For anyone traveling to Arequipa, Peru in the near future might want to check out a bar called El Pato on Calle Villalba. They have the !st ever MASSTROPICAS release in the rocola there, CHAPILLACS "La Cumbia Delincuencial/Marion" 45!
MASSTROPICAS WILL BE AT ZEBULON IN BROOKLYN ON JULY 28TH FOR THE RANIL RELEASE PARTY WITH SONIDO CHICHADELICO. WE WILL BE DOING A FULL DJ SET OF PERUVIAN CUMBIA 45'S! EVERYTHING STARTS AT 9PM. BE THERE OR BE A JERK.
(Renato takes time out of his day for a quick nap)
We here at the MASSTROPICAS office have known Renato Suciedad Rodriguez for some time now. I first heard of CHAPILLACS from tunchi about 4 years ago and asked them to do a 45 as my first release. The now legendary 45 is sold out in the US but you can still get copies from Renato who is also known for his great design work and posters which you will become to know more and more as the year goes on!
What is your first memory of hearing PERUVIAN CUMBIA?
That might be since I was a child I would go out with my grandmother; to the street markets and there you could listen all different types of music, Huaynos, Criolla, CHICHA, a different mixture. Maybe my first memory of listening to CHICHA would be a TV Commercials that Chacalon did for AIWA, that was probably around 1987. In my house there was a lot of Rock only, I started listening to cassettes because with my brother we shared a great passion for music.In 1992 I moved from Lima to Tacna, a border town, south; and there I had contact with CUMBIA (Raw and psych CHICHA). I was not too much into the music at first but I started paying attention to the scene cause in those days I began playing music and I wanted to see live music. The lady who worked at my cousins house was a radio DJ for a CUMBIA station. Her artistic name was ''Jessica Lander'' We would call to her show and started harassing her. She would always loose control on air!!!
How did you get into graphic design?
Back in those days, 92-93; when I lived in Tacna I started my First band called ''SUCIEDAD ANONIMA'' we played dirty punk rock, very Raw and comical. So I started developing the graphics that had that same properties as my band. Concerts, radio shows, I also did covers for some mix tapes for some girls I liked. Before when I was a kid I also liked skateboarding so I really liked the graphics with intense colors and wild figures. Late 80's. When I finished School I went to Art School. So I started getting more involved with graphics...
Are there any sights that you see you on a daily basis that influence your art?
In Arequipa, the way the city is constructed and in general the architecture of any place. I like walking around and looking for spots to place posters. Looking for hand painted publicity. I always try to carry a camera, or something to record sounds. A pen and paper for some ideas or words. I always go to ''La Cachina'' (flea Market) where I find inspirational material every time I go.
What for you is the difference between CUMBIA from Arequipa and CUMBIA from Lima?
I've been listening to Los Figuers, Los Espias, and Jawar, all from different times than each other, all from Arequipa. Los Espias don't sound so much different from the bands from Lima. Jawar, Los Figuers are different, their sound is very nostalgic, very influenced by Huaynos and music from the Upper Andes. Maybe that is the main difference between the Arequipa and Lima Cumbia, our traditional music is different; Lima is a mixture and the province has more roots. Lately the massive popularity of CUMBIA DEL NORTE is making that a lot of CUMBIA bands try to sound the same, playing radio hits.
What for you defines "CHICHA" and why are there so many misconceptions about it?
CHICHA is a drink made with corn. It gets fermented and when you drink it, it will make you very drunk. In terms of music I can assure you that CHICHA will do the same.
The sound of CHICHA is the blend of our tradition with our PRESENT and FUTURE.
Here is five questions which we hope you enjoy. Our apologizes but a translated version will be up next week!
what is your first memory of hearing cumbia?
Como la mayoría de peruanos, crecí escuchando diferentes géneros de la música tropical, entre ellos la cumbia. Al inicio fui mucho mas apegado a la salsa, recuerdo haber comprado un LP de salsa cuando era niño juntando mis propinas. Pero mi gusto por la cumbia peruana se desarrolló tardíamente, ya en la juventud cuando buscaba "sonidos diferentes del mundo". Y resulta que aquello que buscaba lo tenía en la propia casa.
what sparked your interest in collecting peruvian cumbia?
La época dorada de la cumbia peruana tuvo como formato exclusivo el vinilo y casi ninguna producción ha sido relanzada posteriormente en cd. La única forma de poder conocer más era conseguir grabaciones o los mismos long plays. Al inicio intenté con las grabaciones pero también era un universo limitado y la calidad muchas veces dejaba que desear. Felizmente tuve la ayuda de mi amigo Abel, gran coleccionista de salsa, que me guió en mis primeros pasos acerca de cómo entrar al mundo de coleccionar lps. Y el resto ha sido mucha constancia y esfuerzo.
what is your favorite LP and 45?
Imposible nombrar solo 1 lp o 45 cuando son tantos los grupos buenos que existen. Entre los primeros grupos que aparecieron, definitivamente me inclinaría por Manzanita. Pero luego aparecieron muchísimos que me encantan: Wemblers, Sanders, Grupo Naranja y un largo etcetera.
why is it important for you to document and archive peruvian cumbia?
La importancia radica en que son parte de la cultura peruana. Más allá de los límites de lo musical, expresan el sentir y las vivencias de un pueblo. Las tendencias sociales de cada época se reflejan en la cumbia. Además, considero que la cumbia peruana aún no ha sido lo suficientemente investigada y tiene un gran potencial. Quizás en algún momento la difusión haga que este género tenga un lugar mucho más destacado dentro de los géneros musicales del mundo entero.
what for you defines "chicha" and why are there so many misconceptions about it?
Desde hace mucho existe un problemas de definiciones. Es innegable que la cumbia peruana tiene diversos estilos. Esto es mucho más claro para alguien que conoce el género a profundidad: todas las épocas y todos los lugares. Algunos consideran que la "chicha" es un estilo particular dentro del universo de la cumbia peruana; mientras que otros prefieren utilizar el término "chicha" para englobar a toda la cumbia peruana, en un intento por darle una personalidad propia y distinguirla más de la cumbia colombiana madre. Yo prefiero asumir a la chicha como una variante más dentro de la cumbia peruana que además de tener fuertes influencias musicales andinas se caracteriza por tener una narrativa que gira en torno a un grupo social específico. En determinado momento de la historia del Perú el país dejó de ser mayoritariamente rural para convertirse en mayoritariamente urbano. Por toda esa gente desarraigada, que abandonaron sus tierras en busca de un mejor futuro (como lo hicieron mis padres y millones de peruanos) es que la chicha encuentra un sentido y un espacio dentro de la música peruana.
Tunchi is not only a helping hand in the world of masstropicas but he is also a very close friend that I've known for quite a while and spent many nights drinking and having fun with in Lima. Enjoy five questions with TUNCHI!
What is your first memory of hearing Peruvian CUMBIA?
I remember when I was a kid, my relatives and parent’s parties dancing with Cuarteto Continental, in the late 80s.
Why photographs and not painting?
Because I don't have the patience to paint, I like drawing but not painting, before I took photos I would draw a lot in school during class. Photography is faster to do, and I like.
Is there a Peruvian photographer that has had a great influence on your work?
Not in this moment, first I decided to go out with a camera to the streets, and then I learned about other photographers thanks to internet and friends. I like the photography of Chino Domínguez.
Have you ever been put into any dangerous situations while taking photographs?
Yes, I paid taxes to the streets twice. Once a gang of faites rob me and took all my stuff, and other day three guys with a gun rob my camera in the night.
What for you defines "chicha" and why are there so many misconceptions about it?
I don't think "CHICHA" can be defined, because that "concept" was not born in a
classroom with books, it’s something social, subjective, that has meaning with a way of life with lots of Peruvians, musicians, business’, food, life in general. I think there are misconceptions because people that are not involved with "CHICHA" try to explain what is, and they live and think in a different way, and people that are really involved don't care about explaining it, they are trying to make money and do their best with their lives.