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Ecuatoriana - El Universo Paralelo de Polibio Mayorga 1969​-​1981 (Analog Africa No. 37)

by Analog Africa

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zeitgarten thumbnail
zeitgarten Retro Futurismo Por La Orejas Favorite track: Muevase Vecina.
gabrielita thumbnail
gabrielita Analog Africa once again surprise me with something totally unexpected but so wonderful. Cheers to another excellent release. Ecuador represent! Favorite track: Altas Horas.
Vinushika thumbnail
Vinushika I had no idea how Polibio Mayorga positively dominated Ecuador's music scene - nor how humble he was about it - before this album. I tracked down interviews with him and he is revered as some sort of musical saint, and I can certainly see why. These are infectious cumbias that burrow into your brain and never leave, with synth textures totally unique in the continent. The secret MVP here though is not Polibio but Olmedo Torres, with a sax that is so beautifully soft and precise... Favorite track: Mi Paisa.
harderwinshears thumbnail
harderwinshears Love the sounds. Love the book and appreciate the research. Another amazing compilation. Favorite track: America Índia.
robertme thumbnail
robertme Carefully handpicked top notch & quality tunes from Equador. After all these years, still fresh.


On 12 February 1949 an angry mob stormed into the centre of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, burning the offices of the city’s main newspaper and its oldest radio station to the ground. 

On that tragic day Radio Quito had just broadcast a local adaptation of H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. The novel – first published in 1898 and famously adapted into a radio series by Orson Welles – is one of the earliest stories to depict a conflict between mankind and a hostile race of extra-terrestrials. The large audience - not understanding that it was pure fiction - believed that intergalactic intelligence had invaded the country as all hell broke loose. Thousands began running the streets of Quito looking for shelter, chaos broke out, causing a deadly stampede. People blamed the broadcaster for the tragedy, formed a dense crowd and stormed Radio Quito, setting it ablaze. Several musicians, who were there performing, were killed.

In the decades after the second world war, outer space was on everyone’s mind and the ‘space race’ of the 1950s and 60s not only produced groundbreaking efforts to launch artificial satellites, send space probes to Mars and land a human on the moon, it also had a huge impact on the movie and music industry which was taking advantage of the world's fascination with space voyages and lunar missions to create instruments capable of mimicking imaginary interstellar sounds. These synthesised space effects that captivated the imagination of a whole generation of young Ecuadoreans coincided with a period in which workers and musicians from the provinces started flocking to Quito and to the commercial port of Guayaquil, some hoping to find regular work, others looking to break into the musical big leagues by getting hired by one of the prestigious urban radio station. These artists brought riches of rhythms to the major Ecuadorian cities who would soon witness the explosion of what would be known as “Andean Cumbia”.

That fusion, of tropical electronics mixed in with Andean melodies and lyrics describing the cruel reality of migrant workers, achieved massive success. And so while budding Ecuadorian UFOlogy lead to widespread extraterrestrial sightings, Ecuadorian musicians began released various albums consisting of traditional music combined with synthesisers in order to bring their traditional music into the space age. One of these musicians is Polibio Mayorga who had travelled 160km from his hometown of Chisalata to Quito where he showcased his talent as he championed the art of modernising his region’s ancestral rhythms - Huaynito, Sanjuanito, Albazo and many others - using the latest in electronic instruments.

After 4 years with Los Locos del Ritmo, one of Ecuador’s most popular bands, Polibio joined Fadisa (Fabrica De Discos S.A) in 1973 as a solo musician and songwriter before becoming their musical director a year later. While there he would team up with saxophonist extraordinaire Olmedo Torres, and for 10 years they would compose and arrange hits, not only for themselves but also for their fellow artists in the Fadisa family. Although Fadisa had countless labels in their roster, the jewel in their crown was Rondador and it was on that imprint that Polibio would release “Ponchito de Colores” and his famous album “La Farra Está Aquí”. With their novel use of Moog synthesiser, both became huge hit records and were broadcast constantly by Cosmopolita and Marañón de Quito – the two major radio stations of the capital. This led to a surge of interest in Andean cumbia, and the subsequent record sales helped to revive the country’s flagging music industry, turning Polibio into Ecuador’s most influential musician. 

Polibio has never considered his music to be “tropical psychedelia” - although he thinks it would make a good name for a band. He has the sense of humour of a genius and the ability to make anyone laugh, yet he remains discreet, eloquent and humble … but as a musician he is daring and visionary, with an intrepid, vigorous style almost impossible to imitate. More than perhaps any of his peers, Polibio Mayorga established a unique place for himself at the vanguard of tropical music.


released April 7, 2023

All songs, except Don Alfoncito,
Composed, Arranged, Produced or Performed
by Polibio Mayorga

Graphic Design: Mauricio Zuffo Kuhlmann (MZK) and Yacine Blaiech (Mogli Studio)
Written By: Juan Mullo Sandoval and Samy Ben Redjeb
Translation: Ricardo Luiggi aka DJ Tres Dos
Mastering: Michael Graves (Osiris Studio)
Text Editing: Jesse Simon

Agradecimientos especiales para:
Esteban Mendieta Jara conocido como "El Surco", Luis Alberto "EcuAntologia Musical", Darío Maldonado Cardeño aka "Ritmonzón", Eamon Ore-Giron aka "DJ Lengua", Ruffy aka "Discodelic", Carmina Mayorga, Björn Larsson from Timetableimages, Diego Hernandez "Eck Echo Berlin", Pablo E.Yglesias aka "DJ Bongohead" of Peace & Rhythm, Jhon Henry Eche (Musicoteca Ecuador), Carlos Javier Pérez Samudio (Candelazos Tropicales), Iván Medellín (Conjunto Media Luna) y Ilka Schlockermann!


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