Often compared to collectives such as the Gotan Project, Ojos de Brujo and Thievery Corporation, Novalima bases its musical inspiration on the soulful sounds of Afro-Peruvian music. Popularized by internationally renowned performers such as Susana Baca, Peru Negro, Eva Ayllon and others, the music of Peru's small but culturally rich Afro-Peruvian community fuses the rhythms and spirit of Africa with the lilting melodies and intricate guitar accompaniment of Spanish tradition. The result is a stirring transatlantic combination of African, European and Latin American sounds.
Intertwined with these Afro-Peruvian elements, Novalima producers/musicians/DJs Ramon Perez-Prieto, Grimaldo Del Solar, Rafael Morales, and Carlos Li Carrillo layer an elaborate underpinning of dub grooves, house beats, salsa dance rhythms and chilled-out electronica to create a fascinating and irresistible mash-up of old-school traditions and modern trends. Novalima creates a sound that appeals to fans of rootsy world music and cutting-edge dance music in equal measure, and their audience cuts across the generations to forge a common ground between the past and the future.
Novalima's forthcoming album, Coba Coba, takes their inspiring fusion in new and exciting directions. Special guests include New Zealand nu jazz keyboardist Mark de Clive Lowe, the popular Cuban hip-hop group Obsesión and Spanish alternative rocker Gecko Turner. British producer Toni Economides, a regular collaborator of Nitin Sawhney, Da Lata, Bugz in the Attic and 4Hero among others, adds his special touch on the album's mixes.
Cumbancha founder and president Jacob Edgar first heard Novalima's music when a friend, returning from a trip to Peru, gave him a copy of the group's first album. "I was instantly enthralled by the blend of Afro-Peruvian music and modern grooves," Edgar remembers. "Like many people, I love the rich melodies and soulful rhythms of Susana Baca and other Afro-Peruvian artists, and I was really blown away by Novalima's respectful updating of this classic sound with a hip, funky vibe." When Novalima's Grimaldo Del Solar called Cumbancha early in 2008 to ask if the label was interested in signing the group, the answer was an instantaneous affirmative. "I'm ecstatic to have Novalima as part of the Cumbancha family of artists, and I look forward to working with them to bring their music to an even wider audience."
Novalima is currently planning to perform in select cities in North America in early October and will be touring Europe in the end of October and early November. Their live ensemble, which also features renowned Afro-Peruvian percussionist Juan Medrano-Cotito (who is also a member of Susana Baca's band), singer Milagros Guerrero and percussionists Mangue Vasquez, Marcos Mosquera and Constantino Alvarez, is a stunning, multimedia experience that has enthralled audiences from Lima to London.