Afro-Peruvian musical maestros Novalima have just released their third record, called Karimba on ESL Music. Last year at Summerstage in Central Park New York the ten piece band had the crowd going crazy and on their newest album they don’t let their fans down. They keep the club beats thumping without pandering to trends, mixing just the right amount of organic with just the right amount of electronic.
Though Novalima was originally started by four Peruvian musicians living in all four corners of the world (Barcelona, Hong Kong, London, and Lima), this experimental music group’s membership spans much wider than that. Their sound and goal are much too broad to be thought of in a traditional “credits list” sense. Though the world is generally familiar with several Afro-Latino musical styles, meaning musics created by the mutual influence of African, Spanish, and indigenous cultures, such as Afro-Cuban (salsa, son) or Afro-Brazilian (samba, bossa nova), Afro-Peruvian music has been much overlooked by world music audiences. Aiming to rediscover and revitalize Afro-Peruvian music, bringing the genre out of obscurity and near extinction, the four producers solicited some of Peru’s most famous and best respected folkloric musicians. The collective released their first record, Novalima, independently in 2003. The record covered a wide range of Latin styles on top of electronic beats, which set the course for their second, highly acclaimed record, Afro, which would be released on London’s Mr. Bongo label. Their sophomore effort featured participation from such Afro-Peruvian legends as Nocomedes Santa Cruz, Lucia Campos, and Zambo Cavero, as well as renowned musicians Juan Medrano Colito, Mangue Vasquez, Milagros Guerrero, Oscar Aviles, Jr., and Pedro Arrutia.