“Festejo” from Peru’s Novalima comes from their upcoming album, Karimba, which will be released on January 31st, 2012, on ESL Music. Translating as “Celebration,” “Festejo” is a whipped blend of Afro and Peruvian sounds with modern electronic effects. It’s kind of a celebration, but it’s more a like a tripped out journey that simultaneously sends you backwards and forwards in time.

In 2009, Novalima’s album Coba Coba earned them a Grammy. The press release for Novalima says that the Lima-based collective has “created a recipe to take Peruvian roots music into the future” with Karimba. Indeed, if these sounds are a sampling of the progressive material Peru will start bringing to the global stage, this merging of timelines bodes well for the South American country.

Listen to “Festejo”DOWNLOAD MP3

They have a short string of tour dates in the United States. If you’re in these select cities on the east coast, don’t miss your chance!

01/10 – Le Poisson Rouge – New York, NY (ESL Showcase)
01/11-01/13 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC (w/ Thievery Corporation)
01/14 – Pax – Miami, FL

1. Festejo
2. Mamaye
3. Diablo
4. Revolution
5. Guayabo
6. Macaco
7. Panalivio
8. Zarambe
9. A Panar
10. Luna Ciega
11. Hotel Barcelona
12. Karimba

Karimba takes the listener on a trip through history and travels the Afro-Diaspora of sound and struggle. From ancient to future, Novalima digs deep into Afro roots while extending those branches on that musical tree. Karimba sees them carrying on the tasteful and nicely balanced mix they refined with past albums Afro and Coba Coba. The sound they create works equally well in a crowded club of dancers, in the living room, or out in the open air enjoying the sun on your skin.

Drawing on traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythm’s and percussion instruments like the Cajon, Karimba seamlessly blends clean, modern electronic beats with energetic and soulful organic instrumentation on top. The opening track “Festejo” starts out with dubbed out sounds effects and a soothing female voice pulling you into to a trance like state until the beat drops hard and you are locked into the Novalima groove. Tracks like “Revolution” create a circular feel with the 6/8 groove that take the listener between Cuba, Africa and Peru. “Mamaye” pushes forward with a driving breakbeat and washes over you with sounds from the future floating across the sonic spectrum as it describes an encounter with a wise elder woman. As the album progresses “Zarambe” takes an African ritual chant updated with a driving dub synth bass and 4 on the 4 kick drum to dance floor perfection. A big bang of energy can be found in Hotel Barcelona, combining Afro-Beat, club friendly drums. driving percussion, and swelling horn riffs, before dropping down into the title track to close out the album.

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