Legendary Peruvian label, recording studio and pressing plant Infopesa open their archives.
Founded by Alberto Maraví in 1971 against a backdrop of political instability and explosive creativity, Infopesa (Industria Fonográfica Peruana) was the powerhouse at the centre of the golden age of Peruvian music. Responsible for bringing salsa to the Latin American country, Maraví’s Infopesa empire served both a radical local music scene and connected the country to major recording artists from around the world.
Just as comfortable photographed with Latin greats from the Fania stable as with huge US artists like Nat King Cole, Maraví oversaw the expansion of Infopesa into an internationally-renowned label, with its own recording studios, mastering suites and pressing plant. In 1989, Infopesa even survived a terrorist bombing which badly damaged several presses and the recording studio.
Approaching its forty fifth year, Infopesa is undergoing something of a renaissance as the only classic recording company still in operation in Peru. With Maraví’s son Juan Ricardo joining him at the helm and the Peruvian music industry in good health, the label has begun repressing classic psych, funk and cumbia records from its back catalogue. As Juan Ricardo told us:
“Our first release will be the edition of Cumbias Chichadelicas: Peruvian Psychedelic Chicha in vinyl format and due in November. This release is a compilation of classic songs from the psychedelic cumbia “Chicha” genre”.
They’ve even got closet cumbia nut Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand to write the liner notes. Juan continues: “Thanks to the demand that exist for our vinyl releases we have started selling limited editions of original vinyls from our catalog that were pressed in the ’70s and ’80s and that are completely new and sealed and have been in our storage all this time.”
The photos they’ve rescued from their archives below capture the Peruvian music industry at its height, lapels and all. Dating back to the 1970s as Infopesa began operations, they offer a glimpse of the factory floor, recording studio and mastering suite.