Psychedelic Peruvian Cumbia Fun Explosion!
Where They’re From: Lima, Peru
When They Started: 2003
Genre: Nuevo-Tropical ; Cumbia Redux
Sounds Like: The South American hippie party of your wildest dreams.
Much ado has been made about the pulsing cumbia revivals in places like Argentina, Mexican and Colombia, but those aren’t the only places where young people are pumping new life into the classic Latin American dance sound. Bareto, a tropical roots-rock group from Lima, has been leading the neo-cumbia charge in Peru. The band formed in 2003, beginning as a Latin-tinged instrumental reggae group playing to the dreadlocked set
Then, around 2007, a new enthusiasm for the old-school psychedelic Peruvian cumbia style known as chicha caught on among the nation’s taste-makers, spurred in part by the Roots of Chicha compilations released on Brooklyn’s Barbes Records. The following year, Bareto put out a successful album of covers from the legendary Amazonian chicha band Jauneco y Su Combo, filled with surf-worthy guitars and tasty organ digressions.
Since then, Bareto has continued develop their updated take on the chicha sound, blending those trippy guitar and organ licks with heavy rock riffs, irie reggae breaks, socially-engaged lyrics and high-powered drumming. In the process, they’ve managed to take a long-maligned genre of the Peruvian working class and spin it into party music for all, especially cool kids, lefty youth and university types of Lima’s colorful seaside Barranco neighborhood.
Earlier this year, Bareto put out a new album of neo-tropical originals titled Ves lo que quieres ver (You See What You Want to See). Check out the sound for yourself below with their “La anesthesia,” a groovy little cumbia track from the new record.