The Austin outfit Money Chicha, a more nimble offshoot of Grupo Fantasma, plays the Amazonian psychedelic rock Cumbia known as Chicha. Joined by Peruvian Chicha superstar Jose Carballo (guitarist of La Nueva Crema) for a couple of short sessions and workshops they captured on tape. And they also had started work on their own second full-length album, after years of single releases, recording at Sonic Ranch Studios in West Texas. COVID derailed it all, of course, and left the band with two unfinished albums. So they combined them.
Maybe you’ve been groovin’ to Chicha for years, or maybe it’s the coolest world of music you’ve never heard of. Its geographical origins begin in Peru, but its musical genealogy is global. Like western swing or electric blues, Chicha is music born from rapid urbanization and rural exodus; combining folk melodies and traditions from the Andes and the Amazonian jungle, the beat of neighboring Columbia’s cumbia, and the cosmopolitan melange of sounds heard in big port cities–and in 1960s Lima, that sound was psychedelic.
For a crash course check out Money Chicha’s My KUTX guest DJ set, and to see Chicha in action, check out the videos below.
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Greg Gonzales, Bass; Beto Martinez, Guitar; John Speice, drums; Sweet Lou Holmes, percussion; Peter Stopschinski, Farfisa; Kiko Villamizar, guest vocals
Engineer: Jake Perlman; Producer: Deidre Gott; Cameras: Gabriel C. Pérez, Michael Minasi; Edit: Patricia Lim