John Beni Y Sus Ribereños

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Born in Huarochiri, likely around 1945, Juan Benigno Tapia Rojas moved to La Victoria, Lima where he learned to play guitar from his father. He formed his first group with neighborhood friends and called themselves “The Peruvian Boys.” The group covered Colombian cumbias and Cuban guarachas. Due to the growing popularity, in 1966 “The Peruvian Boys” were invited to play in Guayaquil, Ecuador. There they got some radio play on Ecuadorian local radio, Radio Cristal as well as musical halls, under the name “Peru Y Mi Son.” In Ecuador they started to debut some of their own compositions.

Back in Peru, due to the success of the tour in Ecuador, the band felt ready to submit their original compositions to the major labels at the time: Virrey, Odeon, MAG, SonoRadio. Virrey was interested in signing the group, and encouraged the renaming of the group to “Los Ribereños” (The Riversides).

For some reason however, rather than releasing pressings on Virrey, they released two 45 RPS by Los Riberneos on Polydor, presumably a licensor of Virrey, around 1967/1968.

 

Silbando/Don Jose

 

 

La Sapa/Hasta Cuando

 

Presumably the band that played on these first two discs was the same that would play on the debut LP. Personnel being:

Juan Benigno Tapia (director and vocals)

Luis Sánchez Donayre (timbales)

Hugo Richarti (lead guitar),

Miguel Palomino (bass),

Ricardo Caceres (Huiro/tumba)

Víctor Manuel Saldaña (tumba/quinto),

The group went on to release three LPs for Virrey, the first the great “Silbando” (DVS 659). The title track of course having been compiled on the Roots of Chicha, as well as receiving remix treatment on a 7″ in 2010. The B side of this disc is great all the way through, the Bolero’s on the A side kind of ruin that side for me.

The second release is a split disc (DVS-696) with Compay Quinto songs interspersed wiht  Los Riberenos (2/5 songs on side A, and 4/6 on side B). I’ve not heard this, I found this image on popsike.

Latin LP Rare Descarga Cumbia Virrey Los Ribereños Compay Quinto Sensacional

The last LP was Sola En El Mar (DVS-713). A few tracks from this are up on youtube.

Thereafter, John Beni would form his own record label called “Benisa”, and release one of his own tracks as well as another group of his friends titled  “Los Roberts de Tumbes” (I’m not able to confirm this).

 

Balu/Un Trago En Mananita

 

The group appears to have reactivated, with only Juan an original member, and he now calls himself “Jhon” perhaps to single himself out. Nonetheless, the music videos up on youtube are priceless, and you can check his new group’s sound out here:

 

Special thanks to Norberto Lajo Paredes, over at BetoLajo for some (the only) information out there on the Internet.

Pedro Miguel Y Sus Maracaibos

L-R: Pedro Emilio Tardio (Timbales), Manuel Garcia (Guitar/vocals), Pedro “El Chacal” Vicente Grados (Guitar), Pedro Miguel Huamanchumo Caramutti (Lead Vocal/guiro), Pedro Vicente Gomez (Trumpte), Felipe Arrieta (Congas)

Much has been written about Enrique Delgado, but before Odeon released Los Destellos eponymous debut (Odeon/IEMPSA ELD-1735), Pedro Miguel Y Sus Maracaibos had dropped ‘La Paila’ (roughly translated this would invoke something fire sauteed, which indeed the tunes are!)  on Odeon’s Lider imprint (LD-1668). This fusion of guitar driven tropical rhythms would soon be propelled to the forefront of Peruvian popular music, of course bolstered by the sinewy licks of Mr. Delgado and company. Point being, Pedro Miguel is an underappreciated root in the great guitar driven cumbia scene that would spring forth in the coming decade and fuel artists for labels that had yet to be formed even.

Born June 30, 1942 in Salaverry, Trujillo (the second largest city in Peru). Pedro left for Lima at age 15 in 1957. In 1961, at 19, he formed his band ‘Pedro Miguel y sus Maracaibos” (Maracaibo is a city in Venezuela–there has to be a story here, but I haven’t unearthed it yet). The band was formed in the Barrios Altos neighborhood of Lima (incidentally the location would become infamous 30 years later in view of the Sendero Luminoso linked massacre in that neighborhood). In 1966 the group recorded its first LP “La Paila.” Apparently the recording for Odeon/Lider/IEMPSA was made possible because his older (half?) brother Raul Huamanchuo Reyes (perhaps better known to Peruvians as the comedian “Chalo” Reyes, who passed in 2016) had a word put in to the label through Pedrito Otiniano & Lucho Barrios, who Raul played guitar for.

Trujillo, Peru (8.5 hrs drive north of Lima (555.2 km)

The group’s first international tour is rumored to have been to Chile in 1970. Gaining international notoriety, around 1972 the group toured to the United States, to the Cuban-centric neighborhoods of Miami. It was this same year that they recorded Con Sabor A Cuba (Odeon/IEMPSA ELD-1871).

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While I do enjoy Los Maracaibos early material, as with most groups (any genre/any time) later material for whatever loses the magic of earlier releases. I’d check out any of the below for a sip of the juice.

Select Discography:

LD-1668 – La Paila

LD- 1734 – Pa’los Rumberos

ELD – 1788 – Los Campeones Del Ritmo

ELD – 1871  – Con Sabor A Cuba (starting on this release you’ll find some ‘potpourris’ which for the record I hate…)

ELD – 1979 – Ritmo Maracaibo

ELD – 2043 – A Todo Dar!

ELD – 2115 – Al Toque

ELD – 2220 – A Toda Maquina..!

ELD 31.15.303 – Lo Fuerte De (greatest hits compliation)

 

 

 

 

 

Conjuto Nueva Galaxia

Likely recorded around 1972/73, amidst the completion of Los Belkings final LP “Ayer Y Hoy,”  Raul Herrera lead guitarist of Los Belkings created a side project called Conjunto Nueva Galaxia (The New Galaxy Band). Releasing three 45 RPMs to my knowledge, the first being El Viaje (Cumbia) backed with Chiya Chiya (Bailable). This was followed by La Cajita (Cumbia)/Pajarito (cumbia). Finally (at least to my knowledge) was released the Santana-inspired (think Samba Para Ti) Sueño Marino (Balada) backed with El Mono (Cumbia). All of these songs were penned by Raul, with no indication of who the backing band was (Los Belkings?).

 

The singles all show an advanced level of composition with interesting samples of waves (Sueno Marino), innovative song coloring (the whistles on Chiya Chiya) and just general overall catchy Peruvian Cumbias.

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Los Mirlos – Pre-Infopesa

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Likely around 1972, prior to joining the INFOPESA label, Los Mirlos recorded their first tracks for DINSA. To my knowledge only two 45s were released under the mark. Of course you’ve likely heard “La Danza De Los Mirlos” that has appeared on a number of compilations and re-releases (e.g., Cumbia Amazonica, Cumbias Chichadelicas, Roots of Cumbia).  And for good reason, this tune launched the bands career in the wake of this single’s success. The A side is backed with El Achoradito (don’t ask me what it means), an equally up-beat cumbia with slinky guitar work:

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Hot off the success of “La Danza de Los Mirlos,” the band continued marketing themselves with another gimmicky animal named theme; “La Marcha Del Pato” was likely released the same year. My copy is pressed on spackled crystal blue vinyl. This tune features a bit of thinly distorted guitar work by the ever melodic and rapid fire guitar of Gilberto Reategui.

 

Los Belton’s – Domingo Por La Manana/ Cumbia Pop

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My copy is pressed on translucent blue vinyl, this is a great disc, with the majority of its strength in the B side “Cumbia Pop.” Like Los Orientales’ epic B side “Lobos Al Escape” trumps that disc’s A side “La Carcocha,” Cumbia Pop is the gem on this disc, overshadowing “Domingo Por La Manana.” Which oddly enough, “Domingo Por La Manana,” is actually a cover of Hugo Blanco’s “Transandina,” but is not credited as such. Cumbia Pop was compiled onto Vampisoul’s Cumbia Beat Vol. 1 release.

From the Ayacucho region, Los Beltons were, like so many other Peruvian cumbia bands, a family affair among brothers Américo, Rubén, Lino, Atilio and Gotardo of the Vilcatoma Aranda family. The brothers/band released at least 10 45 RPMs and to my ears nothing else, sadly, sounds like the fuzzed-out madness of Cumbia Pop.los-beltons.

Augusto Lucho Laverde Y Sus Satelites

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Hailing from Huacho, Peru (about 140 km, or two hours north of Lima) Carlos Augusto Lucho Laverda was an earlier pioneer in the wah-wah (gua-gua) sound of Peruvian cumbia. Maximiliano Chavez, of Los Orientales de Paramonga fame, cited him as an influential guitarist that first gave him the idea to emulate that trademark tone. Aside from this I know nothing else of the artist.

Recording under the moniker “Augusto Lucho Y Sus Satelites” Augusto and his band cut a number of tracks for Virrey records. As far as I know three of these releases are:

Virrey 3264 Sopa De Pichon (Guaracha)/Los Duendes (Guaracha)

Virrey 3318 La Bomba Es (Guaracha)/Baile De Las Gallinas (Guaracha)

Virrey 3372 Arco Iris (Cumbia)/La Casita (Bolero Son)

All are credited to Augusto, save for the first 45 RPM which credits Sopa de Pichon to “F. Grillo” and Los Duendes to Augusto and “J. Diaz.” Augusto Lucho Y Sus Satelites sound is full and vibrant, and most tracks save for the Bolero are upbeat and filled out by brass.

A presumably later release was discovered on a label called “Dicos Del Puerto,” which credits a track to “Augusto Lucho La Verde” and is of a completely different style and likely of less interest to readers of the blog. Nonetheless a clip is included.

Check the clip for a taste  of all of the above. Songs are in chronological order.

Los Tic Tac – Un Besito…Y Nada Mas/El Cubanito

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I’m not sure whether picture sleeves for Peruvian 45 RPM releases are rare because few were made, or because few survived the past four-and-counting decades, either way here is a rarity. The A Side is somewhat similar to the Juaneco track Vacilando con Ayahuasco or the Los Orientales track Sonia La Sexy, with some sultry spoken female vocals (I’m fairly certain the vocalist on those two tracks is the same woman). I wonder if this was released around the same time. The B Side does not provide an author name, and as listed as an instrumental although it has some minimalist vocals.

A sample of this early release from Los Tic Tac’s oeuvre is below, enjoy:

Los Beta 5

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Shown here in 1969 with sister Norma on the rhythm sticks

Formed in Lima in the late 1960’s by Nelsón Canevello Pardo, who served as the group’s director and lead guitarist. Truly a family affair, the group further consisted of Nelsón’s brothers Fernando (AKA Papi) on backup guitar and bass, Reynaldo the timbalista, Germán on the guiro and maracas, and Juan played the bongos at the tender age of 11! One member of the group  was not a brother, but according to the liner notes of the first LP, he was considered as such, tumba and quinto player Pancho Lema. Based off of photos on the albums it appears Pancho was replaced by the time the third LP was released but I can’t confirm this.losbeta5

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The family: Father Fernando Canevello Ballesteros and Mother Estela Pardo. Children (L-R): Reynaldo, Norma, German,Fernando, Norma, Nelson, Juan

 

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Shown here with a new tumba player?

The group signed with Fabricantes Tecnicos Asociados (FTA) in the latter half of 1969.I know the group had their own label CANPAR (CANevello-PARdo) but I’m only familiar with Los Ecos release on the label. If you have any other tracks released on the label please let me know. At a later point in their career Los Beta 5 started adding vocals to their songs as sung by Chango (Eugenio Chavez).

As far as I can tell, Nelson died of a heart attack (year unknown), Reynaldo died of Parkinsons (year unknown), and German die of cardiac arrest. Juan lives in Callao and is the leader of his group KOMBINACION PERFECTA. Fernando’s whereabouts are unknown.

Los Atomos De Paramonga- El Apagon/Pa’ Oriente Me Voy

img_6626El Apagon (The Blackout) starts out with a nice descending riff before the band explodes in a catchy wah-wah driven melody. The song has a nice breakdown in the middle before re-invoking its main theme. The song’s title is also of historical interest, I can’t be sure if it’s referring to blackouts caused by weak power infrastructure, earthquakes, or by roving bands of Sendero Luminoso rebels, of which one tactic of theirs was to destroy power infrastructure. The B-side Pa’ Oriente Me Voy is a very nice tune, with some swept fuzz guitar lines recalling a western film, until the fire melody begins to pulsate against the sharp congas. Highly recommended.

Conjunto Los Tic Tac

Composed of the Chacòn brothers, Carlos and Arturo. Carlos played not only lead guitar but also led  composition duties for the conjunto. Brother Arturo was also listed as author of a few tunes. I’ve sourced from Youtube videos that thier bassist was Guillermo Parra, congas, Alfredo Chavez, and on the guiro, Jose Ramos.

Regardless of who was playing the guitar, Los Tic Tac provide some of the most high-energy cumbia sounds of any conjunto I’ve heard from the era. While lacking any sonic gimmickry popular with peers such as Los Orientales (either Maximo’s or Victor’s) or the fuzz sound of Aniceto Salazar, aside from some reverb here or there the group makes up for in spades with its creative arrangements and accomplished guitar work. Sophisticated riffing, with an oft solo that reveals the natural fluidity of a master guitarist.

Here is a mix to give you a taste:

The songs are:

La Mentirosa (Liar Woman)

El Carreton (the Large Wagon)

El Dormilon (the Sleepy Head)

Cuidado Con El Toro (Careful With the Bull)

La Casposa (Freckled Woman)

La Cosecha (The Crop)

I’m currently trying to track either of the brothers down, but what I can glean from youtube comments is that Brother Carlos is in Brazil today.

UPDATE 5/23/2017: What great fortune, the blog received a comment from none other than Carlos Chacon Paredes! He is currently in Sydney, Australia. Hopefully more updates to come!