January 12, 2012

Novalima | Karimba

ARTIST:  Novalima 
TITLE:  Karimba 
LABEL:  ESL Music 
REVIEW:  Novalima is a quartet of Peruvian musicians and producers who perform with a six-piece live band that’s augmented, on their albums, by a bevy of additional studio players.  On Karimba, their fourth album, they continue to work on the same idea that originally inspired them – the notion of fusing traditional Afro-Peruvian music with contemporary global DJ culture. Each side gains from the alliance – Afro-Peruvian music (underappreciated at home and all-but-unheard elsewhere) gets recognizable hooks in the form of electronic beats, synthesizer squiggles and a deep wash of sub-bass, while electronic dance music receives an injection of vitally needed soul.  They do great work with traditional and neo-traditional material (tracks 1 and 7, for example), and their originals are deeply of the tradition, frequently using old rhythms like lando and festejo.  They’ve also included the track (8) they remixed for Lucas Silva’s latest champeta project, demonstrating that their approach works as well for Afro-Colombian music as it does for Afro-Peruvian.  This is cross-cultural, cross-century fusion music at its finest – do not miss this one. 
TOP TRACKS:    1    3    5    7    8 
ALSO RECOMMENDED:    2    6    10    11    12

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