In this day and age of digital music when nobody wants to pay for songs anymore, releasing new music on vinyl is almost an anomaly. It’s even more so to also release old, unpopular music from the hidden corners of the so-called third world…and even make sure the musicians get rightfully credited and paid.
Not too long ago we told you about New York-based reissues record label Barbés and their mission to film a chicha documentary in the Peruvian jungles by asking fans and supporters for donations. This time it’s another gringo who caught the chicha fever and he’s also asking for pledges to record two vinyl releases, one a 12 inch (LP) and the other a 7 inch (single), with old-school musicians from the Peruvian Amazon.
He goes by Mike P and he runs a Massachusetts home-operation label/blog called Masstropicas. Earlier this year they released a great limited-edition compilation of chicha legend Ranil’s greatest hits. Both Barbés and Masstropicas are guilty of unleashing the chicha fever in the US a couple of years ago by exposing that deep within the Peruvian jungles, about four decades ago, this musical genre developed, a mix of Afro-Colombian cumbia, Andean folk, and guitar-driven surf rock ‘n’ roll. Nobody used to care about chicha music, not even in Peru, where it was widely considered lowbrow and hick by the cool urban youth. But since the gringos showed interest, you know how it is, there’s been a boom of sorts, a renaissanse of chicha music in Peru, too.
Now, you can either join the bandwagon and go online and download bootlegged MP3s of all the chicha must-haves and the actual artists down in Peru will never see a penny. Or (if you want to avoid the bad karma) you can purchase the record when it comes out or be a part of its production by sending a donation through Kickstarter (to cover travel expenses, equipment, etc.) and then get a free copy of the record.