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Album Review

Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban jazz and dance music are pretty familiar to Northern ears at this point — but Afro-Peruvian? What might that sound like? If you're imagining polyrhythms crossed with pan pipes, think again: this is urban Peruvian music, and to be honest, it often sounds kind of like a cross between Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music, when it isn't just sounding more or less like one or the other. What makes Novalima's sound unique isn't so much its cultural mix as its production style: instead of making modern electronic dance music with a Latin flavor, this quartet takes traditional Peruvian instruments and uses them to make Latin music spiced with electronic elements, and the result is both more musically compelling and more funky than you might expect. They bring in a host of guest artists, including several female singers who grace some of the album's finest songs: the house-inflected "Machete" is one of the album's highlights, as is the eerie, dubbed-up and atypically electro-flavored "Mandinga." "Cardo" makes funk out of a six/four rhythm (which one might have thought to be impossible), and "Candela" pays tribute to Cuba with its irresistible rhythmic structure. Only "Alcajazz," which starts out tedious and stays that way even when an amped-up club beat kicks in partway through, fails to impress. Highly recommended overall.

Customer Reviews


Deep Afro-Salsa roots with a splash of modern beats. You won't hear anything like it. A great album to have!!

The rhythyms are hypnotic....

Listen, listen and listen again. The unique combination takes a bit of time to fully appreciate. In the end, great dinner music for a casual get together, driving music with friends, and a great backdrop for an upbeat life...


Mayoral, Alcajazz, Regresa/Con la Capilla, Machete and every single track on this excellent blend of afro peruvian beats and electronic rhythms are worth the money. First time I heard it, I fell in love with the album. Excellent compilation for those who love to listen different types of music.


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...
Full Bio
Afro, Novalima
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Customer Ratings