Mountains of Music

I bought this album on cassette at an open-air market near Tacubaya train station when I visited Mexico City in 1998.
Rapidly the music entered my soul, and it helped me learn Spanish. I had always loved Inca Flute music but I was not aware of all the contemporary variations that exist. It can be confusing; the style called Cumbia Andina is actually a Mexican spin-off from true Andean folkloric music. It is also different from, though related to Chicha, which is pop/rock cumbia from the Andes. I love all of this music, although I did not grow up with it and don’t know a wide variety of groups.

Wikipedia explains:

Peruvian cumbia, particularly from the 1960s to mid-1990s, is generally known as “Chicha”, although this definition is quite problematic as both Peruvian cumbia and Chicha currently co-exist and influence each other   […]
Peruvian cumbia started in the 1960s with groups such as Los Destellos, and later with Juaneco y Su Combo, Los Mirlos, Los Shapis, Cuarteto Continental, Los Diablos Rojos, Pintura Roja, Chacalon y la Nueva Crema and Grupo Néctar. Some musical groups that play Peruvian cumbia today are: Agua Marina, Armonia 10, Agua Bella, and Grupo 5. These groups would be classified as Cumbia but often take songs and techniques from Chicha and Huayno in their stylings or as songs. Grupo Fantasma was a Peruvian-Mexican cumbia group. Andean Cumbia, is a style that combines Andean music and cumbia. This style has even become popular in Mexico, as some groups like Grupo Saya claim to be Cumbia andina mexicana, Mexican Andean Cumbia.

 

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