Posted on 23.05.14 By Sarah Krasnostein

Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru Volumes I and II

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Chicha, amongst many other vibrant things,* is a corn drink made from fermented maize. It is also a form of music that was born in the 1960s in the Peruvian Amazon. Hybridization is at its heart.

Combining Colombian cumbias, Andean melodies, and Cuban guajiras with psychedelic surf guitars, wah wah pedals and moog synthesizers, Chicha is proof that often the best things are many things at once – strong in their individual identities and creating something larger when they ferment together. So drink up, space cowboys.

*”The word chicha is one of the most used and least understood peruanismos in Peru. For some, it alludes to chaos and disorder caused by working-class culture and people. But we can also understand ‘chicha’ as an irreverent eruption that spreads out and creates a new amalgam of all bloods and cultures of Peru – it is an exciting mix that transcends the ‘good taste’ of hegemonic culture, flees from the official, and subverts colonialism, appropriating its own codes. ‘Chicha’ is something that comes from ‘low’ but cannibalizes everything ‘high’ to create a popular art, an aesthetics, a music, a way of life that has popular force.” – Alfredo Villar, A mi qué Chicha [2013]



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