02/04/2020Analog Africa Shares Special 'Stay Safe & Sound' Compilation Of Amazonian Cumbia From Perú

It didn't take much convincing, but we've come to the following conclusion: When the going gets tough, we need to turn to music to soothe our souls, swing our moods and act as an antidote to whatever is weighing heavily on our minds. Enter Analog Africa and Ranil, who, in light of the ongoing global pandemic, decided to share a selection of ten more tracks to accompany the latter's recently released project "Ranil y Su Conjunto Tropical (Limited Dance Edition)".

"We´ve prepared a little something for you," Samy Ben Rejeb's label announced. "A selection of tunes that had been pre-selected for the second Ranil project. And since we all need a little comforting [...] it's free. Just put zero and add your email address. So download this when you feel like it and share the selection with as many friends and loved ones as possible [...] because it's good for the soul and eases the stress!"

Peruvian singer, bandleader and entrepreneur Raúl Llerena Vásquez, aka Ranil, is considered "one of the central figures of Amazonian music" whose "extraordinary output has remained one of the best kept secrets among collectors of cumbia and psychedelic Latin sounds." Originally from the city of Iquitos, nicknamed the capital of the Peruvian Amazon, Ranil used to work as a school teacher in neighbouring towns, surrounded by "the criollo waltzes of his youth, carimbó rhythms from nearby Brasil and crackly broadcasts of cumbia from Colombia picked up on transistor radios."

Upon returning to Iquitos, however, he decided to assemble a group of musicians, thus giving birth to his unique style of Amazonian cumbia in the early 1970s, led by "galloping rhythms and trebly, reverberant guitar." He soon took his band to Lima, to record at the renowned MAG studios, but quickly decided that he wanted to take musical matters into his own hands and founded the first record label of the Peruvian Amazon, alias Producciones Llerena. "In recent decades, he has concentrated his considerable energies on his radio and television stations, and become involved with local civic politics. Yet his legacy has continued to grow," the release notes read.   

A few weeks back, Analog Africa released a singular 14-track compilation of Ranil's productions entitled "Ranil y su Conjunto Tropical (Limited Dance Edition)" and now decided to follow that up with a free download selection of ten more tracks to dampen the effect of the current global pandemic. Click below for a rare taste of the magical musical powers of the Peruvian Amazon and the indelible guitar grooves of Ranil and his tropical ensemble.

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom