Note: Pero Señorita Laura...
Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back. Next week, we will finally start with our most recent and long awaited special post, but in the meantime, I'll give you during these next days some additional entries as an appetizer. Even though they're not related, it's always good to have some variety of sounds and styles, right? So, for this post, I've decided to make something different. This entry was a brouillon of an unfinished special post I wanted to make long time ago about the infamous Rock Subterráneo movement, the surname of peruvian punk scene during the 80s. We've already featured Atropello!, one of the best 80s peruvian hardcore punk compilations ever released. If you want to refresh your memory, click here. Also, I recently got this beautiful compilation, which contains some of, if not all, the best Rock Subterráneo-related punk and hardcore bands, and this is perfect for our purpose. Finally, I'll give you some of the historical context behind this movement along with the review of the record for getting an idea of what this peruvian musical movement was about. With all that said, let's begin.
Trying to make a complete and precise history of peruvian punk movement is a little bit difficult because since the 60's we've seen many traits of protopunk and garage rock in different local rock 'n roll bands. For example, Los Saicos, regarded by many as the first and "true" punk rock band in history, played an uncompromising, violent and nihilist rock in the same vein as classics such as The Who and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Due to their auto-destructive and wild attitude, they had an unique and short fame within peruvian mainstream music. However, when they first disbanded in 1966, they were forgotten during many years and their influence wasn't really considered until punk rock genre was solidly established years later.
In the next decade, and just after the militar coup d'état, rock 'n roll was declared forbidden because it was regarded as a "pro yankee" instrument. Therefore, the musical production was limited, the famous rock matinees were cancelled, and the import of musical instruments and records significantly decreased. Nonetheless, a new musical style flourished in these dark times highly influenced by música andina, peruvian folk music, known as Nueva Canción, encouraged by the government with high success in the mainstream. Rock music was dead in Peru and both government repression and Nueva Canción style were the definitive nails for its coffin.
Following the resurgence of democracy in 1980, rock 'n roll music came out of the graveyard and its greatness arose once again. However, the political and economic situation in Peru was a disaster. During the 80s, the infamous Sendero Luminoso and MRTA guerrillas appeared and declared war to the government. This confrontation leaved many dead bodies, destroyed buildings and one of the most significant economic crisis in peruvian history. All of these elements created a counter-culture ethic within the young peruvians of the time and Rock Subterráneo was one of the results.
Unlike previous peruvian rock 'n roll bands, Rock Subterráneo movement was directly influenced by punk rock and didn't sing about love or how life is perfect in rose. They considered all that stances as pure bullshit and sang about how the system and their lives were fucked up instead and their nihilist, unhappy and alienated image was this time regarded as a threat to conventional and traditional peruvian society's values.
Now, Rock Subterráneo developped a strong DIY ethic. Indeed, all the records, merch and concerts were self-managed by the people involved with the movement. Like other international punk/hardcore scenes, legendary venues such as El Hueco de Santa Beatriz and La Casa Hardcore gained importance, as well as the infamous "Metal Core" Fests, gathering the best hardcore punk and heavy metal outfits of the time. Also, the womyn were starting to have a more significant role within the scene but they still didn't have enough representation or recognition. And we started to see some fractions within the scene with the "misiopunks" (traditional punks) and the "pitupunks" (hardcore punks), that gradually started to drift apart.
Regarding the sound, Rock Subterráneo had different sounds but punk rock-related subgenres mainly predominated. For example, Leusemia, Eutanasia and Narcosis were the first peruvian punk rock bands that were born in this sewer. Their sound was influenced by '77 punk rock, notably The Ramones and punk ibérico, similar to emerging argentinian punks bands such as A77aque, Flema and Los Violadores. Also, early peruvian hardcore punk bands with more aggressive and outspoken stances appeared such as Ataque Frontal, whose self-titled EP is one of the most valuable south american hardcore records ever released, Autopsia, G-3, Guerrilla Urbana, Kaos General and Kaos, with their also impressive Ayacucho, Centro De Opresión EP. They were heavily influenced by both american and british hardcore bands such as Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Chaos UK and Disorder, however, they added the distinctive raw, direct and uncompromising latin american touch. Even there were bands such as M.D.A., Audición Irritable and Atrofia Cerebral with early grindcore and noise influences. And, unlike other international punk scenes where hardcore punk was getting established as the main standard sound, Rock Subterráneo also spawned post-punk outfits such as Voz Propia, Delirios Krónicos and Lima 13, whose dark and introspective sound was inspired by Joy Division, Bauhaus and The Cure, as well as some electro rock-influenced acts such as Paisaje Electrónico and heavy metal outfits such as Masacre.
Lastly, Rock Subterráneo movement formerly ended in 1992 because in that year all the original bands that were involved with were already disbanded. In the next years, peruvian underground punk and hardcore scenes would continue to produce different bands, labels and zines but not as remarkable as the previous Subte prolific bands. In recent years, some records of this golden age have been reissued and some of these bands have reunited once again for pleasing their fans and reviving old glories. This is one of the most prolific, diverse, outstanding and intriguing punk scenes in the 80s. Once finished this short historical context behind Rock Subterráneo movement, we'll continue with the compilation:
La Historia Del Rock Subterráneo 1985 - 1992
This compilation was released in 2010 by 11y6 Discos (Peru). It contains some of, if not all, the most important Rock Subterráneo movement-related bands: Narcosis, Zcuela Crrada, Autopsia, Guerrilla Urbana, Leusemia, Feudales, Paisaje Electrónico, Yndeseables, Conflicto Social, Eutanasia, Voz Propia, Delirios Krónicos, Flema, Sociedad de Mierda. Kaos General, Atrofia Cerebral, G-3, Ataque Frontal, Kaos, Sociedad de Mierda, Eructo Maldonado, Del Pueblo Del Barrio, Audición Irritable, M.D.A., Materia Orgánica, Lima 13, Cardenales, Dictadura de Conciencia and T de Cobre.
Regarding the sound, this compilation features some of the best punk rock, hardcore punk, post-punk, noisegrind and electro rock bands of this intriguing peruvian movement. All of these bands are pretty cool and outstanding with their respective style. For example, the early stages of peruvian punk rock with bands such as Eutanasia, Narcosis, Zcuela Crrada and Leusemia are here. On the other hand, the ferocious, raw and relentless style of peruvian hardcore punk in the 80s is well represented here with Ataque Frontal, Autopsia, G-3, Guerrila Urbana, Kaos General and Kaos. Also, the dark, gloomy and introspective post-punk bands like Voz Propia and Lima 13 really pleased me. In fact, they're one of my favorite latin american bands of that subgenre. And, I was impressed with the inclusion of Audición Irritable, Materia Orgánica, Atrofia Cerebral and M.D.A. because they are a forgotten chapter in in the history of grindcore's evolution. Finally, there are bands such as Feudales, Paisaje Electrónico, Yndeseables, Delirios Krónicos, Sociedad de Mierda, Eructo Maldonado, Del Pueblo Del Barrio, Cardenales, Dictadura de Conciencia and T de Cobre that were completely unknown for me before hearing this record but I found them quite interesting with their respective musical style.
Finally, this is probably the best and most complete Rock Subterráneo-related compilation and a must if you dig this intriguing and genuine peruvian musical scene. Even tough some acts are missing, with this record you can have a nice introduction. Click on the image for downloading it. The artwork, inserts and layouts are included in the file, as well as a short fragment relating the history of the movement in spanish. All-in-one. Highly recommended. In the near future, we'll feature more Rock Subterráneo-related compilations like this one. Enjoy and until next time. Kisses and hugs!