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Andean music CDs. Reviews
Land of winds > Music > Reviews | Issue 01. Jul.-Aug.2010
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Amongst the classic groups performing Andean music there is a host of great examples which are credited with having introduced different generations of followers to this genre. Their contributions, which range over traditional works, adaptations and fusions of both styles and rhythms, have resulted in many people crossing the first threshold and meeting the colourful horizon of Andean music.
The following five CDs, which at that time worked as “interest awakener” were recorded by as many different groups, who are part of an important selection of remarkable and pioneering ensembles and performers including Los Curacas, Kollahuara, Savia Andina, Los Incas, Los Chaskis, Raíces Incas, Los Jaivas, Los Laikas, Arak Pacha, Los Wayanay, Quilapayún, Proyección or K’ala Marka.

Inkuyo Land of the Incas
Land of the Incas
(Fortuna Records - 1988)
1. Wiphala – 2. Camino a Inkuyo – 3. Uña – 4. A la Virgen de las Peñas – 5. Tierra callawaya – 6. Amanece en Visviri – 7. Khusillo – 8. Jach’a marka – 9. Samay – 10. Flor de Mamiña – 11. Cultura andina – 12. Apu – 13. Selección de tinkus – 14. Ponchos rojos / Mi mala suerte – 15. Surco – 16. Peshte longuita – 17. El carnaval – 18. Silencio – 19. Carnaval cruceño
The quartet’s first album came as a revelation to North American and European listeners alike at a time when “ethnic” sounds were being rediscovered and the Andean music heyday expanded beyond its boundaries. In “Land of the Incas” the group, which is centered around the excellent Bolivian instrumentalist and composer Gonzalo Vargas (Khanata, Sukay), explores a wise selection of traditional rhythms in a minimalist, polished and surprising way considering not only the virtuosity demonstrated by such instruments as the panpipes or the charango, but also the grateful and thorough instrumental arrangements.
The tracks “Flor de Mamiña”, “Ponchos rojos / Mi mala suerte” and “Amanece en Visviri” are remarkable in their beauty. However, the first track of the CD, titled “Wiphala” deserves a special mention: it was featured in the film “Baraka” (1992), a unique cinematic experience at that time. In this album Inkuyo includes a few styles little known in the western scene (diablada, k’antu, chiriwano) and provides valuable information on both the tracks and the instruments performed.
Link CD
Official website: not available
Video 01] [Video 02] [Video 03] [Video 04]

Inti Illimani Canto de pueblos andinos
Canto de pueblos andinos
(EMI-Odeón - 1973)
1. Sirviñaco – 2. Mis llamitas – 3. Amores hallarás – 4. A vos te ha’i pesar – 5. Alturas – 6. Taita Salasaca – 7. Ramis – 8. Tema de la Quebrada de Humahuaca – 9. Tinku – 10. Longuita – 11. Papel de plata – 12. Subida
Springing onto the Chilean scene in the late 1960s, Inti-Illimani focused the group attention on the Pan-Latin American “New Song movement” without hiding their communist ideology. Many of their first productions became revolutionary anthems inside their country and abroad. As time passed, the group also devoted itself to work on Andean music as it happens to be the case with this album, the first one of a series consisting of three volumes under the same name. This impeccable introduction offers a plenitude of Andean music performed without affectation and, though estranged from its most traditional patterns, successfully keeping its essence and freshness. One of its famous tracks is the one titled “Tinku”, a popular song of Bolivia collected by Víctor Jara whose lyrics is probably one of the worst transliterated throughout the course of Andean music history (see), however, despite this fact this lyrics is one of the most covered by subsequent groups. The album also includes thoroughly enjoyable tracks as the Argentinian bailecito “Sirviñaco”, “Tema de la quebrada de Humahuaca”, “Papel de plata”, leitmotivs of Ecuador such as “Longuita” or “Taita Salasaca” and the splendid study for charango “Mis llamitas” by master Ernesto Cavour. Special mention deserves the album’s cover, an astounding example of the imagery present at that time which would spark many and fabulous expressions afterwards, all as stupendous as each other (Illapu, Quilapayún, Los Curacas, Huamari, Aparcoa, Ortiga...).

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Official website [es]
[Video 01] [Video 02] [Video 03] [Video 04]

Illapu Despedida del pueblo
Despedida del pueblo
(Arena - 1976)
1. Los mapuches – 2. Candombe para José – 3. Sipassy – 4. Queridos amigos – 5. Socoromeña – 6. La Candelaria – 7. Diana – 8. A mis paisanos – 9. Tristeza incaica – 10. Baguala india – 11. Longuita otavaleña – 12. Despedida del pueblo
Though one of its early works, the third album by this group native of Antofagasta, Chile Big North (see) is one of their well-known productions; partly because of the difficulty in finding the second (“Chungará”) and the simplicity of the first one (“Música andina”). “Despedida del pueblo” makes an excellent introduction to one of all time’s finest quena performers, José Miguel Márquez (“Los mapuches”, “Sipassy”), to the incomparable voice of the deceased Eric Maluenda (“Baguala india”), to their sparkling instrumental work (“Tristeza incaica”) and to their graceful song arrangements (“Queridos amigos”). In this work Illapu collect songs of the place they were born (“Socoromeña”, the chorus in Aymara language), tackle with instrumental songs (“La Candelaria”, “Diana”) and explore other folklores, such as the Ecuadorian (“Longuita otavaleña”) or the one of the River Plate (“Candombe para José”), which would be performed many times along their career.
This work’s sound, though quite elaborated, is just the seed of Illapu’s fruitful career and would establish the template for their subsequent success with monumental albums such as “Vuelvo amor... Vuelvo vida” (1991) or “Morena esperanza” (1998).
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Official website [es]
[Video 01] [Video 02] [Video 03] [Video 04]

Los Calchakis Flutes de Pan des Andes
Los Calchakis
Flûtes de Pan des Andes
(Arion - 1986)
1. Recuerdo azul – 2. Lima morena – 3. Presencia lejana – 4. Coplas de marzo – 5. El colibrí – 6. Linda cambita – 7. Jesusana – 8. Cuculi – 9. Blanca palomita – 10. Aires de mi tierra – 11. Sol nocturno – 12. Amankay – 13. Tiempo de paz – 14. Réquiem para un afilador – 15. Uskil – 16. Kena y siku – 17. Sikus del Titicaca – 18. Triste tondero – 19. Urpillay – 20. Acuarela de sikus
It is not an easy choice to select one of the endless list of musical productions by this group consisting of four Argentinians and one Chilean man settled in France from mid ‘60s. Los Calchakis have launched almost half hundred recordings, including concerts, cantatas, original songs and collections. Together with groups such as Los Incas, Urubamba and Los Quetzales, they introduced the sounds of the Andes to many European listeners, but also the harp music of Paraguay, a number of Venezuelan and Mexican tunes, a lot of examples of Argentinian folklore and several samples of the Nueva Canción (Spanish for “New Song”). Los Calchakis had many followers among their contemporaries and familiarized large audiences with the different realities (musical and cultural) of South America, though their arrangements were far from complying with the most traditional patterns and they even renamed old melodies utilizing those traditional airs as the basis for their own, and on many occasions of doubtful quality song lyrics.
This album features different rhythms of the Andes and includes emblematic songs at that time, such as “Amankay”, “Sikus del Titicaca”, “Coplas de marzo” or “Blanca palomita”.
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Official website [es/en]
[Video 01] [Video 02] [Video 03] [Video 04]

Los Kjarkas Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo
Los Kjarkas
Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo
(Lauro - 1982)
1. Wa ya yay – 2. Siempre he de adorarte – 3. Por un mundo nuevo – 4. Surimana – 5. Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo – 6. Llorando se fue – 7. Mamita surumi – 8. Capinoteña – 9. Tata Sabaya – 10. Phuru runas
Los Kjarkas have been one of the most influential groups in the musical landscape of the Andes. Many of their works have spread beyond their borders and gaining great popularity out of Bolivia. On the one hand, their highly romanticized lyrics and melodies provided the bedrock for an entire generation of Andean musicians (e.g. Proyección, Semilla, Tupay, Amaru) and on the other, their work collecting traditions, instruments and different playing methods and bringing them on the stage left a lasting imprint on subsequent developments in traditional forms. Native from Capinota (Cochabamba, Bolivia), Los Kjarkas first came together in 1965 as an ordinary group –nothing pretentious– gradually achieving international success and eventually being acclaimed as one of the most fruitful and admired Bolivian groups. “Canto a la mujer de mi pueblo” is an astonishing strong early album, including most of their unforgettable songs. Remarkable tracks are “Wa ya yay” (almost and Andean anthem), “Llorando se fue” (that became a worldwide known song when the Brazilian group Kaoma based their “Lambada” on this Bolivian original melody), “Siempre he de adorarte” or “Phuru runas”, where Los Kjarkas unfold the powerful sound of their impressive toyos, staggering larger than one meter and a half. Worthy of note is the splendid voice of the singer Gastón García, and also the harsh and unmistakable tone of the group’s leader, founder and major composer, the deceased Gonzalo Hermosa.
Link CD []
Official website [es]
[Video 01] [Video 02] [Video 03] [Video 04]
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