Laguna Pai
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Laguna Pai

Miraflores, Lima, Peru | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Miraflores, Lima, Peru | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Rock Reggae




"Finding Beauty in Simplicity"


Finding Beauty in Simplicity

Themes by the band address everyday issues and political subjects.
It includes blues fusion with touches of guitar.

By Miguel Ángel Vallejos

They do not wear dreadlocks, are not vegetarians and do not worship Jah. No, they are not Rastafarians, but they play really good reggae with fusion sounds that include blues guitars and they do sing for harmony. They are Laguna Pai, a band that came together a couple of years ago and introduces this month its first record: Kultura Babylon.

“We want to express our vision of Peruvian reality; we know about Rastafarian culture and we like it, but we cannot talk about a story that does not belong to us,” explains Mariano Palacios, guitarist. Their themes address everyday realities such as dealing with one another or hypocrisy and even manage to give a political critique in songs like “Politikanto.”

This search to portray what is Peruvian is not contradicted by the musical genre they play. “Not because we are Peruvian means we only have to play Cajon drums; now everything is a mix,” clarifies Robert Merath, second guitar.

On the other hand, Carlos Málaga remembers listening to reggae music for long years in the “pre-internet” era, when this music was hard to listen to in our country. “We had varied cassettes with songs by Bob Marley, Inner Circle and Jimmy Cliff. It was not a very popular genre,” he says.

Gabriela Bonifaz, vocalist who previously worked with Pochi Marambio and Jean-Pierre Magnet, finds that the joyous coincidence of being all great reggae listeners back in the times when it was a secret genre is what unifies the band. “It’s like playing with your friends, because we do are friends, even though they sometimes forget that I am a girl,” she says amused.

All the band members point out that we can actually talk about Peruvian reggae with local topics in groups like Shiva Shanti or Los Mostos Verdes. However, their main reference is Tierra Sur. With Kultura Babylon, Laguna Pai enters this circuit with simplicity and spirituality.

Honesty. They propose a message of harmony without considering themselves Rastafarians.

“For Laguna Pai, not because musicians are Peruvian they are limited to play Cajon drums.”


Laguna Pai auditions this upcoming Thursday 19 at Sargento Pimienta Bar in Barranco.

Subsequently, they will go on a small tour through Chimbote and Casma.

One more thing…

Laguna Pai has played with Don Carlos, Steel Pulse, Calton Coffie (former Inner Circle member) on its auditions in Lima.
- El Peruano

"Laguna Pai | National Band | The Conscience of the Lagoon"

Laguna Pai | National Band |
The Conscience of the Lagoon

Making its way through the difficult Peruvian music scene, Laguna Pai arrives with a different reggae proposal. And, making reggae music does not mean having dreadlocks and speaking like a Jamaican. Far from the Rasta stereotype, its first album Kultura Babylon carries an important social critique regarding the bizarre days we live in today. Bearer of a message that calls for reflection and seeks to encourage that big question mark we call “collective consciousness”, its musical proposal acts as a wake-up call to our sleepy scene dominated by the immortal I-want-to-be-famous desire to appear on MTV. And, as its lead singer says: “Nowadays, you cannot think that making a record is a good deal, but the search for expressing in every possible way a belief, a feeling.” For this reason, the record is composed not only by a strong melodic quality and reflective lyrics, but also by a recognizable visual approach in the artwork of the record which, according to the band, “expresses the same message we want to pass on with our music.” Additionally, the physical presentation of the album, designed by Juan Ignacio Sarmiento, is made out of recycled material.

Among many ideologies divided by the current political situation, they prefer to not be defined by any “-ism”, but to act as promoters of consciousness, information, spirituality and identity in a country that needs more music like this. As for their musical roots, Robert Merath, keyboard player, says: “We come from different backgrounds such as blues or rock. People catalogue us as reggae, but we are actually fusion.” In the lyric aspect, the lead singer and songwriter Mariano Palacios acknowledges that his biggest influences when composing come from the simplicity and power of Bob Marley and Manu Chao’s lyrics. The leading vocal singer of Laguna Pai affirms that “if you are looking to make money and be famous out of music, you should better devote yourself to do something else, like hitting someone who is in show business to appear on TV. This has to be done with conviction.” To this, Robert adds: “If you do so, perhaps music would come out in a more honest manner.”

Kultura Babylon, which will be presented on May 19 at Sargento Pimienta bar in Barranco, which took around two years between recording, production and design, to develop, presents us “Politikanto” as the first single. This is a real call to reflection on the political situation in Peru. “Consuming is not the only way to have fun, it is not the only way to live,” concludes Mariano.

Band Members:
Mariano Palacios: Lead vocals and rhythm guitar
Salo Langberg: Lead guitar
Carlos Málaga: Lead guitar
Sergio Quiroz: Drums
Diego Pérez Albela: Bass
José Peramás: Keyboards
Robert Merath: Keyboards
Gabriela Bonifaz: Vocals
Daniel Mujica: Percussion
- Oveja Negra

"Laguna Pai. Kultura Babylon"

(A TUTIPLÉN – 2010)

With its official debut album, the Peruvian band Laguna Pai consolidates its presence in the Peruvian reggae sphere, where it burst onto the scene a couple of years ago and received the best reviews. Their debut album, KULTURA BABYLON, is a reliable proof that bilingual guitar reggae can sound as vigorous as roots or as spatial as dub. It can even be endowed with the impeccable pop touch of Marley and his Wailers, but can also take off very high to be surrounded by a magical atmosphere, courtesy of some amazing guitar solos worthy of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. And no, we are not kidding.
- Somos

"Reggae of peace and love"

Artist: Laguna Pai
Record Company: A Tutiplén Records
Nationality: Peruvian

Reggae of Peace and Love
We know that reggae has always been tuned, in a very particular way, with the sensitivity of local music lovers; this is why it will never become irrelevant in our scene. Even though we all know that bands abound, we can’t say the same about solid and lasting music proposals. Let’s celebrate the onset of this group originally from La Molina that, with this superb debut, keeps itself away from the mediocrity that often pollutes the genre, to dazzle us with a fine rhythm section (which lately counts live with Robert Merath on the keyboards) and a voice like that of Mariano Palacios, which seems to have been specially designed for this kind of rhythm. Sweetness!
- El Comercio

"Lake Monsters"

Laguna Pai, the new local reggae revelation will record its first album in 2010.

The new Peruvian reggae exponents do not have dreadlocks. They do not dress in yellow, red or green. In fact, they are not even Rastafarians. “We have our own reggae style,” expressed Mariano Palacios, lead singer and front man of Laguna Pai, the young reggae band that, as critics say, will be one of next year’s musical revelations. They already have the credentials: They have shared the stage with leading reggae icons such as Roots Radics, Israel Vibration, Johny Dread, Don Carlos, Apple Gabriel and Andrew Tosh (son of the legendary Peter Tosh) without even having a record or video clip. They are already a “must” in festivals and parties in Asia and Barranco, where the audience is amazed by and vibrates with themes like Mala Vibra (Bad Vibes) and Bouncing Away. “We chose reggae because we love it. We grew up listening to roots reggae as well as blues and even Pink Floyd. All of these have influenced us in creating our own sound,” pointed out Salo Langberg, lead guitarist of the group. The guys of the lake have several plans for 2010. First, they will record an EP with some of their most requested hits and later, an LO as well as a video clip. “We also want to create our website and get on with what we like: Making good music for people to have fun.” Laguna Pai will play again with Andrew Tosh this upcoming December 31 at the “Peñascal” bar in San Bartolo beach to welcome the New Year and on January 30 in the Asia Sunsplash Reggae Fest. You have been forewarned.
- Somos

"In the same scene and with the one language"

The second edition of the Lima Reggae Festival will bring us the greatest artists in the genre, such as Michael Rose, Eek A Mouse and The Mighty Diamonds. The national quota is headed by Ascesis Nativa and Laguna Pai. Different generations will come together through music.


One of the most attractive features of those who speak Jamaican English is its pronunciation and accent. If they are followers of Rastafarianism and use terms specific to this cultural-religious movement that we do not understand, it may be difficult to understand what they actually talking about. Some Reggae musicians, devotees and also followers of this doctrine found a way to solve communication problems through music, harmony and rhythm. Does it really matter what they say? Yes, it does, and a lot. However, this “crucial” message is not complete if we are not open enough to feel what its music transmits; pure happiness, beyond its lyrics.

The second edition of the Lima Reggae Festival even goes beyond this. Why? Mainly for two reasons: Eek A Mouse and Michael Rose. Both artists practice what is known as singjaying, a typical Jamaican-style reggae vocal closely related to toasting which consists of talking or singing, generally, repetitively over a rhythm, something deejays began to do on Marley’s Island in the late 60s. Simply put, DJs couldn’t just play music; they had to add something of their own, using the microphone. The audacity resulted in a variety of genres, such as singjaying, in which the voice of the singer manages to create a series of rhythmically-impressive vocal embellishments.

The great Michael Rose, the main inspiration of the Black Uhuru, was one of the first to incorporate in his root reggae songs, scats and very rhythmic improvisations with no apparent reason. However, it was singers of the like of the great Eek A Mouse who established the singjaying genre as such, captivating the audience at the first reggae sunsplash events to which they were invited. Eek A Mouse, like a true snake charmer, would literally hypnotize the audience who tried to understand the choruses of songs such as “Wa Do Dem” (wa do dem a wa do dem dem dem) or “Ghetto Living” (Beng geng gedda ba-oing Geng geng ged-da ba-oing), only to later sing truly venomous songs of his own life: “down there in of the ghetto I grew, where sufferation I once know, ey. Mummy an daddy, all a’we so poor, we all had to sleep on the floor.”

Lanky, but imposing (at least 6’6’’ tall), Ripton Joseph Hylton adopted his stage name “Eek A Mouse” after the racehorse he always bet on. He managed to leave poverty behind and has given us at least twenty recording projects. Naturally, the years have gone by and the guy has changed a lot. This gangly and angry Eek A Mouse is gangly no more. Some fans even joke on the web saying that this was a consequence of changing from pot to crack. It really doesn’t matter. What’s important is the music. His voice inevitably changed over the years, but his talent remains, something we will be able to witness tomorrow, when this burly singer takes the stage at around 11:00 p.m. and kick-off performances by international artists at the second installment of the Lima Reggae Festival.

As if this weren’t enough, these two legends will share the stage with Mighty Diamonds, the awesome sixties’ vocal trio, unquestionably the veterans at this highly-perfumed evening. The national bands that will be performing tomorrow evening include the likes of Laguna Pai, Ascesis Nativa, Rebel I & The Steepin’, Lions Band and from New York Ras Sound System, partying Jamaican-style. National bands will begin performing at 8:00 p.m.

What remains to be seen is who shall follow Eek A Mouse. “The main act is either Michael or the Mighty. It shall depend on what the people have to say. We have arranged a contest in which they will have to choose who will be the closing act,” explains Alessandro Viale, one of the organizers. “If it were a matter of seniority, it should be the Mighty, but if it were a matter of artistic career, it should be Michael Rose,” he added.
- El Comercio

"Laguna Pai: Kultura Babylon"

Laguna Pai: Kultura Babylon
Interview by Álvaro Díaz | Photo by Alejandra Devescovi

Tutiplén Records delivers the reggae sound of a powerful band known as Laguna Pai. Its first record is called Kultura Babylon and we had the opportunity to interview Mariano Palacio, lead vocals and rhythm guitar.

What does Laguna Pai sound like?
It’s indescribable, indistinct… if you didn’t take into account the fact that we all live around a lagoon, it would even be unconceivable. To me, it sounds like playing music for hours alongside a lagoon, where you forget about rules, time, routine, styles, preference and responsibilities. The only important thing is the deepest and most meditative sound possible which manages to silence your mind and travel to the depths of your soul.

What sort of instruments, effects and tools do you use to get this sound?
For starters, we have two lead guitars and one rhythm guitar. Each uses different effects (distortion, wah-wah, flanger, phaser, delay, etc.) which create different layers of sound, depth. The rhythm guitar doesn’t use any kind of effect; it’s a clean sound, so as to contrast with the sounds produced by the lead guitars. We also use two keyboards, a bass, drums and percussion. In the end, what makes everything come together and sound like it does is the mix of completely opposing personalities and ideas, and other natural components.

How do you write and arrange songs?
We don’t follow a specific method. Some of ours songs are merely the result of improvisations which we leave as is so as to not lose their spontaneity. Other songs come at times of inspiration, moments that defy all logic or reason. Sometimes, lyrics are improvised and recorded in a single take, like Bouncing Away.

Making music is pleasure number 1, 2 or 3?
It’s number one, but you can’t have one without the others. Making music is the ultimate pleasure because no matter what you felt before, may that be pleasure, sorrow or pain, in the end, music transforms everything into vibrations making feelings and sensations mutate, evolve.

How would you explain the World’s tendency to play more rock and roll?
Like Mick Jagger said; “I know it’s only rock and roll but I like it.” We are currently living a time of fusions in which having genres is almost absurd. Rock and roll always seems to adapt to different styles and it still prevails. I think this is why people keep playing rock and roll; it’s pure, spontaneous, emotional, spiritual, etc. For centuries, the human race has boasted about its intelligence and ability to reason. However, many people wish to silence exactly just that, that part of our nature that rationalizes, and in turn seek emotion, impulse, spontaneity, meditation, a basic rhythm that hypnotizes.

12/16/10 at Amanda Lounge (Pasaje Tello 269, Miraflores)
12/29/10 Concert on Terra Web
01/20/11 at La Noche (Av. Bolognesi 307, Barranco).

- Phantom Magazine

"Univision interviewed Laguna Pai in Washington DC"

Univision interviewed Laguna Pai in Washington DC

It has only been o couple of days since Laguna Pai arrived in the United States and they have already begun to draw the attention of the US media. Yesterday they were invited to the TV show "Good morning DC" from the Univision Network together with Los Rabanes and Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas with whom they will share stage tonight in the US capital.

The Peruvian band has a major commitment today in Washington DC as they alternate scenario with these giants of Latin rock: Los Rabanes and Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas, and for that reason they were invited to talk with the hosts of the TV show at Univision.

"We bring a lot of energy and are really excited to be in DC and to have the opportunity to perform with this two bands which we admire since we were kids" said Gabriela who along with Robert and Mariano mentioned they have travel far to show their proposal that fuses reggae with rock and blues with touches of Peruvian instruments.

Laguna Pai came to the United States to comply with a series of presentations including the show today at “The Rock & Reggae Fest" at The Filmore Theater in Silver Springs.

The tour "Atento USA 2014" sponsored by Peruvian Airlines and House Of Marley continues on Saturday July 12 in New York, where they will be presented at a Queens bar called D’Antigua, on Wednesday July 16 in North Carolina The Pour House Music Hall and Saturday July 19 will be playing in Miami, along with local band Bachaco @The Stage. - RPP Noticias

"Laguna Pai: “Reggae has always been part of our lives”"

Laguna Pai: “Reggae has always been part of our lives”

Laguna Pai is starting a new tour with the objective of promoting their second album “Atento”; we spoke with two members of the reggae band. Mariano Palacios, lead singer, and Robert Merath, head of keyboards, they talked to us about the growth of the music industry in Peru, they were in favor of legalizing marijuana and disagreed with the boom of musical realities in TV.

Question: In previous interviews you have made it clear that even though you play reggae music, that doesn´t make you Rastafari.
M: Yes, we show ourselves as we are. What we know about the rasta philosophy we have read and studied, but from here. We share many things with that philosophy even though we do not preach it. We prefer to show us like common Peruvians.

Question: Can you share that musical philosophy and not practice it?
M: Yes, music is one. We play it because we love reggae, it has been part of our lives, in a way it has educated us and has influenced us a lot, but we have our own essence as Peruvians, our lineage, our history, our roots…
R: In addition, the rhythm of our themes can be reggae, but there are mergers with elements of rock, blues and sounds of Andean winds, encompasses all the language of reggae, though the sound of the band is very Peruvian.

Question: Reggae peaked earlier in our country, how it is currently?
M: I'd rather not see things separated by gender, but I think music in general, popular, rock, reggae is growing. Cultural events are increasing. In fact, reggae in our country is growing and that is very good.
R: It's an excellent time to show that in Peru there is not only cumbia, there are also fresh proposals for those who want to listen.

Question: Reggae has always been linked to marijuana, how true is that?
M: I think more than anything is a stereotype, but I prefer the public to smoke than to drink in excess. In our concerts we have happen both of them, it is very assorted.
Question: And that stereotype hurts the band?
M: It does not affect anything. Marijuana is a plant and people consume what they want. Indeed in Jamaica, where reggae comes from, marijuana is part of their belief and life style they do not demonize it and it’s not as negative as here.
R: It is seen as religious.
M: It is something spiritual, but here he is seen differently. I have nothing against it, do not preach in favor, but I would like marijuana to be legalized.

Question: Do you consume or have tried it?
M: In the band everyone has their tastes, each one makes their own decisions, some do, some don’t.
Question: What about the music boom of reality shows on our TV?
M: I do not think it is very admirable the fact that you do this to be famous.

Question: You don’t think this kind of shows can bring good proposals to the public?
M: Well yes, the more opportunities you have, the better, but these kinds of shows in our country are an imitation of programs elsewhere. I do not find something original in them. There are thousands of ways to encourage the musical ideas with a little more concerned about identity and exploit more talent before the television product.
R: They should put more emphasis on the sound quality, those things are sometimes neglected in TV, most important to them is the visual theme.
M: They always make that mistake, they skimp on sound quality issues.

Question: They go for the second time on tour to the United States...
M: Yes, it's a promotional tour and is quite rewarding for us because in the United States there is the biggest move of rock, reggae and world music.
R: We are the group that represents Peru and we will be sharing the stage with Los Rabanes and Illya Kuryaki & The Valderramas. As always, we take it as a challenge.

Question: Do you consider that you are Peru’s biggest reggae representative?
M: No, we are happy to represent the country, nothing more.

Some Facts:
Laguna pai will play 7 concerts in its US tour: July 9 will be presented in Washington, 12 in New York, 16 in North Carolina and 19 in Miami. - La República

"Laguna Pai: The new face of the Peruvian reggae returns with brand new CD"

Laguna Pai: The new face of the Peruvian reggae returns with brand new CD (VIDEO)

Laguna Pai presents their new album, Atento, in an unforgettable evening of reggae fusion, on February 8th in Punta Rocas, accompanied by the well-known group of cumbia fusion Bareto.

The national reggae scene took a huge turn after the appearance of Laguna Pai, a group that not only refreshed the genre made in our country, but was spread thanks to a fresh, modern and with a commercial hook that has not benn seen since the best time of Tierra Sur, Peruvian reggae pioneer band lead by Pochi Marambio.

After the success of their debut album, Kultura Babylon, which sold good number of albums and was passed in radios and digital platforms and even got the opportunity of extending its music through an agreement with a well-known financial institution,
Laguna Pai returns this February 8 to present their second album, Atento, at a concert in Punta Rocas, where they will share the stage with cumbia fusion band Bareto.

What’s the difference between your first and this new second album?
The album is a variation of the first, in fact there is a relationship between the two. Our first album was well taken by the public, a very friendly atmosphere was formed around concerts and that inspired us to do the second and with this comes more solid information that we have gotten from concerts and the crowd inspiration. The response of people serves us as gasoline to move forward.

What do you want to generate in the public presentation of this new album?
We expect to have an unforgettable evening, to remember this moment for ever, to leave our show happy and aware. People should have a blast and never forget this evening. The show will be amazing; we’ve waited for the right time and place to do it.

Why sing to society and not to sentimentalism?
These issues also involve feelings somehow. The feelings are sometimes more than what we sing or mention.
I think part of what makes us is the music we've heard, as a teenager, we always find in music for example, very important life lessons, those that you will never forget and that, at least for me, encourages me that Music has to have a more elaborate content, it has to serve as something positive, not just to make you dance, content has to go beyond this.

What has been the response of the public to your songs?
It feels good to see people response to our music, it is the greatest satisfaction, and it’s what pays for everything. We sometimes release songs for ourselves. We don’t do it expecting much and when someone says that the lyrics have meaning for them or that our music has inspired someone or has helped them get through a rough time; that is something incredible.

What message would you give to young musicians trying to enter the local scene?
To play, to make music and to do it as honestly as possible. To not think much about what is happening with others, to dedicated time to find out your sound and to be clear of what you want to say and to give it ALL, because it is the only way. If you fool around if you are wondering at the end you won’t jump. I don’t have really any tips or anything; the only thing I can say is MAKE MUSIC.

Can you live off music in Peru?
It is difficult, but possible. You have to work a lot. It is complicated because there are many things that are not profitable at first, but the most ambitious projects are riskier in a way.
Maybe it is not profitable because it has not worked for most, but that does not mean that you cannot make it work. It's like any passion or discipline, if you love it and you follow that passion there will always be an opportunity. People are consuming more and more music and hopefully that will continue to increase.

What is your projection for the next five years?
I sincerely hope we reach more people, because in the end, what we do, we do it because we have something to say. And if you're already expressing something, I think the more you can do this, the more satisfaction you'll have. -


1st Album: Laguna Pai - Kultura Babylon.
Label: A Tutiplen Records, 2010.

2nd Album: Laguna Pai - Atento.
Label: Pazciencia Music, 2013.

Hit singles "Libertad", "Malavibra" had been airplayed on Radios in Peru such as Studio 92 (92.5 FM), Radio Doble Nueve (99.1 FM), the best alternative radios in the country.

Kultura Babylon has radio airplay in Radio Joe (106.1 FM) in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

3rd Album: Laguna Pai - Resiliencia (Resilience)                                                                                             Label: Pazciencia Music, 2015 (This third album hasn't been released yet, it's being produced by Jim Fox, right now we are in the masterisation process).



A unique blend of reggae and rock,carrying a deep, significant message

Laguna Pai started playing in 2008, in Lima, Perú. With two guitars, synthesizers, classical keyboard sections, and a solid reggae-rock rhythmic base, a new genre was born for the peruvian musical scene! 

The message is the band’s priority. Their lyrics are related to crucial thematics: environmental conservation,equity, social inclusion, introspection and spirituality, aiming to generate conscience and awareness through the music they create. 

In 2010, the band finished recording their first album, “Kultura Babylon”, a record distinct in its new, original sound. It was considered one of the best peruvian records released in 2010. With “Atento”, released in 2013,  the band acquired a deeper sound: enveloping synthesizers, profound and prolonged guitar and keyboard solos, harmonious chorus lines, solid bass lines with powerful cadences, and drum patterns that feed from different genres while maintaining a unique personality. 

Laguna Pai has played in musical festivals all over Perú as well as in the  U.S, sharing stages with internationally renowned bands such as The Wailers, Damian Marley, Israel Vibration, Steel Pulse, Clinton Fearon, Groundation, among  others. In 2013, Laguna Pai travelled to California for their first promotional tour, for the release of their album “Atento”. During this tour, the band participated in the HMMA,  (Hollywood Music in Media Awards), obtaining the award for “best reggae band” in the Reggae category. In 2014 Laguna Pai went back to the U.S  to play at the Miami Reggae Festival, representing Perú and sharing the stage with incredibly talented bands, such as Gondwana and Los Cafres.  

In 2015, Laguna Pai is recording their third album, and plan to expand their music to new latitudes and listeners! 

Watch some laguna Pai videos: 

Official Somos Pocos (2014, PATRIA Productions)  

Official video clip Galán de Combi

Libertad // LIVE // January 2015

Band Members