For anyone, who hasn’t heard Novalima before, then you’re in for a treat. Because these are past masters of grafting the rootsiest of Peruvian sounds with the best that international DJ culture has to offer. And for those that have experienced their artfulness before, although this album won’t change your perception of the band, it will reinforce your belief in their ability to do it better than anyone else.
The brainchild of four university friends scattered to the four corners of the world, the band began by emailing files to share their ideas for a new type of music. This became their signature sound of Afro Peruvian rhythms blended with the global world of electronica they were experiencing in the new places they called home.
Since then, they’ve released three original material albums and supplemented that with a slew of remix albums to boot, calling in favours from the great and the good of Latin-tinged music, including Nickodemus, De Lata, Rob Garza and Boozoo Bajou.
Continuing on this path, their latest album includes some notable collaborations (Eka Muñoz from Colombia’s Sidestepper, New Zealander Marc de Clive-Lowe and Panko from Ojos to Brujo among others). But more noticeably, through some on-tour recording sessions, they’ve also managed to capture some of their lively performance sound.
For me, this seems to be most apparent on the opening track “Como Yo” (a triumph of percussion) and “San Antonio”, an upbeat riot of bleeps, driving rhythms and plenty of cowbell. Other standout tracks include the full out party feel of “Copa de Mañana” and “Memekume”, a hypnotic, low lazy groove that’s definitely one for the head nodders.
The rest of the album is solid, quality Novalima; a mix of incredible folkloric rhythms, yearning female vocals and modern bass-culture touches. Not a massive departure or quantum leap away from their previous output, more a natural progression. Which, when you do it as well as this, is no bad thing.
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