His name? Marco Luján, aka Viktor Torvik when he's making "retro sets" like this one. He's from Lima, Peru, and I was super happy that he shared with me (with us, you readers and listeners out there!) a lot of Peruvian music which I'd never dreamed of hearing, as well as some choice numbers from across the globe. This blog's middle name is Internationalism, so I deeply approve of this mixture from around the world. In Peru, Torvik is a DJ and also an underground producer of varying styles of music from jungle and soundscapes to lounge and easy listening.
"I am inspired by classic movies, exploitation films, old cartoons and TV shows from 60's and '70s," he tells me. "In the '90s artists like Towa Tei, Dimitri from Paris, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Luke Vibert, United Future Organization, Masters at Work, Aphex Twin and many, many others inspired me to create music." Whilst not listening to music, making it, or making mixes, he also DJs at a place in Lima called Eka Bar.
I wanted to choose a group of songs from all over the world and especially from my country.
So anyway: what's in store for you in this mix? Easy listening, lounge, jazz, Latin flavours, soft rock, psychedelia. It's a fluffy, mellow mélange of music that travels the world from the USA and Brazil to Venezuela and Italy (only half the countries featured in the mix), stopping off on the way for sojourns into the more popular and fleeting sounds of the '60s and '70s. From the USA we have Ray Conniff, band leader and arranger, whose creation 'Lowdown' is smooth and buttery, dripping with soulful guitar. Moving on, there's the weed-advocating 'Marihuana Mantra' by German group Kuno & The Marihuana Brass, whose controlled rowdiness is a soft rock invocation to the drug. Later on we're treated to Los Destellos and their Peruvian brand of Colombian genre cumbia in 'Volando Alto', a mix of tasty, bustling rhythms and rich waves of psychedelic guitar.
One particularly interesting story that I looked into (mainly because I spent so long looking for any evidence of her existence that I got engrossed in the process) was that of Emma Sugimoto. Born in New Jersey but raised in Osaka, she started out as an actress, then a model, then her debut was with 《アイ・アイ・アイ》 – 'Ai Ai Ai' in this mix – via Columbia Records in 1970, going with ELEC Records for a 1974 album 《エマは愛》Emma Is Love. She retired from all this in 1980 and married restauranteur Shimpei Wada, whose French restaurant "シェ・ワダ" – Chez Wada – is still open and, by the sounds of things (I think), thriving.
And on that note, I've spoken too much. Let's listen. The first time I listened to this I was having lunch with Bextree – I ate a toasted ham and cheese panini. Made the whole thing wildly delightful.
• T R A C K L I S T •
- 01. Jaime Delgado Aparicio – Todo el Mundo me Persigue (1966 Peru) 00:00
- 02. El Dúo Dinámico – Galileo (1966 España) 03:14
- 03. Banda Veneno – The Girl from Paramaribo (1972 Brazil) 05:38
- 04. Heinz Kiessling – Spicy (197? Germany) 09:16
- 05. Ray Conniff – Lowdown (1976 USA) 11:20
- 06. Lorenzo Santamaria – Carnaval (1979 España) 13:12
- 07. Kuno & The Marihuana Brass – Marihuana Mantra (1970 Germany) 16:50
- 08. Black Sugar – Viajecito (1971 Peru) 19:20
- 09. Bossa 70 – Si Voce Pensa (1971 Peru) 24:09
- 10. Los Destellos – Volando Alto (1974 Peru) 27:11
- 11. Aldemaro Romero – It's Impossible (1972 Venezuela) 30:19
- 12. Emma Sugimoto – Ai Ai Ai (1970 Japan) 32:10
- 13. Luciano Michelini – Il Volto Nascosto Di Luna (1969 Italy) 37:32
- + outro (Cigarrillos Country Club con filtro. Peruvian 60's publicity)