Tropical futurists Combo Chimbita share trippy, cathartic jams on Ahomale | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Tropical futurists Combo Chimbita share trippy, cathartic jams on Ahomale

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The members of this Colombia-rooted, New York City-based quartet—vocalist and percussionist Carolina Oliveros, drummer Dilemastronauta, guitarist Niño Lento, and bassist-keyboardist Prince of Queens—have been pursuing what they call “tropical futurism” since 2015. Combo Chimbita’s magical, trippy rhythms are potent dance-inducing potions that build upon an extensive variety of beats from the global south, including Afro-Colombian cumbia and champeta, Caribbean calypso, and Haitian kompa. The group imbue their experimental jams with Afro-indigenous mysticism and spirituality as well as the fierce energy of punk and metal, and propel them into the 21st century with dub and electro. Their third album, Ahomale (Anti-), takes its title from a Yoruba word for a being who can commune with the ancestors; it offers a musical homage to the feminine warrior spirit and a vision of communicating ancestral wisdom through music. That energy shines through in Combo Chimbita’s performances, where Oliveros drives powerfully cathartic grooves with her transcendent vocals and rapid-fire playing on a percussive scraper called a guacharaca. Combo Chimbita’s self-made psychedelic videos and futuristic Afro-indigenous apparel promise to make their show a visual feast as well as a sonic one.   v

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