Novalima was founded in 2001 by four young Limeños who were inspired to propel traditional Afro-Peruvian music into the future by fusing it with nu-jazz, dub, electronica and other disparate genres and sharing it with audiences around the world. To do so, they enlisted local black musicians; dusted off centuries-old slave chants; and added some serious dance floor–ready grooves.
Their third release Coba Coba (Cumbancha) is a smattering of all these things in one seamless package. The song “Libertá” imagines equality between blacks and whites, a notion that has unwittingly become the collective’s mission every time they snare a new listener. If you want the full-on effect, check out the video for “Coba Guarango,” a funk-driven track that was filmed on the bright streets of El Carmen, an Afro-Peruvian village south of Lima. The song and the sights are earthy, rhythmic and very inviting.