Novalima - Coba Coba

Album cover art for upc 890846001091
Catalog: CMBCD9
Format: CD

1. Concheperla 2. Libertá 3. Se Me Van 4. Ruperta / Puede Ser 5. Africa Landó 6. Coba Guarango 7. Camote 8. Mujer Ajena 9. Tumbala 10. Kumaná 11. Yo Voy 12. Bolero

On Coba Coba, Novalima delves further into the African roots of Afro-Peruvian music, bringing in influences from its musical cousins reggae, dub, salsa, hip-hop, afrobeat and Cuban son. They take a more organic approach this time around, and the songs more accurately reflect the live sound of the band, thanks to time spent working together as an actual band rather than a studio project. British producer Toni Economides, a regular collaborator of Nitin Sawhney, Da Lata, Bugz in the Attic and 4Hero among others, adds his special touch to the album's mixes. The result is a modern approach to Afro-Peruvian music that has made the genre accessible to a younger and wider public. The album opens with a dub-flavored version of "Concheperla," a traditional Afro-Peruvian song in the marinera style, which was first transcribed by Rafael Morales' great grandmother, a folklorist who researched and documented Afro-Peruvian music in the early 1900s. This is followed by "Libertá," a song that imagines a future where blacks are on an equal footing with whites. "A black man will be president / A black man will be a minister / A black man will be a lawyer / How joyful, the times of freedom!" "Se Me Van," a version of Cotito's "Se Me Van Los Pies," developed out of a late-night jam session at Novalima's studio. It blends elements of West African Afrobeat funk with the syncopated snare drum hits typical of the underground British electronica style known as broken beat. Another highlight is the updated version of the traditional song "Ruperta / Puede Ser", which blends Afro-Peruvian folklore with deep reggae grooves and the rap of Cuban hip-hop duo Obsesión. The achingly restrained "Africa Landó" features powerful lyrics derived from the poem "Ritmos Negros del Peru" by the influential Peruvian poet Nicomedes Santa Cruz. Lucia Vivanco provides the poignant cello riffs. Coba Coba moves from there to the funky bass lines of "Coba Guarango," the deep dub of "Camote," and the salsa dura (hard salsa) of "Mujer Ajena." Spanish rocker Gecko Turner adds guest vocals to "Tumbala", a broken beat funk groove that will surely get dance floors thumping. "Kumaná," with a melody derived from a traditional slave chant, was inspired by the Afro-Peruvian tradition of improvised duels between singers, who try to outdo their competitor with creative and risqué lyrical wordcraft. The song uses a sample of an unknown singer taken from a rare 1950s recording. The album's penultimate track is the scorching Caribbean groove "Yo Voy" which blends a driving soca beat with traditional Peruvian guitar. Salsa singer Carlos Uribe provides the vocals, while New Zealand nu-jazz keyboardist Mark de Clive Lowe provides a trippy keyboard solo. Coba Coba's coda comes in the form of a slow, dramatic bolero sung by Pedro Urrutia, a renowned performer of the traditional creole vals. As with all of Novalima's songs, "Bolero" explores the boundaries between ancient traditions and modern styles, by adding a subtle digital atmosphere to the emotional vocals. The success of Novalima's approach was never more evident than during a recent monumental concert in the main public square of Lima. Performing in front of a pulsating crowd of more than 30,000 people, Novalima presented their new vision of Afro-Peruvian music to an astounded an appreciative audience who knew they were witnessing history in the making. Coba Coba promises to bring even wider recognition to this innovative group, while furthering their mission to inspire new generations to appreciate and respect the Afro-Peruvian contribution to the world of music. With a fresh and innovative sound that stands on a centuries-old foundation of soul and heritage, Novalima promises to keep Afro-Peruvian expression thriving long into the future.

Price: $19.98