Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Afternoon Show host Kevin Cole, is “Coba Guarango” by Novalima from the 2009 album Coba Coba on Cumbancha.
Afro-Peruvian quartet Novalima’s “Coba Guarango” is an absolute hodge podge of sounds. The gentle pulses of the electronic keyboard, the light rattle of a bongo, the flighty finger pop of a jazz-style are all present in the song and this should come as no surprise. The band was created in 2001 as a way to bring together four extremely talented Peruvian musicians who had settled all around the world. Each would bring their own disparate influences and regional affectations to the mix, allowing something organic to form. “Coba Guarango” bounces along at a funk-driven pace with each new addition to the sound seemingly entirely different in its origins but melding perfectly with all the others. The song creates the illusion that the listeners aren’t passively listening to this beautiful amalgamation of sounds in their sterile college bedrooms, but rather that they’re on location in the musty streets of Peru, hips moving to the tropical beat. There’s a sense of improvisation at play amongst these geographically separate artists that removes the music from studios or headphones, allowing it to exist as a sample of what truly worldly music might sound like.
Novalima are playing one show in the US -- in New York on March 24 -- before they tour Europe in the Spring. Check their MySpace page and website for updates. For now, here’s Novalima performing “Liberta”: