The Latin Grammy nominated, highly-recognized pioneering DJ-musician collective are already true remix maestros, known for mashing up the rich fusions of African, Spanish creole and indigenous beats with the electronic sounds of the global club.
The four DJ’s of Novalima popularized electronic versions of tunes from traditional Afro-peruvian genres such as the celebratory festejo and the elegant, lamentful landó, and then enhanced their sound with the collaboration of Afro-Peruvian musicians such as for example, Milagros Guerreros and her crystalline, soaring voice and Mangue Vasquez playing the cajita, a truly unique instrument that evolved from a small wooden box with a lid that was banged during processions to get donations from the public.
The album, which drops today on Wonderwheel Recordings is a delicious sampler of grooves – Bay Area’s Afrolicious goes all Fela Kuti on “Zarambe”, the marvelous UK/ Brazilian collective Da Lata swings “Malivio Son”, DJ/Producer Sabo takes “Diablo” on a moombahton road and Sergent García is featured on another version of “Diablo”, a super-funky version that adds in bits of “Qué bueno baila usted!”
As fine as the remixes are, it’s also a treat to hear a new tune from Novalima, a melancholy, soulful version of El Payande. This is a song written at the end of the 19th century, and its lyrics lament the inherited mark of the slave. It speaks to Novalima’s continued tradition of taking Afro Peruvian genres to the dance floor all the while sharing Peru’s astonishing and often previously neglected African musical heritage.