Friday, January 23, 2009

NOVALIMA-Coba Coba (Cumbancha, '08)

I have to admit I'm not versed in Peruvian music. I mean, I know Peruvian cumbia like Los Mirlos and stuff and classic afro-Peruvian music like Susana Baca but that's pretty much it. Like most of the rest of the world, I've never heard of any new, modern, young, current music coming out of Peru (with the only exception of the punk band Aeropajitas whose music I never actually heard but I remember reading about them in punk zines back in the mid-nineties).
Anyway if your knowledge of Peruvian music was limited to the Pandemic double episode of South Park, Novalima might be exactly the medicine you need. It's refreshing, full of up-beat rhythms, DJ-friendly and most importantly, 100% pan-flute-free!!!
Even though they play a traditional afro music style none of the founding members of the group are black, in fact they are all white bourgeois who grew up in the capital turning their backs to all those hick folk sounds and listening to whatever was cool in the northern hemisphere.
Later on they found themselves living abroad in the first world and as it usually happens, through the lens of nostalgia, they discovered the inner-coolness of their local roots and decided to explore the afro-Peruvian sound from an electronica's perspective.
The results were similar to what Gotan Project did in France for Argentinean tango: they showed the local young hip crowd that they didn't need to rely on Mtv to dictate what's cool and what's not, sometimes you can't see the coolest stuff when it's right in front of your eyes. Now Novalima is the most successful Peruvian music export, with two great albums available (there is a third one before those two but I haven't been able to find it anywhere) and while they teach the rest of the world that Peruvian music is a lot more than guys playing pan-flutes outside the shopping mall of your town, they also teach the young peruvians to appreciate their own music.
For DJing I recommend tracks "Tumbala" and "Kumaná" from this album and "Machete" and "Mayoral" from their previous.

1 comment:

Boebis said...

For other "new, modern, young, current music coming out of Peru" you should definitely check the peruvian crew Pedro Mo. Awesmoe rap with awesome beats.