Bajo El Sol by Nikanor
Nikanor is a Peruvian band based in Brussels, fronted by vocalist Marx Sánchez Sosa and guitarist Angel Loaiza. Together they play Chicha cumbia, a unique genre based on Andean melodies blended with tropical percussions and psychedelic rock. The first Chicha cumbia bands appeared in Peru during the mid-1960’s and was very popular until the mid-1980’s. In the last years, ‘la Chicha’ is experiencing a renaissance, with bands and audiences from around the world (re)discovering its power and sound.
Taking the big names and bands from the Chicha cumbia era as a reference, Nikanor started in 2016 as a cover band, to play the most remarkable and strongest songs to gain recognition in the Belgian scene. Since then the band has evolved into a group that writes their own music and songs.
Nikanor’s songs are a mix of rock, Chicha cumbia, tropical cumbia and Andean folk. Songs like ‘La Bajada del Kuraka’, with its Afro-Peruvian rhythms, or ‘Cóndor Blanco’, with its Quenas (Andean panpipes), make this album a trip to Peru. While listening to the songs you feel like flying through landscapes and rhythms from all around the country. All of this is played in a rock structured sound that invites to dancing and partying in a live setting.
The album was completely composed and recorded in Brussels, considering the backgrounds of Marx and Angel and their inspiration taken from the colors, landscapes and social struggles of their native Peru.
Some words about the songs:
A Fidel Flores. A song dedicated to a man who was killed by the police while defending his home from being expropriated. A horrible injustice that touched deeply members of the band, making them feel complied to write a song against corruption and how it damages society. A strong opening song that sets the tone for an album with a message.
Cóndor Blanco. An instrumental featuring the Quena, an ancient Andean wind instrument. With quite a few changes in rhythm, picturing the condor as it flies by but also representing the whiteness of the mountains. The condor is the biggest flying bird, endemic to the Andean region.
Tun Tun. A song that shows the feelings of a man who will soon become a father. A catchy latino pop song with a great chorus that invites the listener to sing along. This tune fills the album with joy.
Calca. Dedicated to two mountains located near Calca, a town in the Urubamba valley near the city of Cusco in Peru. It tells the ancient tale of two lovers who became mountains in their escape for freedom, the tale of Sawasiray and Pitusiray. With a subtle touch of the Pinkillo flute and the Pututo conch, both native peruvian wind instruments.
Fuga. A sonic landscape picturing a carnival in the mountains; it serves as a closing song of the first half of the album, but also as an afterthought where we can hear the melodies of Calca played in ancient wind instrument such as Pinkillos and Tarkas.
Huellas. Opening the B side, Huellas tells the story of a man who seeks to fulfill his dreams and he looks back to the path that he has already walked. The lyrics are spiced up with strong guitar melodies full of fuzz pedal distortion, just like the vintage Chicha bands in the early 70’s. It also carries a different time signature for the curious listener.
La Bajada del Kuraka. A journey from the mountains to the coast with the meeting of two cultures. Based on a true story that happened somewhere sometime, in Peru, where the Andean culture met the African culture through slavery by the Spanish conquistadors. The result of this meeting had an enormous influence on Peruvian music. The song is an homage to this gathering and features a percussion break with the Peruvian Cajón, still a very popular instrument today.
Yaku. Another instrumental, this time the journey is to the Amazon jungle with the Cumbia Amazónica! Dedicated to the ancient people of the amazon, this slow and broody song is filled with rain, thunder and guitar sounds that evoke the mystique of the jungle.
Óyela. The party mood comes back again with Óyela, with a female voice and super catchy lyrics that makes this one easy to sing along and dance.
Bajo el Sol. A guitar driven song with beautiful and heart-felt vocals. Consisting of two parts, this one deals with isolation and the lack solidarity in today’s world. At first a Chicha song that talks to the heart, to then become a cry for unity and collective power.
Currently Nikanor’s members are Marx Sánchez Sosa (Peru) on vocals, wind instrument and percussion, Angel Loaiza (Peru) on guitar and backing vocals, Alfredo Quelopana (Chile) on electric bass, Carlos Ríos (Chile) on timbales and Manuel “Mañe” Narváez (Colombia) as guacharaquero.
The band is based in Brussels (Belgium).
released January 15, 2020
Vocals: Marx Sánchez Sosa
Guitars: Angel Loaiza
Bass: Luiz Guzmán Brito
Timbales & Tarola: Jose Luis Vera Allasi
Percussion: Marx Sánchez Sosa
Andean Flutes: Marx Sánchez Sosa
Pututo: Angel Loaiza
Chorus: Angel Loaiza, Rita Super Star, Marx Sánchez Sosa
Composed & arranged by Nikanor
Produced & musical direction by Marx Sánchez Sosa
Recorded at Pianofabriek & MS Studio
Recorded & mixed by Sam Van Ryssel
Mastered by Fred Alstadt @ Angstrom Mastering
Graphic Design by Angel Loaiza
Photo of Chankillo Observatory by Maricé Castañeda
Released on Rebel Up Records
with support by Horoscopo Discos
RUN Bookings, represented by Marcela Narvaez
℗ & © Rebel Up Records / Nikanor 2020 – All rights reserved
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