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Album Review

Rough Guide to Afro-Peru [coll] – [Rough Guide]

Hunter Gatherer   6/4/2005   CD, International

Another excellent release from the Rough Guide series. This time it is a collection of music that was brought to Peru by slaves from West Africa and continues to evolve through their descendants.

This CD can only present us with the music, but it is important to realize that this sensual music cannot be separated from the dances that accompany it, such as The Alcatraz (track 14) in which dancers have a piece of red paper between their legs that other dancers try to ignite with a lit candle. These dances were so threatening to the Spanish colonialists that they were outlawed along with all drums.

This explains why a large wooden box, called the cajon, is the one of the important percussion instruments on this CD. The instruments are acoustic: guitar, bass, some brass. There are many different types of percussion instruments (including my favorite, the vibraslap) marking complex meters. It combines the best elements of African and South American music. Check it out.
–Hunter Gatherer

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