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    Land of winds > Music > Reviews | Issue 19 (May.-Jun. 2014)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Andean fusions

In general, it can be said that, with few exceptions, all "Andean" musical groups have expanded their repertoire to include some sort of fusion element. From Los Kjarkas to Inti-Illimani and from Chimizapagua to Jaime Torres, all of them, at some point in their careers, have given in to the temptation of blending traditional music with other styles. In certain cases, as those reviewed in this issue, fusion has become their trademark sound. However, many more have been left out due to space constraints, so we encourage readers to continue their own journey of discovery with suggested stops at Yara, Amazonas, Palisandro, Kotosh, Antasur, Kishuar, Inka Marka, Los Tekis, Ecuador Manta, Arimanta Inka, Andinamarka or Andes (Perú); soloists like Damaris, William Luna, Diosdado Gaitán Castro, Gustavo Patiño or Luis Rico; and some classics of the "fusion" genre such as Huara. Pachacamac, Huayucaltia, Llajtaymanta, Inca Taki, Los Jaivas or K'ala Marka.

Micamac - Volumen 3 | Bolivian Jazz - Jazz andino | Antara - Raza rara | Wara - Paqallqu | Huella Pampa - Folklore... para no olvidar

Micamac - Volumen 3


Volumen 3
(Micamac – 1980)

1. Run-run – 2. Vigogne – 3. Cafe au lait – 4. Diablada – 5. Clouque – 6. An-dro – 7. Desfile de comparsas – 8. Machu Pichu – 9. Las abejas – 10. Huayno

Micamac was formed in 1975 by three musicians from Brittany (northwest of France), who began performing only Andean music in the style that was popular in Europe at the time. Since the 1980s, however, they went on to blend this music with the traditional sounds of Celtic folk, and launched their crossover album "Volumen 3", also known as "An-dro para Concarneau". This album was preceded by "Bolivia" (1976), and followed by "Sentiers des Andes" (1981), "Willca, le rêve de Machu Pichu" (1984), "Bach en stock" (1989), "O'Korrigan" (1993), "Froggy Dew" (1996) and "Concerts" (1999). The band, which has undergone a number of line-up changes over the years, continues making music both on the stage and behind the scenes, in the classrooms.

On "Volumen 3", Micamac features tracks that range from traditional Andean/South American repertoire ("Run-run", "Desfile de comparsas", "Las abejas", "Huayno"), sometimes self-arranged ("Cafe au lait", "Clouque"), to a mix of styles ("Vigogne", "Diablada", "Machu Pichu"). The album was their first to include Celtic music performed on Andean instruments ("An-dro"), a trend that would continue throughout the band's future albums.

Official website [fr].
Link CD [].

Bolivian Jazz - Jazz andino


Bolivian Jazz
Jazz andino
(Discolandia – 1993)

1. El lago sagrado – 2. Despierta – 3. Auqui jazz – 4. Mañanero – 5. Yungas – 6. Kusillo melancólico – 7. Tinku – 8. Sicuris de cristal – 9. Pacha ajayu – 10. Vírgenes del sol

Bolivian Jazz was created in 1988 by the Bolivian composer, director and double bass player René Saavedra. The band's repertoire is made up of both adaptations of traditional songs, and jazz-style compositions (usually by Saavedra himself) based on Bolivian rhythms using instruments of a jazz band with quenas (notched flutes), zampoñas (panpipes), charango and Andean percussion. Some of the albums released by the group are "El lago sagrado" (1990), "El kusillo melancólico" (1991), "Sikuris de cristal" (1994), "Eclipse" (1995), "Coca" (1996), "Takesi" (1999), "Milenio" (2003), "Volviendo de la oscuridad" (2006) and "Uma" (2008).

"Jazz andino", their third album, draws on Andean rhythms such as the saya ("Yungas") and the tinku ("Tinku"), and features stunning quena solos (e.g. on the track "Auqui jazz"). Special mention deserves their version of the classic Inca fox "Vírgenes del sol".

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Antara - Raza rara


Raza rara
(S.d. – 1996)

1. Poncho al viento – 2. Tusumuy – 3. Tentaciones – 4. El pituco – 5. Rock andino – 6. Raza aymara – 7. Vientos – 8. Manantial – 9. Joaquín – 10. Aún te quiero

Antara is a Peruvian band on which little information is available. Their sound, however, is easily identifiable as being influenced by both traditional and contemporary folk (the latter arranged with keyboard, electric bass and percussion), and blended with pop ("Tentaciones", "Aún te quiero"), rock ("Rock andino"), rumba ("Raza aymara") and cumbia ("Vientos").

Even if the album is known on the Internet as "Raza rara", its original title would probably have been "Raza aymara".

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Wara - Paqallqu


(Discolandia – 1997)

1. Illimani – 2. La coca no es cocaína – 3. Por toda la vida – 4. A Yungas – 5. Canción para encontrarte – 6. Nacimiento de la energía – 7. Carga pesada – 8. Memorias del tiempo – 9. Fiesta aymara 3

The legendary Bolivian band Wara (from Aymara warawara, "star") was formed in the early 1970s as a progressive rock band, which sought to blend rock with Andean folk. On their first album ("El Inca", 1973) they mixed heavy metal with sounds/music patterns from the Altiplano (Bolivian high plain). However, their identification with indigenous causes and their search of an identity that brought them closer to the Bolivian people led them to become a folk band performing local rhythms with modern touches.

Among the band's albums was a series of recordings titled under the Aymara numbers names: "Maya" (1975), "Paya" (1976), "Quimsa" (1978), "Pusi" (1982), "Pheska" (1989), "Sojta" (1992) and "Paqallqu". Their discography also includes "El Inca", "Oriental" (1977), "Wasitat hikisiñasawa" (2001), "Oruro" (2002) and "Wara sinfónico" (2011). "Paqallqu" features the classic "La coca no es cocaína" (which became the anthem of Bolivia's struggle to win UN recognition for traditional chewing of coca leaf), as well as a number of crossover tracks (like "Canción para encontrarte", "Nacimiento de la energía", "Carga pesada" and "Memorias del tiempo"), arranged versions of Andean styles (such as the morenada "Illimani", the cueca "Por toda la vida", and the saya "A Yungas"), and a selection of songs from the Altiplano performed on traditinal aerophones ("Fiesta aymara 3").

Official website: Not available.
Link CD [].

Huella Pampa - Folklore... para no olvidar


Huella Pampa
Folklore... para no olvidar
(DBN – 1998)

1. Juana Azurduy – 2. Si de cantar se trata – 3. Luna de Tartagal – 4. A Don Ata – 5. Agitando pañuelos – 6. Cholos y cholitas – 7. 1492 - La Conquista del Paraíso – 8. El quebradeño – 9. No llores por mí, Argentina – 10. Al jardín de la República – 11. Del norte cordobés – 12. La diablada

In 1974, Instrumental Huella Pampa (best-known as Huella Pampa) appeared as a trío in Olavarría (province of Buenos Aires, Argentina). With a long career behind of them and having undergone notable changes, the current seven member band has released "Folklore en concierto I y II" (1980), "A dónde vas con este sol" (1994), "Folklore... para no olvidar", "Tiempo de folklore" (2000) and "Tierra mística" (2003).

The album "Folklore... para no olvidar" features traditional songs from the Argentinean repertoire, mostly from the north-western part of the country (Argentina's most famous Andean music region), in a contemporary style that mixes tradition with pop/rock elements and involves the use of electric instruments. Tracks of the album include well-known zambas ("Agitando pañuelos", "Al jardín de la República"), cuecas ("Juana Azurduy"), taquiraris ("Luna de Tartagal") and chacareras ("A Don Ata", "Del norte cordobés"), among others.

Official website [es].
Link CD: Not available.

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