Various Artists

Ecuatoriana: El Universo Paralelo de Polibio Mayorga

Analog Africa • 2023

Cumbia, endless expanses. A year ago, the indefatigable label of record archaeologists Analog Africa released »Saturno 2000«, a compilation which introduced us to Latin American »rebajada«, a sound system culture that is roughly to cumbia what dub is to reggae. Analog Africa is now dedicating its own compilation to one of the artists who was featured there several times: »Ecuatoriana: El Universo Paralelo de Polibio Mayorga« presents the musical research conducted by Ecuadorian Polibio Mayorga with the help of Moog synthesisers, who has also appeared under the name of Junior y su Equipo. 

In the seventies, he gave the typical band line-up a jolt into the future in the form of bundled electricity. What Polibio Mayorga had in mind with this was a psychedelic-tropical continuation of traditional Andean tunes. Sometimes, the result is a science fiction soundtrack with copious hip swing, not infrequently it is a lilting cumbia where the melodies, driven by analogue electronic instruments, soar high into space. Mayorga, however, was far from being a crackpot with his ideas. The ailing music industry actually owes its revival to his Andean cumbia. A parallel universe, at any rate, and a charmingly crazy one at that.