UK based record label Tiger’s Milk Records once again team up with Strut Records to release their long anticipated second compilation album, Peru Bravo: Funk, Soul & Psych from Peru’s radical decade.
Peru Bravo tells the whirlwind story of a culture in flux. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, Lima boasted dozens of young bands full of ideas, spontaneous and unfazed by the instability in Peru. Featuring alternative heroes Traffic Sound and Laghonia alongside a selection of unheralded short-lived groups, Peru Bravo is a funk-fuelled ride through a radical decade.
Like its predecessor, Tiger’s Milk’s debut LP ‘Peru Maravilloso’, Peru Bravo digs deep. It unearths the full spectrum of incendiary underground funk, soul and psych sounds that emerged following the first TV performance by the Peruvian Grand Daddies of garage punk, Los Saicos in 1965.
By ’66, there were dozens of guitar based groups in Lima playing a mix of instrumental surf, rock ‘n roll and garage punk. With the growing influence of West coast American rock, funk and soul and British psychedelia and rock, the underground music scene in Peru diversified rapidly. It would, however, be only a matter of years before this burgeoning movement disappeared just as quickly as a new, uncompromising military dictatorship led by General Juan Velasco Alvarado, took hold.
Artists on Peru Bravo include psychedelic ensembles Laghonia & Telegraph Avenue, both heavily influenced by American West coast bands like Santana & Jefferson Airplane. Also featured are Black Sugar’s hard funk, Traffic Sound’s rock-edged boogaloo and the raw-but-sweet harmonies of Thee Image, all under-pinned by a deep soulfulness that pervaded much of the music of the time. The album also features three dynamite cover versions of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hey Joe’, Steppenwolf’s ‘Sookie Sookie’ and the Meters’ ‘Cissy Strut’.
In Peru, the word ‘bravo’ has a double meaning. It can refer to something that is ‘edgy’ or ‘dangerous’ but can also be a celebratory exclamation like in English. This collection celebrates a wonderfully brave and creative period that lasted just a few years during the coercive and fear inducing reign of Velasco’s government.