Narcosis (Peruvian band)

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"Primera Dosis" by Narcosis - 1985 cassette.jpg
"Primera Dosis" by Narcosis - 1985 cassette
Background information
Origin Lima, Peru
Genres Punk rock, subterranean rock
Years active 1984–1986, 2014–present
Labels self-produced, Pasajeros del Horror

Narcosis was one of the foundational bands of the Lima, Peru, punk and "underground" music scene. Despite being active for little more than a year, Narcosis is regarded as one of the most influential of Peruvian rock bands.[1][2] Their debut album, a self-produced cassette tape, has been called a "banner"[1] and "point of reference"[3] for Peruvian rockers, and the "most copied, recopied, and pirated album in the history of Peruvian rock."[4][5]


The band has its origins in contacts made between Fernando Vial, Jorge Madueño and Alvaro Carrillo, when the latter two answered an ad placed in Segunda Mano ("Second Hand") magazine by Vial in late 1983. Carrillo later brought along a friend, Luis Piccini, who had a drum set. They originally named themselves "Los Descartables" (The Disposables or The Throw-Aways), and later "Los Descartados" (The Thrown-Away). Madueño soon took over as drummer, as Piccini was too often unavailable for practice as he had a girlfriend.[6] The band then settled on the name Narcosis, which Vial has said was taken from the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse[6]

Narcosis' first gig was played at the Carnaby bar, where they filled the bill alongside now-classic Lima rock bands LeuZemia and Masacre, on October 6, 1984. Not long after that, the band was booked for another gig, this time at the Palizada Pub, but found itself short of a vocalist as Carrillo had left the group. Vial has said that Carrillo left the band due "reasons of fate",[6] but elsewhere it has been suggested that part of the reason was that he and Carrillo had had difficulties.[4] The spot was filled by Luís "Wicho" García, who was a friend of Vial's, and the band's final line-up was established.

Narcosis started practicing more, and writing their own music. In February 1985, they recorded their first album, Primera Dosis, in Madueño's living room using a portable 4-track tape recorder owned by García, which he rigged up with a microphone and a Walkman tape-player, thus allowing its use as mixing board.[4]

The original run of Primera Dosis was of 200 cassette tapes.[4] The album made an instant splash, being the first entirely-DIY rock album in Peru,[3] and Narcosis was soon offered a recording contract by a Lima music label. The band, however, decided to continue independently.[4]

Their second album, Acto de Magia, issued in September 1985, is a live recording of a gig performed at the Magia bar in Lima's Barranco district.

One of Narcosis' most notorious appearances took place on 17 February 1985, at the Rock en Rio Rímac festival in Lima's Rímac district. There, Narcosis played before a crowd of 5,000, alongside a number of other bands representing Lima's emerging "underground" scene. There was also a heavy police presence, and when Narcosis launched into their song "Sucio Policía" (Filthy Cop), the festival came to an abrupt end as the police showed their displeasure by firing into the air and rushing the stage.[4][6]

In 1986 the band members drifted on their separate ways and into other projects. Vial joined the band Autopsia, García joined Miki González's band before becoming part of Mar de Copas, while Madueño joined the band Eructo Maldonado.[4][6]

Narcosis reunited in 2001 for two 15th anniversary appearances, and have, since then, occasionally come together for other special events, sometimes with musician friends adding to the band's lineup. For example, they came together in 2007 for a concert in Medellín, Colombia[7] and an appearance at Lima's "Onuba" dance club,[8][9] for a series of retrospective 25th anniversary concerts in multiple Peruvian cities in 2011, coinciding with the release of a vinyl edition of Primera Dosis,[1][10] and for a single show in mid-2013,[7] and alongside more than a dozen other classic Peruvian rock and punk bands at the "Revolución Caliente" music festival in Peru's National Stadium in Lima, on October 25, 2014.[11][12]




  • Luis Piccini - drums (1984)
  • Alvaro Carrillo "Gallito" - vocals (1984)


  • 1985 - Primera Dosis, self-produced cassette album
  • 1986 - Acto de Magia, self-produced cassette album
  • 2003 - Narcosis, a retrospective CD produced on Fernando Vial's Pasajeros del Horror label.
  • 2011 - Primera Dosis release on vinyl disc


  1. ^ a b c Narcosis revive su Primera Dosis, at, 1 June 2011. (Entry retrieved 15 January 2013)
  2. ^ Shane Greene. "Punk's Not Born. Punk Just is, Motherfucker: Stories from the Punk Underground in Peru, Part I", in Maximum RockNRoll, no. 353, October 2012. Available online. (Entry retrieved 15 January 2013)
  3. ^ a b El punk de Narcosis at UnderPeruRock, 4 January 2011. (Entry retrieved 15 January 2013)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Luis Garcia "Wicho" at Mar de Copas' webpage, 2008. (Entry retrieved 15 January 2013)
  5. ^ Narcosis at El Caminerito. Posted 5 May 2008. (Entry retrieved 15 January 2013)
  6. ^ a b c d e "Narcosis" by Fernando Vial, in booklet accompanying Narcosis: Tributo CD (Pasajeros del Horror, Lima, 2004)
  7. ^ a b Narcosis otra vez en vivo, at Redaccion online website, 13 June 2013 (Retrieved 21 October 2013)
  8. ^ "Con ustedes ...NARCOSIS, en Vvivo", at [Revisra Freak Out] webpage. Published October 2007 (Retrieved 18 August 2014)
  9. ^ "Sucios conchadesusmadres / Sucio policia - Narcosis", concert video on YouTube. Uploaded 9 October 2007 (Retrieved 18 August 2014)
  10. ^ "NARCOSIS en concierto de re encuentro y presentación de disco vinilo" in Alerta Rock en Peru website, 27 November 2011. (Entry retrieved 21 October 2013)
  11. ^ "Revolución Caliente: Todo va quedando listo para el concierto", at website, 20 October 2014. (Retrieved 26 October 2014)
  12. ^ "Festival Revolución Caliente" (official FaceBook page) (Consulted 26 October 2014)

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