitars and vocals like a jungle river. These sounds are turbulent, like a tropical storm- listen with caution. Enjoy!
One note, I have included one track from Colombia(Entre Rejas) and one from Venezuela(Petroleo) where you can hear many musical similarities, and differences like the use of the accordion and harp.
A curated musical voyage blending Global Rhythms, Electro Soul, Funk, Jazz, and Broken Beats…. Yucasoul Radio 046 includes tracks from Cam Obi, Joe Cuba, Lianne La Havas, Nuyorican Soul, Mura Masa and much more. Enjoy!
Pecans – Smino feat Terrace Martin
Blue Boss- Sampa The Great
Shakedown Radio(Instrumental)- Werkha
Buscando- Dengue Dengue Dengue
Wave- Mura Masa
Habriendo El Dominante-Nuyorican Soul
La Malanga Brava-Joe Cuba
Music de Carnaval 2016-Magdy El Hossainy
Kings This Land Is Your Land-Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Still Dope- DOOM
TenderHeaded-Cam Obi ft Smino
Ma Mama-Toto Bona Lokua
Ghost-Lianne La Havas
Cover art by Jason Harris(@jay.crush IG)
A curated musical voyage blending Global Rhythms, Electro Soul, Funk, Jazz, and Broken Beats…. Yucasoul Radio Volume 045 includes tracks from Mongo Santamaria, Zara McFarlane, Sly5thAve, Karriem Riggins, Takuya Matsumoto, Ibeyi and much more. Enjoy!
Kononi Afro-Beat – Fanga Featuring Kady Diarra
Funk Up – Mongo Santamaria
Related To What – The Last Poets
All Africa (Alternate Take)- Zara McFarlane
The Ghetto – Donny Hathaway
Me Voy- Ibeyi feat Mala Rodriguez
Pine & Ginger – Amindi K Frot Tessellated Valleyz
Gal Dem Sugar – Konshens
Africa Dream- Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek
Kawhi – Third Root (featuring Trizzol)
El Búho – Pescado Negro
Serious Drug – Wildcookie
Show You The Way – Thundercat feat Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins
Cia – Karriem Riggins
Let Me Ride – Sly5thAve feat Jimetta Rose Radio Edit
Coco – Takuya Matsumoto
Brame Hamo – Lamaj
Eleggua – Daymé Arocena (Soundspecies Remix)
BadSista Tap -Na Madruga Branko Edit