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Andean music CDs. Reviews
Land of winds > Music > Reviews | Issue 05. May.-Jun.2011
By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

The problem of choosing five examples that were representative of the history of the Andean music of Peru was that there are many different styles included in this category. For this reason it has been inevitable to leave aside some of the best known soloists and groups of this country such as Ernesto Sánchez (“Jilguero del Huascarán”), Martina Portocarrero, the Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, the group Alturas, Javier Echecopar, Raúl García Zárate, Margot Palomino, Llaqtaymanta, the Ayacucho Trio, Sila Illanes, Arpay, María Alvarado Trujillo (“Pastorcita Huaracina”), Los Uros, Miguel Silva (“Indio Mayta”) or Ángel Bedrillana.

Conjunto Condemayta de Acomayo
Conjunto Condemayta de Acomayo
Conjunto Condemayta de Acomayo
(IEMPSA - 1994)
1. Soncollay imanami – 2. Brisas de Acomayo – 3. Cerveza cusqueña – 4. Challhuaschallay – 5. Tanqar quisqacha – 6. Serenata Condemayta – 7. Ingrata no seas – 8. Dos tomasinos – 9. Dime destino – 10. Mi palomar – 11. Cuerpo soltero – 12. Corazón herido – 13. Cielo nublado – 14. Estampas de Acomayo – 15. Parque de Acomayo – 16. Finay pamapachi – 17. Rosalinaschay – 18. Vicuñita – 19. Carnaval de Canaybamba – 20. Marinera Acomayina – Altuntan ripuccan – Linda aqueñita - Asha
Condemayta de Acomayo appeared around 1965 in Cusco. Its name honours the native heroine Tomasa Tito Condemayta (who fought bravely alongside Tupaq Amaru in the battle of Sangarará) and the town of Acomayo in the region of Cusco.
It is a group of authentic traditional Peruvian music, whose most common line up includes Saturnino Pulla Jimenez on the harmonica (or “rondín”), Juan Charalla Titu on the Andean harp, Nicanor C'asa Champi on the mandolin and vocalist María Tintaya Rayo, known as “La Calandria del Sur” (the Calandra Lark of the South), whose singing resembles the purest style of the Quechua peasant performers.
The group has released a good number of albums and compilations including “Challhuaschallay”, “Qué suerte la mía”, “Cusco, siempre Cusco”, “Lo mejor” (1981), and “El retorno” (1985). “Conjunto Condemayta de Acomayo” is their last work, though the group continues to appear on both national and international stages. This album is a compilation of their greatest hits such as “Cuerpo soltero”, “Brisas de Acomayo”, “Tanqar Quisqacha” or “Serenata Condemayta”. It is an excellent starting point to get into the musical culture of Cusco, which is one of the most representative examples of Peruvian folk.
Link CD []
Official website: Not available

Alpamayo. Music from Peru and Ecuador
Music from Peru & Ecuador
(Arc Music - 1991)
1. La lluvia – 2. A las orillas del Conococha – 3. Clavel pallay – 4. Llamor – 5. Cholita bonita – 6. Alpasikuri – 7. Takirikusunchis – 8. Kachampa – 9. Mírame – 10. Amor ajeno – 11. Piedrecita – 12. Morenadas
Alpamayo –in Quechua, “muddy river”– appeared in Lima in 1984, and was formed by a bunch of university students from Huaraz (Ancash department). Their artistic career started with the release of “Llanketa kutishimay” (1989) followed by “Vuelo por los Andes” (1991). Afterwards, their members moved to Germany, where they launched the albums “Music from Peru & Ecuador”, “Pueblo andino” (1992), “Magic flutes music from the Andes” (1993) and “Entre la escarcha y el aguacero” (1996), which would be the last recording before the group decided to split.
Perhaps their best known work is the album “Music from Peru & Ecuador”, an excellent recording, including beautiful traditional songs such as the capishca “La lluvia”, the chuscada “A las orillas del Conococha”, the sanjuanito “Piedrecita”, the ancient “Kachampa” of Incan origin, and the sikuris like “Cholita bonita” or “Takirikusunchis”.
With a neat musical style, a very carefully chosen repertoire and a good number of voices and instruments, Alpamayo became a referent for other bands at their time and a great exponent of the folk music of northern Peru.
Link CD []
Official website: Not available

Takillakta. Sipán
(Artis Records - 1991)
1. Gran Señor de Sipán – 2. Antonio Mocho – 3. Chapara / Diablada – 4. Brujushja huayta – 5. Encuentros – 6. Carnaval de Arapa – 7. Tabacundeña – 8. Arokawa – 9. Sonjoikipis – 10. Cóndor pasa
Formed in 1984 in Chiclayo (Lambayeque department) by a group of university students and professors, Takillakta (in Quechua, “land of singing”) started their career in the north of Peru, though spent most of their artistic life in Italy. The group has released over a dozen of albums and more than fifty different names have passed through its line up.
As it happened with Alpamayo, Takillakta became a referent for other Andean bands during the 90s, especially for their careful performance of rhythms that were strictly Andean following traditional patterns. Curiously enough, both groups developed their career in Europe and it was only years later that they received recognition at home.
“Sipán”, Takillakta’s third album, includes such beautiful songs as the one that gives name to the album (“Gran Señor de Sipán”), the well known traditional sanjuanitos “Antonio Mocho” and “Tabacundeña”, the huayno “Brujushja huayta” and the stunning “Carnaval de Arapa”. The album was later re-launched as a compilation including other of their most successful recordings, “500 anni dopo”.
Link CD []
Official website [es]

Yawar. Bajo el cielo de los Inkas
Bajo el cielo de los Inkas
(IEMPSA - 1998)
1. Bajo el cielo de los Inkas – 2. Cóndor de Chavín – 3. Huascarán – 4. Mamallay – 5. Wayllas tusuy – 6. Vírgenes del sol – 7. La danza del Quiullo – 8. La flecha rebelde – 9. Atipanacuy – 10. Cuando el indio llora – 11. Ollantay – 12. Brisas – 13. Tu encanto – 14. Trilla – 15. Cumbres
Yawar (in Quechua, “blood”) is a Peruvian band with a 25-year-long career on national and international stages.
Their work is the result of a modern fusion of styles: the Andean music of Peru and contemporary romantic music. In doing so, and as it is the case with other modern Andean groups, Yawar uses electronic instruments and a lot of studio effects.
The group has released 14 recording including a double album with Andean versions of The Beatles. “Bajo el cielo de los Inkas”, their ninth album, is one of the few featuring traditional songs, beneath that “modern” exterior which characterizes their style.
Link CD []
Official website [es]

Alborada. Five spirits
Five Spirits
(Alborada - 2003)
1. Love mountain – 2. Ananau – 3. Paway-Anka – 4. Wayanakuy – 5. Five Spirits – 7. Nina-Tusuy – 8. Tatanka – 9. Puyumuyumuwan – 10- Wayrapa-Muspuynin
Alborada appeared in 1984 in the village of Ocobamba (Apurimac department) as another group of Andean music. Their members, as many others, migrated to Germany, where the band merged Peruvian musical tradition with contemporary styles that were successful in Europe such as techno, dance, pop, rock, new age, music for meditation and so on. The result, therefore, is a very eclectic mix, which also incorporates “tropical” rhythms, the music of North American natives (since 2002), eastern sounds (since 2005) and a bizarre staging where “pre-Hispanic” clothing is prominent.
Presently, Alborada is back in Peru, where the band is winning over young fans throughout the country
The group has released more than twenty recordings to their credit and “Five Spirits” is one of the most acclaimed. With an ever-expanding sound, Alborada has an increasing number of followers, who refer to the band as “Andean” with strong “indigenous” touches. However, there are hardly any remains of what might, perhaps, have originally been the music of the Andes in their works.
Official website [es]
Alborada, in Wikipedia [es]
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