- Event Details
Since its formation in 2001, Novalima has been breaking down boundaries, uniting seemingly irreconcilable genres, communities and generations to create an inspiring movement that has revolutionized the music scene in their native Peru. Founded by four friends from Lima with a shared passion for both traditional Afro-Peruvian music and modern DJ culture, Novalima searches for the common ground between past and future, between tradition and innovation. Their efforts have also helped bridge the divide between the Peruvian mainstream and the Afro-Peruvian community, a minority population that has struggled against discrimination and the threat of cultural dissolution for generations. Outside of Peru, Novalima has garnered critical acclaim from mainstream and underground media alike, a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album, and a featured spot in cult filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’s hit Mexploitation movie Machete. Novalima’s highly anticipated fourth studio album Karimba is slated for a January 2012 release on ESL. While their sound is futuristic and cutting-edge, the roots of Novalima’s music stretch back hundreds of years to the times of slavery and Spanish colonial rule. In a far-too-familiar tale, African slaves were brought to Peru as early as the 1500s until the middle of the 19th Century, establishing an outpost of African culture in South America. Over the years, the soul and rhythms of Africa blended with the melodies and instruments of Europe and the Andes. The result is rich musical repertoire that has existed for generations on the periphery of Peruvian popular culture. The founders of Novalima, Ramon Perez-Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carrillo, became friends and started playing in bands together while in high school in Lima, playing a pivotal part in the underground hardcore punk scene in the 80s, and the psycodelic/acid rock scene during the 90s. The children of artists and intellectuals, Ramon, Grimaldo, Rafael and Carlos were well educated and well traveled, and while they listened to traditional Peruvian folk music regularly in family reunions and in the street, they shared a fascination for rock, dub reggae, latin and electronic music, constantly exploring new sounds. Indeed, without modern technology, Novalima might not have developed, as the group came together at a time when the four founders were each living in different parts of the world. From their homes in London, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Lima, they started emailing song ideas to each other. These long-distance experiments resulted in their 2002 debut album, the self-titled Novalima. The reception to the album exceeded their wildest expectations, eventually reaching platinum sales status in Peru, and for their next album they invited more Afro-Peruvian musicians to join their recording sessions. The outcome was Afro, an album that was released worldwide in 2006 to tremendous acclaim and put Novalima on the international music map. The London Metro Evening Standard raved, “Novalima has more than succeeded in bringing the spirit and soul of Peruvian blues into the 21st century.” Afro held the #1 spot on the US College Music Journal Latin Alternative and New World radio charts for ten weeks combined. The founders of Novalima have since returned to Lima and invited some of their favorite Afro-Peruvian musicians to build the live show, which set the scene for a string of legendary festival performances around the world such as Roskilde, WOMAD, Pirineos Sur and Chicago’s Millenium Park. On their 2009 album Coba Coba, Novalima expanded on the critically-acclaimed formula they developed with their two previous recordings, while taking their inspiring fusion in new and exciting directions. On Coba Coba, Novalima delved 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. The result was a modern approach to Afro-Peruvian music that made the genre accessible to a younger and wider public. In anticipation of the band’s acclaimed 2009 US and European tour, they released Coba Coba Remixed, featuring exclusive remixes by top DJs and producers from including Da Lata, Zeb, Faze Action, Seiji, Boozou Bajou, Haaksman, and more. The album was filled with funky beats and chilled out grooves that delighted fans of globally inspired dance and electronica. At the same time, a stunning music video for the band’s song “Coba Guarango” was featured on the home page of YouTube and quickly amassed well over 100,000 plays in 24 hours. After two years of constant touring, in late 2010 the producers gathered in their home studio in Lima to record and mix their latest album, “Karimba” (hot iron used to mark the cattle, as well as the slaves). Karimba takes Novalima music into new levels, introducing both new sounds and traditional rhythms like the Panalivio, Zamacueca, Ingá and Tondero, while maintaining their distinctive afro and dub sound. Their reputation at home has allowed them to work with the top traditional musicians in the city, inviting vocalists Pepe Vasquez, Rosita Guzman, and Sofia Buitron as well as guitarists Roberto Arguedas and Felix Casaverde (former guitarist of chabuca Granda), in addition to members of the live band. For the worldwide release of Karimba, Novalima has partnered with USA-based ESL Music (Thievery Corporation, Nickodemus), an ad-hoc home for their fusion of traditional and future sounds. Karimba should appeal to both their world and electronic music fans.
Formerly a radio dj at University of Kansas, he relocated to SF where he created and cultivated with his brother Oz McGuire San Francisco’s legendary weekly party at the Elbo Room called Afrolicious. Working with musicians from all over Africa and the diaspora, this project explores his deep admiration and respect for the rhythms, sounds and musicians from Africa. During one of his gigs he passed a demo to Thievery Corporation’s SF transplant Rob Garza, Garza who really vibed the music and thought the project had potential soon decided to produce the project, the 1st EP entitled a “Dub for Mali” will be released this summer on ESL music. Afrolicious has been featured on Nickodemus recent Turntables on the Hudson compilation, remixed Thievery Corporation’s ‘Vampires’ and are regularly touring and djing around the country. Currently Afrolicious is putting together a dj mix of the ESL Music catalog as well.
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