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.

Peruvian Label History

So the original Peruvian label was ARTO or Artophone, but its prominence disappeared way before the music that your humble guide is interested in appeared–like it was around in the 1920s (props to Gino over at El Anacronico for the piece on ARTO). So that we’re all clear, my interest can really be defined, I suppose crudely, as the time that begins (inclusive of) post-Enrique Delgado, post-Los Destellos.

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So then it follows the first label of interest for purposes of this blog would be Industria Electricas y Musicales del Peru S.A., commonly known as IEMPSA. Created on May 31, 1949, IEMPSA was created by four visionaries, Enrique Heeren, Ricardo Rivera Schreiber, Carlos Vich Musso, and Raúl Barrios Ordoñez. Interestingly IEMPSA was acquired in the late 2000s by the Asociación Peruana de Autores y Compositores (APDAYC), essentially the Peruvian RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).

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IEMPSA was the 1,423rd “industry” to be registered in Peru. I’ll refer to this number as the RI number. So therefore it’s strange to contemplate why Manuel Antonio Guerrero’s MAG label, supposedly founded 4 years after IEMPSA, on May June 8, 1953 received number 1,267 in the Peruvian “industry” registration (check your record labels, I’m not making this up). Manuel was an entrepreneur who started slanging RCA-Victor imports in downtown Lima. He then realized he could be selling his own product (not that gringo-import product), and went all in. He bought cutting-edge recording equipment, and setup a recording studio near a pressing plant. Cue (non-rock acts aside) Los Yorks, Traffic Sound, Telegraph Avenue, etc.

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IEMPSA of course shared its mark with other integral labels operating under the same corporate parent, Lider, Decibel, DisPeru to name a few (i.e., all share the RI 1423 stamp).

The next major registration for industry, by my count, would be Disco Ramirez at “4394,” which again, based on registered industry numbers appears to have been acquired at some point by Sono Radio.  This 4394 “RI” number is also shared by the Canpard label founded by Los Ecos frontman Heriberto Cuestas Chacon. It’s unclear if Canpard ceded to Disco Ramirez, quite possible, as I have yet to turn up another “Canpard” labeled 7″.  Nonetheless if Heriberto decided to go full bore on the Ramirez moniker, it’s unclear how that came to be, obvious name links aren’t clear.

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Later Disco Ramirez releases show up as RI 5731. I’d be unsure of what what to make of this until one realizes the Sono Radio RI number is 5731. Therefore, and I’m speculating, but I bet Sono Radio acquired Disco Ramirez at some point. Dates are murky at best on a lot of this. I can say with certainty that Sono Radio was founded in 1950, again RI 5731, and they became a licensee of U.S. Colombia records as of 1962/63. Enrique Lynch, of course, being a major player for the label.

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The next major label to mention would be Fabricantes Tecnicos Asociados, at RI 8681. FTA quickly associated with RCA if not sooner than 1961. I’ve reverse engineered this date based off of some “field” data (i.e., the label’s 10 year anniversary stickers, in the context of other LP releases from the era). Please CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG!!!

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Next, cue El Virrey, which as time would tell, became one of the major hitters in the Peruvian record scene. Yet, its RI number isn’t anything less than 12428. This seems astronomically high relative to the other labels releasing music on the scene (again the nearest one I’m contemplating was FTA at 8681, and Virrey was 12428, by my math that’s over 3,700 incorporations in the interim!). Regardless, El Virrey associated with Phillips recording company in the US.  The label spawned offshoot DoReMi, which to my mind is a somewhat suspicious copycat label with groups like Los Pekines (not Los Pakines), that touted a greatest hits, but I’ve yet to find those “top-selling” singles.

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As far as RI chronology goes, the next player on the scene would have been DINSA, Discos Industriales Nacionales, S.A., at 12891, they partnered up to release under the GEMA moniker in the U.S. apparently (according to Billboard magazine that is). They also had subsidiary labels Suceso, and Impala.

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Thereafter, you have Rey Records at RI 14769. Infopesa at 15242, explored elsewhere on this blog. Volcan, 16288, with subsidiary Discope (hello Grupo Celeste). Podereso appeared on the scene at RI 20839, the formation likely a product of Martin Lopez’s (aka Pedro Lopez of Cocinando fame) learned business prowess.

 

What I assume must have to be late-comers to the industry would then be Peruvox at 61033 and DIFA at 62379. Better late than never, as each of these labels offers up some fire. Also they (Discope/Poderoso too) seem to be logical evidence of the segue into the “chicha” music scene which is outside the scope of this blog.Music Shop S.A. as far as I can tell from my collection doesn’t have an RI number, but I think that is just a product of what was required at the time that label incorporated.

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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.

 

Ollanta Records

Huamanga is a province in northern part of the Ayacucho Region in Peru. From this province came Julio Erasmo Medina Mendoza affectionately known as “El Huamanguinito.” Julio released an early LP on DINSA under the moniker “El Huamanguinito” called “…De Ayer y Hoy” (DINSA LPG 028). This disc is primarily Huaynos, or traditional Andean songs — likely not of much interest to readers of this blog. However, as far as the history of early Peruvian recorded music this is an important connection to make. This disc must have sold well enough, or at least Julio was a savvy enough businessman to get DINSA to form an imprint “OLLANTA” (short I guess for Ollantaytambo an Incan imperial site in the Cusco region of Peru). It was either that or this label existed and DINSA acquired it and put Julio at the helm. Some of these early releases on the OLLANTA imprint reference the DINSA connection and also show case a JEMM mark, the initials of Julio, even though he was not the artist of these discs. A case in point:

This disc by Los Avispones (the Hornets) is not necessarily in the Andean-style, but a  Guaracha (vocal)/Cumbia (instrumental)(A/B respectively) from which the group likely came from the Ayachucho Region of Peru.

Later discs (based off the JEMM numbering as well as the disc numbering) lose the DINSA reference, yet the registered industry number stays the same (i.e., 74666).

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I found a number of other label variants via Discogs.com, so it seems like this label design group couldn’t settle one way or another (another variant is a gray version):

It’s curious to note that some of these the RI # changes to a CP # (this is getting way too geeky I know). So I’m curious to find out what that was about. Lastly I’ll note that the blue disc pictured above has the RI # as 1267, and the gray version has RI# 12891, most others reflect either RI/CP # 74666.

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 Ecos

One of my favorite Peruvian cumbia bands, the Ecos were founded and led by Edilberto “Beto” Cuestas Chacon (b: 1951). In 1970, heavily influenced by the Beatles, Beto, along with Warren Suarez, his brother Core formed the band “The Brians.” This pre-cursor band’s name was a tribute to the Beatles manager Brian Epstein. This initial formation of the band that would later become Los Ecos played covers in the nueva ola genre, which included bands like Los Doltons.

Los Ecos
L-R: Carlos Rivera (2nd Guitar), Core Cuestas (bongo), Lucho Espinoza (Timbales), Beto Cuestas (Lead Guitar), Raul Villlobos (Tumbas), Warren Suarez (bass)

At some point “Los Brians” had an interview with the label FTA, the label suggested they should change their name to something more “latin” and that the nueva ola sound was coming to its end, and as such  the label didn’t sign the band as “Los Brians.” Not to be defeated Beto contacted the Canevello brothers, the founding members of Los Beta 5 (los beta cinco – my gringo friends) who had a label “CANPARD” (for Canevello Pardo the paternal/maternal last name of the brothers). It was on CANPARD that Los Ecos would release their first single “La Brujita” (the little witch) in 1971. index

Possibly recognizing that the band had followed the labels advice, FTA picked the band up going forward to release singles under the label. The first was “Jungla” y “Callejon de Huayllas.” The band would release a few more singles before recording their debut LP. On Ven Y Goza Esta Cumbia, their first LP for the FTA label, the Ecos also added their first vocal numbers, with vocalist Coco Martinez.

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L-R (standing): Coco Martinez, Walter Villa, Beto Cuestas, Warren Suearez, Milo Duda; L-R(seated): Rudy Leon, Raul Villalobos, Core Cuestas

Later, Coco, was replaced by Kiki Balarezo, shown singing below on Peru’s channel 7 program “Salsa Pura.” Around this time the band was also featured in the radio program “Show De Los Ecos” that aired at 7PM in Lima, further enhancing their growing popularity.

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Disenfranchised by FTAs failure to press sufficient quantities of their singles, which led to a lack of royalties for the band, Beto and his brother Core would go on to form the label Caracol (spanish for snail) in the late 70s. This new label provided them complete autonomy over the artistic and business directions of their groups and the groups they would later sign. Los Ecos are still active in 2016.

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Sources:

http://losecosperu.com/

http://www.lacumbiademisviejos.com/2013/09/16/los-ecos-33-rpm/

Los Orientales De Paramonga

Formed in Paramonga, Peru (about a three and a half hour drive northwest of Lima), by students of Colegio Miguel Grau De Paramonga. The initial lineup likely consisted of  Maximo Chavez, who couldn’t read music and was a self-taught guitarist, on lead,  Jose “Huachito” Castillo on bass, it’s unclear if either Victor Ramirez or Jamie Silva initially played rhythm guitar, Daniel Guillen likely played the drums (i.e., timbalero), Manuel Chirboga played the percussion (i.e., the huiro) and Manuel “Cote” Duplex Dextre played the congas. Early images of the band also show Victor “Yuyo” Ruiz.

In this photo appears to be Maximo at left with Jose Castillo on bass (2nd from right) and Daniel Guillen on drums.

All of these young men were active in the Paramonga music scene, and some may have even formed a part of Los Palmers (potentially an early line up of the Orientales) that played more of a “beat” rock sound part of the nueva ola sound that was popular at the time. It is known that “Cote” Duplex actually played in the Paramongian band “Los Yeltons” that would later release a few cuts on the label INFOPESA (which wasn’t formed until 1971). Maxmio has stated that the band was influenced to go in the instrumental, guitar-driven cumbia direction after hearing Enrique Delgado and his Destellos perform.When asked how he came to utilize the wah-wah effect, Maxmio recounted that he was influenced after hearing Agusto Lucho Y Los Satelites, which also used the effect. Maximo went into Lima after hearing it to buy the effect pedal.

 

Rumored to have officially formed as the Orientales in 1968, it wasn’t until 1970, or shortly there before,that  the band’s sound caught the ear of Alberto Maravi, who at the time would have been an executive at the DINSA label. The band went into the studio to record their first single in 1970. Maximo was partial to the cut “La Carcocha” which he selected for the A-side. However, it was the B-side, the well known “Lobos Al Escape” that would rocket the group to notoriety. This song with its iconic wah-wah (gua-gua) sound would go on to sell thousands of copies.

With this new found notoriety also came the need to tour. When Maravi approached Maximo about a 30 day tour of Colombia, the label executive was likely frustrated to learn that the majority of the band’s members were minors (probably about 16/17 years old at the time), and would require parental permission to tour abroad. Likely less than enthusiastic about sending their children to a foreign country to perform “rock” concerts, the parents did not consent. Not to be undone, Maravi proposed a solution, Maximo, likely at least five years senior than the others, would go with  Paco Zambrano’s band the Ratones under the banner of the Orientales. The tour was such a success it was extended for an additional 15 days. Upon return to Peru the Orientales would go on to receive a Disco De Oro (Gold Record) from Colombia, in addition to awards in Peru, Mexico and Venezuela.
L-R: Cote, Jose, Daniel, Maximo, Victor Ruiz, Jaime
Things start to get interesting (and sadly for fans of the group, unclear) around 1971. We know that Maravi founded INFOPESA records in February of 1971 after breaking with his former partner Jorge Botteri at DINSA. Likely Maximo’s Orientales were under contract with DINSA so they continued to release singles on the label even after Maravi left to INFOPESA. Interestingly, the DINSA LP likely had to be released in at least 1972, as on the back cover is advertised Willie Colon’s “El Juicio” LP which wasn’t released (at least in the U.S.) until 1972. Maravi did write the liner notes for the back of the group’s DINSA LP.
L-R: [Unkown – might be Tono Argomedo], Maximo, [Unkown -seated], Cote, Jose, Jaime. This picture was taken outside a sugar factory in Paramonga, Peru.
 Also at this time however, it’s rumored by Victor Ramirez that in mid-1971 Maximo allowed him to sign the rights of the group over to Victor Ramirez. This may have been in view of contractual issues, and the group wanted to record new music with members who were older and more established musicians. Take the following photo for example:
In it we see (from left to right) Ray Ramirez, Ernesto Robles (the group’s agent), Demetrio Rojas (credited on the first SONO RADIO LP as Victor), Maximo Chavez, Evert Rosales, Manuel Rea, Alberto Maravi (INFOPESA head), and Victor Ramirez. One possibility is that this group was set to record for INFOPESA, however after acquiring the rights in mid-1971, Victor Ramirez shopped the group around and possibly received a more lucrative deal from SONO RADIO. Along the way he likely burned a bridge with Maximo and Alberto Maravi. We do also know that Victor registered with the Peru’s writers union in late August of 1971, so anything he registered his author’s rights with an APDAYC (One of Peru’s copyright societys, similar to ASCAP in the USA) stamp would have been at or after this date. Going forward to keep things straight I’ll refer to the Orientales as either Victor’s or Maximo’s.
L-R: Jaime, Cote Duplex, [unkown], Maximo, Daniel, Jose.
L-R: Jaime, Jose, Maximo, Cote. Taken in front of the “Guest House of Paramonga” or as it was also known “La Casa De Las Brujas” (house of the witches).

 

Around this same time Maximo recorded under the name “Macuito” for INFOPESA. This was perhaps precipitated by a falling out between Victor Ramirez and Maximo, as well as Maximo’s contractual obligations to DINSA which would have precluded using the name Los Orientales to record for INFOPESA at the time.
The above photo was likely a press kit for Victor’s newly formed Orientales. Curiously in the above photo there are seven players, given the sunglasses on the left four it complicates trying to identify who is who, but I’m fairly certain there is no Maximo in this photo (who is usually identifiable by his wavy hair). Victor’s Orientales would release their first LP on SONO RADIO in 1972. That LP had 11 original songs, with a loose cover of El Gran Combo’s A-CHI-LI-PU. Prior to that LP however, Victor’s Orientales released five singles (at least five which didn’t include any songs that would appear on the first LP).
Most curiously the first A-side of Victor’s Orientales was “Captura de Lobos” credited to Victor Ramirez (SONO RADIO 13120). “Captura de Lobos” was also released on DINSA (0642), credited to M. Chavez. It’s unclear who actually penned the tune, from a copyright/legal perspective they’re very similar sounding, and for what it’s worth, when Victor released his track, technically it’s credited to a band called (ready for this) “Conjunto Tropical Los Orientales De Paramonga” whereas Maxmio’s on DINSA is associated with a band called “Los Orientales.” This may make a difference for the intellectual property lawyers out there, as to whether these two can exist amongst one another legally.
Sometime after Victor’s Orientales started putting out music for SONO RADIO, and possibly after both groups had released their first long plays in 1972, Maximo’s Orientales responded with a single “El Dragon.” El Dragon is a great song, but for purposes of this article the really interesting aspect of that single is the B-Side, “Yo Soy Orientale.” This song’s refrain, translated is “listen to my guajira, authentic orientales.” It seems this song was a response to the tension between the groups, declaring themselves to be the authentic/original Orientales de Paramonga. The song goes on to introduce the members of the conjunto playing on the LP. I can only make out the introductions of Maximo, Jaime, Jose, (stated to be playing la viola — Peruvian slang for guitars) and Cote (la tumba i.e., congas). It sounds like “Tonito” (Ancineto?) is introduced to be playing the drums (baleta). I can’t make out the huiro player’s name.
Maximo con Alberto Maravi
Likely around this time the original DINSA contract for Los Orientales de Paramonga may have expired. At least eleven singles were released by Maximo’s group on DINSA. Then sometime in 1974, coincidentally it appears both groups (Victor’s and Maximo’s) released second LPs. This time Maximo recorded under the INFOPESA label, while Victor’s group continued on SONO RADIO. The liner notes on Fiesta En Oriente, Maximo’s INFOPESA release, again asserts that they are the “authentic” orientales. The group that played on this album is pictured below.
L-R(sitting): Jose Castillo, Jaime Silva, last three unknown. L-R(standing): Hector Leon (cherry liquor magnate), Maximo, [unknown]
Aside from the single that was released along with this album, which strangely indicates it was licensed from Puerto Rican label Borinquen (still legal issues with the band’s naming rights?), this LP marked the end of Maximo’s run with INFOPESA. As far as I am aware he recorded one more single for the label CASINO, the B-side of which was lamentably titled “Tristeza” (i.e., sadness). Maximo went on to drive a mototaxi in Paramonga, which was ultimately the cause of his death in May of 2012.  He suffered a tramautic brain injury when his mototaxi collided with another mototaxi driven by a 15 year old who had no registration. He was 65.
Victor’s group continued recording, they released two more singles on SONO RADIO as well as a mini LP for that label. Victor went on even further to record under the “Orientales” moniker for both the DIFA label as well as the well known cumbia/chicha label HOROSCOPO well into the 1980s. Victor appears to now live in Italy.
As to the other members of the group, apparently Cote has a radio show. I believe Jaime Silva is a teacher in Paramonga. Daniel was interviewed in a short doc on youtube, but it’s unclear what he’s up to these days.

¡Si usted tiene cualquier información sobre Los Orientales de Victor o sobre el conjunto Orientales de Maximo, por favor entre el contacto conmigo!