Best Peruvian Music of 2016
Albums selected by Camilo Riveros Vásquez
Tracks selected by José Luis Mercado


Wanderlust <BR>“Revixerit”


The first time I heard Wanderlust (in their second gig) I thought that all the Peruvian post hardcore and math rock bands were doomed. Here we have a new standard. Finally, somebody from the younger generation of bands could record and sound live as it should be, and here we have the results.

Wunderlast is a great example of how the Peruvian bands are developing their sound, beyond the common music references of Foals and Explosions in the Sky, applying technical and musical elements of local acoustic guitar and polyrhythmic traditions, characteristic for our coast, to the electric guitar and drum beats.

Like they were screaming that Peruvian math rock is Afro Andean, baby.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (Bandcamp)

Wanderlust on Facebook, Bandcamp.

Mundaka <BR>“Sonata Tropical del Ártico”

“Sonata Tropical del Ártico”

When a band develops a unique sound, it might be hard for them to find a place they would fit in. So they have to build their own place in the scene.

In this list, Mundaka represent Faro Discos, a label and band collective were each one of their members will surprise you with a little personal twist to the indie music spectrum… and a bit of pop punk. “Sonata Tropical del Ártico” is the first full-length of this dream pop surf reggae rock band, like Morrisey meets Sublime in San Bartolo Beach.

But it’s not only the guitar textures, walkie bass, soft friendly voice, a guest saxophone and inteligent riddim that make this an album worthy of attention. But simply good songs and instrumentals with naïve feeling. Perfect for a summer morning.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (Bandcamp)

Mundaka on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, www.

Menores <BR>“Tierra de Nadie” EP

“Tierra de Nadie” EP

With their debut EP, Menores have gone beyond any expectations. And the expectations were high.

Music producer Orieta Chrem and singers and composers Ana Cabrera and Talía Vega, made this six-song record in an almost three-year process, in which they renewed themselves. They created a personal sound, dark, deep, melodious yet filled with rap poetry and heavy bass. Menores started to be considered one of the hottest new music proposals in Spanish, as the reactions to their Bogota Tour confirm.

Menores seek for their own voice, and it’s a great process to witness. They want to speak cryptically and not to be pretty, to make a statement in each song and performance. It’s not just electronic music with rap vocals, but also great instrumental themes, detailed vocal layers, effects, textures… Hard to search, great to find.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (YouTube)

Menores on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook + beehype.

El Hombre Misterioso <BR>“EHM”

El Hombre Misterioso

The release of this album took by surprise the local lists at the end of the year. El Hombre Misterioso is now, with fifteen years on the road as a band, one of the main references for Peruvian experimental rock.

Poetry and rhythm are the core of their self-titled album, which has been presented as a classic CD with a proper booklet – a little piece of art. This fifth record in their discography is s the one that demonstrates their most definitive sound as of yet.

As a six-piece musical being, the roles are unusual in these band. El Hombre Misterioso is lead by the spokenword of the drummer, who fuses his beats with colorful percussions. The two (or three) guitars draw melodies that go from the blues and psych to some clouds of noise. The keyboard adds a lot of spice to the textures and harmonic mix.

And all of this is blend together by an omnipresent solid bass.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (Spotify)

El Hombre Misterioso on Facebook, Soundcloud.

Tourista <BR>“Colores Paganos”

“Colores Paganos”

Tourista is this strange case where three not-so-young adults decide to have a professional pop band, but make it on their own terms.

With their first full-length, they honored their name and toured Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and around Perú. “Select y Start” was the only Peruvian song in the Colombian alternative radio Radiónica, and they won various awards for the song’s video.

“Colores Paganos” is a landmark of its time, and its time is now. An album with intimate and sincere lyrics, coming from their former melodic punk rock bands, but with a profound research and insight into the current global music ideas and local traditions.

This record is based on the search for a true sound, but also with the intention to bring catchy party hits… that froze back in the 80s in the Peruvian radio. What I love about this band is that they achieve what they dream about.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (Soundcloud)

Tourista on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www + beehype.

Dengue Dengue Dengue <BR>“Siete Raíces”

Dengue Dengue Dengue
“Siete Raíces”

Their first full length with the Portuguese label Enchufada is one step deeper into the international scenes.

DDD are proving that you can made a good living being a working DJ and music producer, but you have to find your own way to do it. So, DDD musicians and crews in different countries are always thinking outside the box to take this project beyond everything. And they can do it because amazing music supports them.

Dengue Dengue Dengue have traveled the world and made all the dancehalls shake. They have learned new sounds and brought something extra to refresh the digital discovery of the Latinoamerican cumbias. Too much richness in the African, Colombian, Afroperuvian and Andean traditions not to learn, and not to share.

So “Seven Raíces” is a trip to the inner selves of two sound chamans, who open new paths into the sonic jungle – and music industries.

♪♫ Listen: album stream (Bandcamp)

Dengue Dengue Dengue on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www + beehype.



Ale Hop feat. Carolina Araoz

After the split of Las Amigas de Nadie, the founder Ale Hop iniatiated her solo career in experimental music.

One of her creations was taking the song “Sinnerman” – long sung by Nina Simone – and reconfigurate it into a totally different song with the help of Carolina Araoz on saxophone.

“Her singing feels pleasantly demented and free in a way I like” said the American artist Julia Holter when Pitchfork asked her to choose an artist she’ll be most excited about in 2017.

Ale Hop feat Carolina Araoz on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.


Nave Ascensor
“Las ratas”

“Las ratas” is a song related to the politics, and it came out in the Peruvian election year.

It includes simple but energetic lyrics, and a blues hard rock sound with a little bit of fusion and good attitude.

Formed by three musicians: Diego Rojo, Rodrigo Gaete and Ricardo Rodriguez, Nave Ascensor is one of the newest bands of the latest Peruvian rock wave.

Nave Ascensor on Facebook, Twitter.


“Cult of the Crocodile”

Constanza Bizraelli is a Peruvian artist based in London. “The name Cao is originally from a place in Peru, the archeological site of the pyramids of Cao” Carolina says.

At the beginning, she started to look for cumbia and folkloric music, but at some point she realized she loves industrial, drone and other experimental music.

“Cult of the crocodile” is a sample of her new concept where she plays with textures, mythology and abstraction.

Cao on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.


La Guayabera Sucia
“El Guachito Galáctico”

Guayabera Sucia is a Lima-based group born our of a childhood friendship, which continues the tradition of Digital Cumbia made in Peru.

“El Guachito Galáctico” is the second one of the most contagious songs of their recent debut album called “Guarapo especial”.

While this track alone is worth keeping on repeat, you can stream “Guarapo especial” in its entirety right here.

La Guayabera Sucia on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, www.



Alejandro Chal is a Peruvian-born artist based in L.A. After years living in Queens, New York, and listeninng to a lot of Peruvian and salsa music because of his parents, he started his own career producing tracks incorporating hip hop and R&B.

Although most of his music is in English, he also has a Latin side in “Fuego”, which is influenced by trap and artists like The Weeknd.

A.Chal on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.



Elsiane is probably more Canadian than Peruvian, although the name of the duo was borrowed from the name of the member Elsiane Caplette – born in Lima – and the rest is history.

After the release of two LP albums in 2007 and 2012, last year they came back with “Unstable”. It is a trip hop song with a dreamy atmosphere but some obscureness that has always been a signature of the duo.

Their new album is supposed to come out soon.

Elsiane on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, www.



Last year Gomas finally released their long-awaited debut album, after years of releasing singles on Soundcloud.

The track “Amuleto” shares the name with Gomas’ new record, and it’s a dancey twee pop song surrounded by the voices of the Cebrian sisters.

Gomas on Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud.

Radiopostales <BR>“Medianoche en la Plaza San Martin”

“Medianoche en la Plaza San Martin”

Radiopostales represents the tradition of the bohemian rock of the Lima city center. Between the colonial buildings and colorful squares, the band sings to the youth who spend time between all them.

“Lima es nuestra”, sings Victor Hugo, and they tell him “El Averno era nuestro”. The song comes from Radiopostales’ new album “Mapas & Películas”, and you can listen here.

Radiopostales on Facebook, Bandcamp.


Perú Salvaje feat. Alonso Novoa
“Cola de cometa”

Perú Salvaje is one the best Andean rock bands of last years, but in “Cola de cometa” they tried a more dance pop approach.

It’s a mix between Santana, Superlitio and a very infectious sound with the indigenous Andean instruments, and it features the vocals of Alonso Novoa.

Perú Salvaje on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.


“Atrapado entre la gente”

Mundaka is one novel indie rock band and “Atrapado entre la gente” is one of our most favourite songs featured on “Sonata Tropical del Artico” LP.

Lost voices, are found again somewhere in the 80s, and are ready to be heard. Rodrigo Vera Tudela, Lucas Stiglich and Mateo Majluf are to blame.

Mundaka on Facebook, Twitter, www.


Juan Gris

Nicolás Cano is the best musician that nobody knows in Peru. In 2010 music nerds tracked a project called Xilonfonmático, but then nobody could find more about that. The same guy worked with Chico Unicornio in two tracks under the name Marco y Nico.

Some time later, on Bandcamp appear names like El Vals de Lucy Smith, Moon Over Soho, Odin A. Kasparian, San Malaquías, La Chica de Hojalata… Different project, the same guy, incredible music.

Now, under the monicker Juan Gris, Nico released “Corona”, a noise rock track that is a part of a Faro Discos compilation called “Nunca un helado me había causado tantos problemas”.

Juan Gris on Facebook, Bandcamp.



Last year brought us “Tierra de Nadie”, a five-track debut EP of the new band called Menores, previously known as Menores de Edad, led by two experienced musicians Ana Cabrera and Talía Vega.

“Oro”, or “Gold”, is stylized as hip-hop, refined and sophisticated. And it’s pop. But it’s also an emotional hymn that the listener can identify with. It will touch your body.

Together, it all makes “Oro” one of the most interesting songs of the last year in Peru.

Menores on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook.


Los Outsaiders

Outsaiders are a wonder for Spotify. They always appears on the “Viral Semanal” playlist – based on the viral tracks on the Spanish-speaking countries).

A very good pop song with bits of garage rock, “Magia” confirms the popularity of the band at the regional level.

Los Outsaiders on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud.


Liberato Kani

Liberato Kani is one of a few musicians taking Peruvian rap to a next level. In his works, the Andean concept is always present: Quechua, real lyrics, Andean music samples.

“Kaykunapi” is his breakthrough song, and his way he introduce himself to the world. From distant mountains to the wild streets of Lima, Liberato Kani keeps reinventing his identity.

Liberato Kani on Facebook, Twitter.


Cementerio Inocentes
“Los aviones”

Like some other artists in this list, Cementerio Inocentes are among the newest bands of last wave of Peruvian rock.

And “Los aviones” is one of the best recent pop songs in South America, with a very contagious chorus that makes you sing.

The international popularity of the song only depends on you – wherever you are – agreeing to check out “Los aviones” yourself.

Cementerio Inocentes on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, www.


El Hombre Misterioso
“Asesinato en el colegio”

El Hombre Misterioso is a cult band lead by Santiago Pillado-Matheu – and one of the most interesting comebacks of the last year.

With immediate, spoken lyrics full of sarcasm and social criticism, “Asesinato en el colegio” relates to our urban reality and what we have become.

El Hombre Misterioso on Facebook, Soundcloud.


La Nueva Invasión
“Cumbia pa’ decir”

La Nueva Invasión is the new cumbia. “Cumbia que dispara, cumbia que la para, cumbia mestiza que da la cara” says the song and invites to the deep dance.

In this songfeatured on their latest album, “Vitamina Inka”, they show they can make a traditional cumbia song and incorporate Andean fusion, creating an anthem for the twentieth century.

La Nueva Invasión on Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp.


Dengue Dengue Dengue
“Guarida” feat. Sara Van

Dengue Dengue Dengue goes beyond digital cumbia and incorporate new folklore vibes with the vocals of Sara Van in the single “Guarida”.

According to Billboard, the duo called this song “loosely about loss and the journey to overcome it.”

“But check out the intriguing and cinematically astounding music video that goes along with it – they said – and one gets lost instead in a visual tale of discovery.”

Dengue Dengue Dengue on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.


“Select y start”

Soft, moody. That’s the way you can describe this relaxing song of Tourista.

Rui Pereira says: “I composed this song after a party. I was done with my girlfriend and took refuge in electronic music for a few weeks; One thing led to another and after exhausting my last reserve of endorphins, I fell totally depressed. Then the song came out.”

“Select y start” was the only Peruvian song selected by Rock en las Américas and also was part of the final countdown of the Colombian radio station Radiónica.

Tourista on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.

Crónica de Mendigos <BR>“Tatayto”

Crónica de Mendigos

Astonishing. Crónica de Mendigos demonstrates how the new generation of Peruvian musicans bring the tradition and the modern together. “Tatayto”, featured on their self-titled EP, is a masterpiece from the beginning to the end.

Influenced equally by Yma Sumac, El Polen and Daniel Alomia Robles, “Tatayto” is almost an Andean opera that show sadness and hope at the same time. We all hope the band will be able to bring a new musical revolution with these sounds. Excellence and identity.

Listen to the song on Spotify.

Crónica de Mendigos on Facebook, Twitter.