Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms
Close

Sign up for our mailing list

Press

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Combo Chimbita Bio (2019)

Through her folkloric mystique, otherworldly psychedelia, and a dash of enigmatic punk, Ahomale by Combo Chimbita catapults the sacred knowledge of our forebears into the future. Their second studio album and Anti- Records debut sees the visionary quartet drawing from ancestral mythologies and musical enlightenment to unearth the awareness of Ahomale, the album’s cosmic muse. 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 comes into existence.

The legend begins with their first EP, 2016’s El Corredor del Jaguar, and followed up with the occult psychedelia of Abya Yala. In 2019’s Ahomale, the New York-by-way-of-Colombia troupe fuse the perennial rhythms of the Afro-Latinx diaspora with a modern-day consciousness, while tracing the prophetic traditions of our ancestry. “The more we’ve played music together, the more we began to discover things within ourselves that we were previously unaware of, almost like a energy. And that’s being communicated through our music,” explains Prince of Queens in the making of Ahomale.

Inspired by a Yoruba term Ahomale, meaning adorer of ancestors, Oliveros reveals her quest to connect with ancestral cosmology, which the Combo pays homage to. “Ahomale resurges from the visions that we’ve been having via our music and life, and the lyrics reflect a manifestation passed on through our ancestors and the gods,” she explains. “I wanted the album to convey the search for spiritual awareness, which ultimately serves as a revelation.” In a similar spirit, Niño Lento conveys: “The protagonist of this album whose name is Ahomale possesses the ability to communicate ancestral wisdom through the music.”

With the help of producer Daniel Schlett (The War on Drugs, Modest Mouse), the group’s rootsy experimental alchemy and metal strangeness take centerfold. Oliveros howls, yowls and chirps with gut-wrenching emotion, like on the languid mirage of “El Camino,” or plaintive frenzy of the title track. Whether rock raw and soulful or bewitching like a shaman in a spiritual ceremony, her voice is always a multifaceted wonder. “Brillo Más Que El Oro (La Bala Apuntándome)” boasts alluring vintage synths that seem to time travel through the lush tropics of yore; then, the mood intensifies when its bridge brilliantly crosses into a spellbinding chant sung in unison: “Y si digo que / Que ahora ya lo se” (“And if I say that I now know”). “Testigo” is pure melodic witchcraft in action that strips away wordly façades into something bare and beautiful: “Desde principio a fin, yo siempre di mi verdad” (“from beginning to end, I always gave my truth), the singer vulnerably croons against a whirling guitar and galloping percussions.


Ultimately, Ahomale is a catharsis of divine feminine force helmed by their powerhouse vocalist, laden with the teachings from a bygone era, in tune with the spiritual realm. “Our spirit and energy have passed through multiple generations,” says Prince of Queens. “We might not be open or allowed to explore it because of Western society’s conditions. But the idea is that we are receiving messages from the past, and from our ancestors that each one of us carries.” In nearly 40 minutes of eye-opening thrills and chills, the listener experiences the pedagogy of Ahomale, journeying through her epiphanies and enlightenment. “Ahomale is a warrior, not the sword and shield type, but a woman who is ready to listen to her heart, follow her intuition and connect with her ancestors,” Oliveros avows.

Combo Chimbita's artist page

Browse by Artist

1650All Artists 59Mavis Staples 56Dr. Dog 54The Milk Carton Kids 51Sean Rowe 49Neko Case 49Tinariwen 43Lost In The Trees
35Saintseneca 33Michael Franti and Spe... 33Galactic 33Son Little 31Jolie Holland 31Glen Hansard 28William Elliott Whitmo... 28Doe Paoro 27Man Man 25Bettye LaVette 23Jason Lytle 22Tom Waits 22Booker T. Jones 22Sage Francis 21Islands 20Daniel Lanois 20Calexico 20DeVotchKa 20Xenia Rubinos 18Joe Henry 18Wilco 18So Much Light 18Prism Tats 18Delicate Steve 17Tim Fite 17Grinderman 17Christopher Paul Stell... 16Porter Wagoner 16Peter Silberman 16Andy Shauf 16The Drums 15Yann Tiersen 15Jade Jackson 15Girlpool 14John K. Samson 14The Antlers 14The Dream Syndicate 13The Coup 13Busdriver 13Rain Machine 12The Melodic 11Kelly Hogan 11Beth Orton 11Keaton Henson 11Cass McCombs 11Japandroids 11Richard Reed Parry 10Roky Erickson 10Os Mutantes 10Xavier Rudd 10Bob Mould 10Dead Man's Bones 10Beat Connection 10Deafheaven 10Ryan Pollie 10Ben Harper and Charlie... 9The Locust 9Mose Allison 9Marketa Irglova 9Kate Bush 9Cameron Avery 8The Frames 8A Girl Called Eddy 8Greg Graffin 8Yves Jarvis 7Solillaquists of Sound 7The Field 7Alec Ounsworth 7Foxwarren 6Ramblin Jack Elliott 6Broken Twin 6Kronos Quartet with Br... 6N.A.S.A. 6Pops Staples 6Combo Chimbita 6Rafiq Bhatia 5The Weakerthans 5Tweedy 5Elliott Smith 5Cadence Weapon 5The Swell Season 5Walter Wolfman Washing... 5Mothers 5Marc Ribot 5Darrin Bradbury 5Jeremy Ivey 5Boy Scouts 4Eddie Izzard 4Antibalas 4One Day As A Lion 4Muggs 4Petra Haden 4Curtis Harding 4Arc Iris 4Lido Pimienta 4case/lang/veirs 3Danny Cohen 3Marianne Faithfull 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 3The Book Of Knots 3Simian Mobile Disco 2Chuck E. Weiss 2Blackalicious 2Savath & Savalas 2Spoon (Europe only) 2Billy Bragg 2Lyrics Born 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Screaming Lights (Euro... 2Title Fight 2Jeff Tweedy 2Glitterer 1Nick Cave & The Bad Se... 1Various Artists: ROGUE... 1Rogue's Gallery 1Wynonna 1Ben Harper
See Full List+