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Coba Coba

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Album Review

Novalima's second album, 2006's Afro, was such a stunner that it was difficult to imagine how the Afro-Peruvian modernists would surpass it. And, truth be told, they haven't. Where its predecessor was rich with golden melodies, irresistible beats, and seductive vocals, Coba Coba offers fewer sparks and moments of distinction. That's not to suggest it isn't a worthy album, only that its more minimalist, harder-edged production and less global-minded reach allow for fewer sonic surprises. As before, Novalima walk through genre walls as if they weren't there, deftly melding traditional Peruvian rhythms with more familiar Latin elements, state-of-the-art electronica, and floor-shaking dance grooves. There are new twists here, including reggae/dub, Cuban-inspired percussion, hip-hop, and funk, as well as nods to mainstream Western pop, some of it perhaps initiated by the new members who now augment the original quartet. Special guests from as far afield as New Zealand, Spain, and the U.K. also bring welcomed coloring to the proceedings. Were it just about rhythms and grooves, Coba Coba would be as successful as Afro, but vocally it's substantially less inspired. Female singer Milagros Guerrero remains a charming and captivating frontperson, lighting up tunes such as "Libertad," "Ruperta/Puede Ser," and "Camote," but there's not nearly enough of her here, and when male vocalist Juan Medrano-Cotito takes over the mike, the flame noticeably dies down.

Customer Reviews

A wonderful and colorful album

Novalima has impressed me again! After the magical fusion of Afro-Peruvian music with modern sounds in their second album "Afro" I thought that was it, how better could it get? With Coba Coba they have taken this wonderful music to another level! I highly recommend this album, you won't be disappointed.


Formed: Lima, Peru

Genre: World

Years Active: '00s

Though Novalima was originally started by four Peruvian musicians living in all four corners of the world (Barcelona, Hong Kong, London, and Lima), this experimental music group's membership spans much wider than that. Their sound and goal are much too broad to be thought of in a traditional "credits list" sense. Though the world is generally familiar with several Afro-Latino musical styles, meaning musics created by the mutual influence of African, Spanish, and indigenous cultures, such as Afro-Cuban...
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Coba Coba, Novalima
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