The new single, “Ampárame,” from power-quartet Combo Chimbita is just the soundtrack we need to sweat out a New York City heat wave.
“Ampárame,” which translates as “Protect Me,” is the lead single from Combo Chimbita’s forthcoming album, Abya Yala, out June 21 on Figure and Ground. The track features blistering guitars from Niño Lento; yearning, urgent lead vocals from Carolina Oliveros (also the cantadora of bullerengue group Bulla en El Barrio, whose debut album we’re eagerly awaiting, out soon on Names You Can Trust); drums that sound like a full percussion orchestra from Dilemastronauta; and production, bass and synth work from Prince of Queens. The track ends with a clip of percussion and vocals, a taste of the folkloric roots music that fuels Combo Chimbita’s latest music.
Prince of Queens told us that Combo Chimbita started as a random side project. “Basically [Niño Lento] found this Tascam 388 tape machine, and he didn’t know how to really use it, so he just called me up, like ‘Dude, I found this machine, let’s do something.’”
And do something they did. A few years and many hours of jamming later, Combo Chimbita has carved a truly unique sound, blending Afro-Colombian, Caribbean and African styles with NYC grit and flare. To hear some exclusive live recordings of Combo Chimbita live at Barbes, check out our 2016 program “Colombia in NYC”, and see the review of their last EP, El Corredor del Jaguar.