Combo Chimbita is a visionary quartet that draws from ancestral mythologies and musical enlightenment. Comprised of Carolina Oliveros’ mesmeric contralto, illuminating storytelling and fierce guacharaca rhythms, Prince of Queens’ hypnotic synth stabs and grooving bass lines, Niño Lento’s imaginative guitar licks, and Dilemastronauta’s powerful drumming, the lure and lore of Combo Chimbita is intense and undeniable. Continuing their mystical saga, the quartet will roar back onto the world stage in 2022 with IRÉ, channeling the fear, rage and empathy of a world in flames into an urgent spirit of musical dissidence. The album’s evocative title is forged upon double-edged meaning: on one hand embracing the divinely inspired blessings and prosperity foretold by our spiritual elders, and on the other a brazen, propulsive affirmation of revolutionary futures in the making. Afro-Caribbean transcendance, bewildering chants, booming drums and psychedelic distortion lay the rhythmic foundation for IRÉ; a testament to the ever expanding scope of Combo Chimbita’s sonic palette and their modes of resistance in realms both spiritual and terrestrial. Described by NPR’s Alt.Latino as an “otherworldly presence,” Combo Chimbita is the creative unity of Carolina Oliveros (vocals, guacharaca), Niño Lento es Fuego (guitar), Prince of Queens (bass, synthesizers) and Dilemastronauta (drums), who together transcend common concepts of time and nationality. As self-described Abya-yalistas seeking meaning beyond a Latin American framework, they carry the burning torch of an unbroken, insubmissive people, unshackling their essence from the cruelty of conquest throughout Abya Yala. “Music is a tool of connection across time, territory and generations,” says Prince of Queen.
IRÉ finds its rallying spark in convulsive present day realities by metabolizing the anxieties of systemic racism, capitalist decadence, totalitarian governments and the attempted erasure of queer and trans people. Early writing sessions in the summer of 2020 found Combo Chimbita grappling with the limbo of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a firestorm of Black Lives Matter protests swept through streets around the globe. Months later, they flew to Puerto Rico to record and mix the LP, working in relative seclusion and bearing witness to the suffocating complexities of the island’s imperialist tether to the U.S. With every bang of the drum, IRÉ grew into an expanded canvas depicting and defusing existential tension, reaching critical mass in April 2021 as the band departed for Colombia. Plans to film videos for singles “Mujer Jaguar” and “Todos Santos” were postponed to prioritize and support one of the biggest people’s uprisings in the country’s modern history, where a new generation of Colombians continue the fight against corruption, state-sanctioned violence, and oppressive governance.
“There’s something magical here. This NYC by way of Colombia band is quite a charismatic, engaging trip.” -Refinery29
“Lead vocalist Carolina Oliveros is an otherworldly presence over Afro Colombian rhythms meted out by guitar, bass and genre crossing drumming.” –NPR alt.Latino
RIYL: Very Be Careful, Goat, Tropa Magica, Bicicletas Por La Paz, Dengue Fever, Parquet Courts, La Chamba, Chancha Via Circuito, Y La Bamba