LABELS: Mr Bongo
PERFORMER: Novalima: Milagros Guerrero (lead vocals), various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: MRBCD041
Afro-Peruvian music has witnessed revivals ever since it was rescued by Nicomedes Santa Cruz, the first to adapt and record items from the public domain in 1959. The music’s most recent high-profile exponent is Susana Baca, who generally emphasises acoustic interpretations of this tradition.
In contrast, Afro mixes the standard Afro-Peruvian repertoire and instruments – cajón (box-drum), acoustic guitar, etc – with digital beats, dubby sound effects, salsa, funk and mainstream 21st-century dance styles. The samples generally enhance the contemporary musicians’ efforts and, crucially, the producers mostly give these overhauled classics plenty of space to breathe. Jon Lusk