Songs We Love: Novalima, 'Quebranto'

Jun 16, 2015
Originally published on July 7, 2015 5:53 pm

My Alt.Latino co-host, Jasmine Garsd, accurately describes this track by the Peruvian band Novalima as a three-layer cake of time. Consider the ingredients: It's based on an iPhone recording of a 1950s-era vocalist; it's propelled by an Afro-Peruvian cajon, a percussion instrument that dates back to the slave trade in Peru; and it's peppered with keyboard blips and beeps from today's technology.

What Novalima has come up with on its new album, Planetario, is a fascinating nod to tradition that stopped us both in our tracks. While the layering is genius, what holds it all together are the haunting vocals of traditional singer Rosita Guzman and the guitar work of Carlos Hayre. Hayre's interpretation of Afro-Peruvian lando is practically avant-garde in approach and execution. His playing fuels the other layers of rhythm to create a marvelous listening experience, as Novalima takes Afro-Peruvian music around the world with creativity and vision.

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