Drummer turned multi-instrumentalist Peruvian Miguel Flore is an experimental, avant garde composer exploring the possibilities of combining traditional Peruvian music with modern compositional techniques. Flore has earned his place as one of the forerunners of the era alongside contemporaries such as Arturo Ruiz del Pozo, Luis David Aguilar or Manongo Mujica. ‘Primitivo’ is an innovative experiment into folk sounds and free jazz.
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- Primitivo (1981) by Miguel Flores
8/10 Jim Staff review, 05 March 2015
Hot on the heels of the recent Arturo Ruiz del Pozo disc of highly idiosyncratic electr-acoustic compositions, Lima’s Buh Records continues its laudable project of releasing lost gems of Peruvian Avant Garde music with these Miguel Flores recordings dating back to 1981. Originally a drummer the acid rock group Pax, this album is Flores’ score for a dance performance inspired by Peru’s cataclysmic history and pre-Colombian myths from the Amazonian and Andean regions of the country. The result is a sprawling, genre-defying record that reminds me of some of Angus Maclise’s stuff in its wide-eyed openness to the psychedelic possibilities music and sound of all kinds.
The opener ‘Pachcuti’ was apparently made by overdubbing 14 guitar parts that, across its 12 minute duration, interpret the entire history of Peru. Beginning with strange, downtuned backward guitar textures and teeming fret hammerings, it mutates into a lonesome high plains huayno tune, the resonant twangs of which grow increasingly discordant before plunging into doomy, downward-spiralling feedback. Then we get Spanish guitar mutating into the skeletal shuffle of some urban chicha music.
The second track ‘Iranpabanto’ starts with heavy, tribal drumming backing heavily modulated abstract electric guitar scrapings that blossom into a sine-tingling lone flute motif set against the pulsating hiss of the PA. This all then erupts rather startlingly with a high-pitched voice chanting hypnotically, backed with tough resonating drums and dense synthesized wind effects. The free jazz section at the end feels a bit dated, especially the guitar dripping with chorus, but improves as the saxophone gets a bit more ragged and Flores’ distinctive drumming style becomes increasingly elaborate. However any dodgy jazz excesses are redeemed by Corina Bartra’s incredible vocalisations in the closing track.
Enjoyable and totally unique stuff yet again from Buh.
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