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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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!!!


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.


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.


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.




Los Mirlos – Pre-Infopesa

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:


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 Belking’s – Mini Long Play



Likely released in 1970, this mini long play really demonstrates how far this group advanced their sonic aesthetic over a short few years. Comprising five instrumental tracks –although ‘Triste Solead’ and ‘Let Me’ have some vocal texturing, and ‘Let Me’ barely qualifies as a song, as it is a very short piece, but it’s a track nonetheless. ‘Sentimientos,’ ‘Charly,’ ‘Atajame,’ and ‘Triste Soledad’ were all compiled on the 2003 CD release Instrumental Waves 1966-1973. All are stand outs in Los Belking’s catalog. So it’s good to know if you can’t find this MLP, you can still fairly easily get a copy of the tracks.

Each stand out track features excellent fuzz tone and innovative song structures. The only lesser track is ‘Sendas de Amor,’ which is a little to saccharine for my tastes (and likely why it’s not on the 2003 release).


Aniceto Salazar Y Sus Fabulosos


About two and a half hours north of Lima lies the Huara Province of Peru, birthplace to Aniceto Salazar. Born April 16 in Sayán (shown on the map above as the red marker). According to La Cumbia de Mis Viejos (LCDMV), Aniceto got his start in the music business like so many others when Enrique Delgado and the Destellos came to town. It’s really remarkable the blast radius Los Destellos set off in Peru to generate such a great wave of new music. In Salazar’s case Los Destellos were invited to play at the opening of a store owned in Sayán by a Japanese woman that knew Aniceto. The woman recommended to Enrique that Aniceto accompany them on stage, and he accepted. While Salazar likely enjoyed such limelight, he ultimately remained focused on his education.


Aniceto sought admission to the National University of San Marcos to study accounting, but he was denied entry. That may be all the better for cumbia fans, as this led Aniceto to pursue his musical talents full time. He started out by playing in various local groups focusing on tropical sounds, before a promoter gave him his first opportunity to lay a single down for Polydor likely around 1970. Aniceto’s guitar tone and style always seem to be more rock leaning, with frantic solos often ending a track as it fades out. A pioneer in the distorted guitar sound in cumbia, making his cuts all the more desirable in my opinion. It’s a shame he never released a full LP.


Notably this first single was released under the moniker “Anthony Y Sus Tropicales” with Aniceto having composed the A-side cut “Descarga Tropical.” The B side contains a nice fuzz-guitar cover of Hugo Blanco’s latin standard “Moliendo Cafe.” It was after this release that Aniceto sought to form his own band, liking the name “Los Fabulosos” he was counseled that since a group named “Los Fabulosos De Ritmo” already existed, that he should modify it somehow, and “Aniceto Y Sus Fabulosos” were born. Note above, that as credited on the Polydor release, production was by “El Aguila.”

According to LCDMV & , this individual — El Aguila — was a promoter by the last name Aguilar. Mr. Aguilar oversaw the early stage of Aniceto’s professional career and led to further 45 RPM cuts for Disco Ramirez and Virrey labels (two 45s and one, respectively). That was until Alberto Maravi came to visit Aniceto. Still at DINSA met with Salazar to try to lure him to record for DINSA, Salazar recalled that while he didn’t drive as flashy of a care as Senor Aguilar, DINSA pressed vinyl in a kalediscope of colors, and this was enough for him to change his recording affiliations. Maravi’s courting was a success and Aniceto would cut at least 10 singles for the DINSA label. The two are shown together below.


As documented elsewhere on this blog, Alberto Maravi would ultimately leave DINSA to form the INFOPESA label, he brought many of the artists he developed, and Salazar was no exception. Aniceto also released a number of singles under various monikers including “Loretano Y Su Combo” and “Los Tahuamperos” his characteristic rock-leaning guitar gives away the true artist every time.Shown below is Salazar with one of the ubiquitous cover models for the DINSA series Hit Parade Tropical.


Aniceto is still touring with his group today and is active on Facebook. He’s even still penning new tunes, as evidenced by a Chichaweb article. I haven’t heard the tunes yet and would love to know if they still sound like his golden-era tunes.