Know Your Netlabel: Tiger’s Milk Resurfaces the Best of Peru’s Chicha, Huayno Rhythms

It’s hard to imagine a Peruvian ceviche without its distinguishing feature, leche de tigre. Netlabel Tiger’s Milk has managed position itself as something equally essential for documenting Peruvian music, collecting and re-releasing essential parts of the country’s catalog through their relatively newborn platform.

Listening to Tiger’s Milk’s compilations is like taking a dip in Peruvian music history waters, which doubles as an invitation to the dancefloor. Throug their first compilation, Peru Maravilloso: Vintage Latin, Tropical and Cumbia, we not only hear well-known chicha and huayno, but also other Latin rhythms with a Peruvian spin on them, taking on cumbia, mambo, salsa, rock, and psychedelia.

The team behind the label–Martin Morales, Duncan Ballantyne, and Andrés Tapia–spent years digging for these tracks, so each one of them has a story of their own. You’ll hear sounds resurfaced from the ’60s and ’70s from the likes of Lucho Neves, Paco Zambrano, Los Gatos Blancos, and Lucia de la Cruz, given a second life with vinyl and virtual re-releases. Stand-out tracks are Los Zheros’ “Para Chachita” which has a sort of melancholic yet ludic sound, or Paco Zambrano y su Combo’s “Meshkalina” with a tropicalia vibe differentiating it from the pack and inviting references to Os Mutantes or Gilberto Gil. And probably, thanks to Las Jaibas, you’ll have “Mambo de Machaguay,” which opens the compilation. And what’s that? You wanna dance? Well for a start try with Los Gatos Blancos’ “El Chacarero.”

Their next compilation in the series, Peru Bravo: Funk, Soul, and Psych from Peru’s Radical Decade, is due out on October 6th. If they keep on this same path, it wouldn’t be surprising to start finding Tiger’s Milk not only in our ceviches.