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Combo Chimbita

Neurolux, Thursday, May 23

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Music and politics have had a long and often fraught marriage in America, beginning with protest songs that date back to before the 13 English colonies officially became a country. But while a lot of people likely associate policy-pushing tunes with punk rock or Vietnam War-era Americana, the Brooklyn, New York-based four-piece Combo Chimbita has a radically different sound and message, one it calls "Tropical Futurism" and defines as "the idea that ancestral knowledge can represent a magical and substantial future outside the boundaries of white, Western ideals." The band, made up of all first-generation Americans, merges Colombian cumbia with Afro-Carribean swagger, swirling in dashes of funk, punk and soul to create a unique sonic soup. Dipping in is irresistable, even for listeners who can't understand frontwoman Carolina Oliveros' Spanish lyrics. In its newest album, Ahomale (Anti-Records, 2019), Combo Chimbata forges a link with the mythologies of its ancestors to remind listeners of their lost wisdom.