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Coba Coba by Novalima
Released: Jan 2009
Label: Cumbancha
David Byrne might have jumpstarted the Afro-Peruvian comeback, but we vote Novalima most likely to push this music out of stereos and into the clubs. To be fair, this isn't the village music of black Peruvians -- it's an urban hybrid, well-steeped in dub, rap and electronica but fed a constant drip of its infectious, rhythmic inspiration. And for the most part it's almost effortlessly enjoyable. If there's a weakness, it's later in the album when the downtown Lima chic begins to feel a little distant and the musicians hamstrung in their electronic confines. Next time, give 'em some rope, guys.
Sarah Bardeen

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