Various Artists - Ecuatoriana


Format: Vinyl LP
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$39

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Various Artists - Ecuatoriana

New Analog Africa release "Ecuatoriana - El Universo Paralelo de Polibio
Mayorga 1969-1981" is highlighting one of the Andean Cumbia pioneers -
daring and visionary, with an intrepid vigorous style almost impossible to
imitate, Polibio Mayorga established a unique place for himself at the
vanguard of tropical music by flirting with avant-garde sounds, a hybrid
of cumbia rhythms and traditional tunes, bringing music into the space
age in an elaborated sonic flourish with electronic instruments.
On 12 February 1949 an angry mob stormed into the centre of the Ecuadorian
Quito, burning the offices of the city's main newspaper and its oldest
radio station to the ground.

On that tragic day Radio Quito had just broadcast a local adaptation of HG Wells's
The War of the Worlds. The novel - first published in 1898 and famously adapted
into a radio series by Orson Welles - is one of the earliest stories to depict a
conflict between mankind and a hostile race of extra- terrestrials. The large
audience - not understanding that it was pure fiction - believed that intergalactic
intelligence had invaded the country as all hell broke loose. Thousands began
running the streets of Quito looking for shelter, chaos broke out, causing a deadly
stampede. People blamed the broadcaster for the tragedy, formed a dense crowd
and stormed Radio Quito, setting it ablaze. Several musicians, who were there
performing, were killed. In the decades after the second world war, outer space
was on everyone's mind and the 'space race' of the 1950s and 60s not only
produced groundbreaking efforts to launch artificial satellites, send space probes
to Mars and land a human on the moon, it also had a huge impact on the movie
and music industry which was taking advantage of the world's fascination with
space voyages and lunar missions to create instruments capable of mimicking
imaginary interstellar sounds. These synthesised space effects that captivated
the imagination of a whole generation of young Ecuadoreans coincided with a
period in which workers and musicians from the provinces started flocking to
Quito and to the commercial port of Guayaquil, some hoping to find regular work,
others looking to break into the musical big leagues by getting hired by one of the
prestigious urban radio station. These artists brought riches of rhythms to the
major Ecuadorian cities who would soon witness the explosion of what would be
known as "Andean Cumbia". That fusion, of tropical electronics mixed in with
Andean melodies and lyrics describing the cruel reality of migrant workers,
achieved massive success. And so while budding Ecuadorian UFOlogy lead to
widespread extra-terrestrial sightings, Ecuadorian musicians began released
various albums consisting of traditional music combined with synthesisers in
order to bring their traditional music into the space age. One of these musicians
is Polibio Mayorga who had travelled 160km from his hometown of Chisalata to
Quito where he showcased his talent as he championed the art of modernising
his region's ancestral rhythms - Huaynito, Sanjuanito, Albazo and many others -
using the latest in electronic instruments.

After 4 years with Los Locos del Ritmo, one of Ecuador's most popular bands,
Polibio joined Fadisa (Fabrica De Discos S.A) in 1973 as a solo musician and
songwriter before becoming their musical director a year later. While there he
would team up with saxophonist extraordinaire Olmedo Torres, and for 10 years
they would compose and arrange hits, not only for themselves but also for their
fellow artists in the Fadisa family. Although Fadisa had countless labels in their
roster, the jewel in their crown was Rondador and it was on that imprint that
Polibio would release "Ponchito de Colores" and his famous album "La Farra Está
Aquí". With their novel use of Moog synthesiser, both become huge hit records
and were broadcast constantly by Cosmopolita and Marañón de Quito - the two
major radio stations of the capital. This led to a surge of interest in Andean
cumbia, and the subsequent record sales helped to revive the country's fagging
music industry, turning Polibio into Ecuador's most influential musician.

Polibio has never considered his music to be "tropical psychedelia" - although he
thinks it would make a good name for a band. He has the sense of humour of a
genius and the ability to make anyone laugh, yet he remains discreet, eloquent
and humble ... but as a musician he is daring and visionary, with an intrepid,
style almost impossible to imitate. More than perhaps any of his peers,
Polibio Mayorga established a unique place for himself at the vanguard of
tropical music.

Tracks:
Cumbia Totorana
La Perra Vida
Di Que Me Amas
Ferrocarril
Don Alfoncito
Bomba de Pobres
Unita Mas
Muñequita Blanca
Culebrita Dormida
Mi Paisa
Haciendo Bomba
Llorona
Altas Horas
Pañuelo De Seda
Muevase Vecina
America Índia


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