sábado, 7 de diciembre de 2013

Interview: Duncan Ballantyne, the englishman behind "Perú Maravilloso"

- Is the idea of the compilation 'Peru Maravilloso' born from the experience with the Peruvian restaurant 'Ceviche', founded by Martín Morales in London?
Basically Martin comes from running record labels like I do. Whilst i worked for indies like Soundway and Far Out, Martin was instrumental in setting up iTunes in Europe and worked with Miley Cyrus when she was with Disney as part of Hannah Montana. In 2011 he decided to leave the high profile media world to start a mission impossible : to bring Peruvian cuisines and culture to the UK and beyond. He contacted me and we started talking about setting up a record label (as part of his Ceviche restaurant) releasing strictly Peruvian music. We released a 7" with Juaneco y su Combo and Paco Zambrano and then Peru Maravilloso started taking shape: our debut compilation looking at vintage music from Peru in the 69s and 70s.
- Which has been the most important concept to select the songs for the album? The diversity included is pretty clear, music from the 60s - 70s decades.
The imperative was not to pigeonhole the record with 'cumbia' or 'chicha' or ' psychedelic rock'. We wanted to make an album that is accessible to both music heads and people who had never heard Peruvian music before (apart from panpipes and Susana Baca). We love music of all varieties so we wanted to create an album that exemplifies our passion. The only 'must' was that it had to be Peruvian and made between these 2 decades.
- You have also included "very rare" songs of the tropical Peruvian repertoire. Is that issue also important to your concept?
Yes, we wanted to uncover tracks that have been lying dormant and forgotten about, raise the profile of artists who have never had proper recognition. However, that was the concept of this particular album both the concept of Tiger's Milk Records.

- Are the migrant population of Peruvian origin in the UK/Europe an important consuming audience of this compilation and future releases?
Definitely, and the general Latin diaspora. But equally this is a democratic record and it is not aimed at any particular person or taste.
- How is the reception of 'Peru Maravilloso' being among the European audience?
Amazing response: lots of plays on BBC radio. The first time ever that Peruvian music has been recognised internationally in such a mainstream media.
- In recent years there have been several American and European labels compiling Peruvian cumbia artists of the 70s such as Barbés Records, Vampisoul and Secret Stash, or simply 'Colombian Cumbia' by Soundway. How does Tiger's Milk look like in that context?
Tiger's Milk does not aim to replicate any other label's concept. We are truly passionate about Peru and its culture. We aim, as Tiger´s Milk to not just release music but offer a platform for other arts like gastronomy, theatre, literature and other cultural endeavours.
- Which was the original source of the songs collected? Vinyl, CDs or master tapes?
A mix of vinyl and master tapes from labels in Peru.
- Has it been difficult to integrate the different qualities of the sound on a single compilation?
Yes definitely, some of the vinyl is very rare and copies we had had to go through a rigorous mastering and reconditioning process.
- Have you got any projects after 'Peru Maravilloso'?
Tiger's Milk Records will release compilations of new and old music, explore and promote current trends in Peruvian music, work with artists, develop artists and we aim to become one of the most respected and authentic Peruvian cultural outlets outside of Peru.

Duncan Ballantyne, Tiger's Milk Records.
Interview by Ricardo Garcia, translation by Antonio Ayora.

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