Novalima Karimba

Novalima Karimba
Novalima keep on doing what they do best on their newest album, their first for Thievery Corporation's ESL label. Considering how much the landscape of tropical bass has changed since their formation in 2001, it's admirable that they've neither smoothed out further (especially given those tendencies among other ESL acts) nor leaned on the air horns to dirty things up. They realize that the power of their sound remains rooted in 500 years of Afro-Peruvian rhythmic tradition, a tradition that was virtually eliminated by the '60s, only to be reborn. Because they leave well enough alone, especially in terms of majestic melodies, their repertoire goes down just as easy in Starbucks as in more demanding listening environments. They've made their electronic elements a bit more abstract, or at least au courant, with the zigzagging electronic effects of "Festejo" and the keening sounds within "Zarambe." Elsewhere, twinned guitar and bass parts are devastating, supplying a touch more ferocity for today's demanding dance floors. This is their best record and shouldn't be missed. (ESL)