Tag Archives: Mala

The New Peruvian Electronic Renaissance

ALQSBS, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Maribel

“We have not been an industrialized society. It’s been precarious, but that has spawned a very inventive and rich culture.” —Luis Alvarado

Electronic music in Peru dates back to the 1960s, but you’d be forgiven for not knowing that until recently. The tropical bass boom has put the Andean nation on electronic music’s global map, and writers and musicians in Peru are starting to talk more about the works of early composers like Cesar Bolaños and Edgardo Valcárcel, both vanguard artists instrumental to the influx of new ideas about music composition in Peru.

So why has it taken so long for such a rich history to surface?

“There is no easy answer, but it has to do with the complicated way things work in Peru,” explains Luis Alvarado, director and founder of the experimental electronica label Buh Records in Lima. “I can tell you that we have not been an industrialized society. There aren’t any great technological advances ingrained in us because of intense economic crises and complex migratory patterns. It’s been precarious, but that has spawned a very inventive and rich culture.”

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Album of the Day: Mala, “Mirrors”

Mala, founding member of the South London label and nightclub DMZ, is one of relatively few figures who could lay legitimate claim to inventing dubstep. His potent, hollowed-out bass music points back to sound system culture and steppers’ reggae, even as it engineered its low end into something pristine and impossibly heavy. When EDM blew up, Mala could have cashed out. Instead, for his debut album Mala In Cuba, he went to Havana, tracked down local musicians and refined a distinctly Afro-Cuban take on bass futurism.

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