The Underground Peruvian Scene in the Eyes of Buh Records’ Luis Alvarado

Despite what you may think, there’s more to Peruvian music than pan flute. Since 2004, Luis Alvarado and his label Buh Records have been promoting the most avant-garde and experimental bands of the Lima and Peruvian underground. To celebrate the label’s release of a new album by Japanese psychedelic band Acid Mothers Temple (who will be playing two events co-organized by Luis Alvarado and his label at the Integraciones Festival in Lima on November 17 and 18), Luis Alvarado shares his selection of ten songs by Peruvian artists from the label with us below.

Montaña Negra – Gay (from Canciones de Berlin, 2017)

Muriel Holguín has been composing her songs in secret for a long time, occasionally agreeing to shyly play them live. Her songs are simple, ephemeral and truly beautiful. “Gay” is the opening song from her new album.

Hamann – Visiones de la realidad (from Contacto Lejano, 2017)

Experimenting with sound and cosmic, ritualistic resonance is a tradition in Lima’s underground experimental scene. This kind of experimentation is deeply rooted in our ancestral culture. Hamann is one of the great explorers of that cosmic sound and vision.

Liquidarlo Celuloide – Sin piel por no fabricar pegamento (from Superfricción, 2017)

The musicians in Liquidarlo Celuloide are very representative of the noise rock scene in Lima. Their concerts are always an experience: ritualistic, scandalous, trance-like and hypnotic, while also being super electric. It’s a unique mix between no wave and psychedelic music.

Efrain Rozas – I Enjoy the World (from I Enjoy the World, 2017)

Efraín Rozas already has a long career behind him making tropical fusion and experimental music. His latest work to date is an invitation to travel within, an exploration of the act of listening as a means of understanding ourselves. The music is polyrhythmic and a superb example of electronic experimentation.

Teté Leguía & Martín Escalante – Sacudir un árbol de fuego (from Teté Leguía & Martín Escalante, 2016)

If you want to listen to something really extreme, I recommend Teté Leguía & Martín Escalante and their noise-inspired free jazz. Their music is cathartic and noisy while somehow remaining very melodic at the same time. They are a great example of the free improv scene in Lima.

Varsovia – Un entierro (from Recursos Inhumanos, 2014)

Varsovia is a good example of our cold wave and minimal synth scenes. Their somber punk/electronic music is overflowing with analog synths played by Dante Gonzales, who is one of the greatest electronic musicians in Peru. Varsovia are about to release their new album and I have no doubt it will be a big success!

Ale Hop – Hey Girl (from Pangea, 2016)

Based in Berlin, Ale Hop has demonstrated that in addition to being a great composer and producer, she is also an incredible guitarist. Her music combines an electro and psychedelic sound, and goes beyond the lines of the traditional song format to make for some very abstract moments. Her live shows are especially powerful.

Pentapolar Birds – How to talk to Girls at Parties (from Birds of Ghosts, 2015)

Pentapolar Birds is the personal project of Trini Carrillo, a Peruvian singer and composer based in Sweden. Listening to her dreamy compositions feels like entering into a fantasy world, or diving into your own subconscious, and it begins to reveal a lot of secrets to you. Her music ranges between a whisper and a shriek, from the subtlest sound to the most dissonant, with a touch of sinister.

Fifteen Years Old – Abecedario (from Abecedario, 2015)

Fifteen Years Old is a project by Solange Jacobs, a composer and singer who’s managed to bring intimacy into her own artistic discourse. Her music is rebellious, and her concerts can be very troubled. Her sound draws inspiration from traditional folk songs and from dream pop.

Nicotina es Primavera – Humor Humano (from Animal Cerámico, 2016)

Nicotina es Primavera is a project by Peruvian composer and flautist Camilo Ángeles, who is based in Argentina. It’s a very avant-garde jazz rock interspersed with free improv and refrains recalling minimalist music. Nicotina es Primevera truly might be the best progressive rock band in Peru.

To learn more…

Listen to other Buh Records artists on their Bandcamp here:

Go to the 7th annual Integraciones Festival featuring Acid Mothers Temple (Japan), Richard Pinhas (France), Francisco Colasanto (Mexico), Cristina Collazos (Bolivia), LEM (Chili), Tajak (Mexico), Ale hop (Peru), Hipnoascensión (Peru) and Kuzum (Peru) on Thursday, November 16 and Friday, November 17 at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica de Lima:

Go to the RADIACIÓN party featuring Makoto Kawabata (of Japanese band Acid Mothers Temple) + Richard Pinhas (France) + Manongo Mujica (Peru), Tajak (Mexico), Liquidarlo Celuloide (Peru), Culto al Qondor (Peru), Cholo Visceral (Peru) and DJ sets by Iñigo Vontier (Mexico) and Arístidez (Peru) on Saturday, November 18 at FUGA in Lima:

Photo: Liquidarlo Celuloide by Janice Smith-Palliser

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