Last year I taught a writing class in Lurigancho, the prison mentioned at the beginning of this classic Mirlos song. It was one of the more terrifying and disconcerting places I’ve ever seen. Lurigancho was originaly built to house some two thousand prisoners; now it’s home to more than eleven thousand. Inside, walking around, it feels like the end of the world has already happened. The prison is officially divided into twenty cell blocks, but in reality, there are twenty-one–the twenty-first block was built by the inmates themselves, in order to deal with the overcrowding. I remember very little about the class itself, but I do recall the heat (it was a humid, endless summer) and the noise (an ungodly hammering–like the rest of Lima, Lurigancho is undergoing a construction boom) and the relief I felt every time I passed out of those gates. — juancho
[photo taken in Lima, 2005.]
There’s been an ongoing conversation here at La Pelanga about Latin music and Asians–specifically the sub-genre of songs melding Latin rhythms with some Eastern exotica, either a twangy guitar meant to evoke “the Orient” or some mildly offensive lyric mimicking Chinese pronunciations of Spanish. This track–well, uh… It features both. There’s even been talk of compiling some of these songs into a mix tape; you’d be surprised how many there are t in this category. I’m sure some analyst, some sociologist or historian, can tell us what this all means, place it in the context of Asian migration to Latin America, etc., but for the time being there’s no denying that some of these tracks are simply dope. So, with apologies to mis hermanos chinos everywhere, and (with much love for DJ China Tu Madre), here’s Los Mirlos. Also, this post goes with a special shout to Toia of the mighty LWFC. Thanks for the gift, hermano.
“Soy un chinito en onda, me gusta el won ton, y la cuuuuuuumbia…”
Chinito En Onda by Los Mirlos
Chinito En Onda
If you have any tracks to suggest for this compilation, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment here.
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