Rooted in Colombia and based in New York, Combo Chimbita lives in the future.
After playing together for years, these first-generation New Yorkers—powerhouse vocalist Carolina Oliveros, synth and bassist Prince of Queens, guitarist Niño Lento, and drummer Dilemastronauta—began experimenting with different traditional musical styles during their late night residencies at Barbès in Brooklyn. Exploring the connections between visual identity and improvisational long-form trips, Combo Chimbita came together as a four-piece band after they started encouraging more vocals by Carolina Oliveros, who tightens the rhythm with her guacharaca. “Her voice is so powerful that it leads us in that direction,” says Prince of Queens. Their thunderous first EP, El Corredor del Jaguar, was released in October 2016 on Names You Can Trust and recorded in Combo Chimbita’s DIY studio, El Bunker.
Inspired by Sun Ra’s Afrofuturism, Combo Chimbita champions Tropical Futurism, “the idea that the future doesn’t necessarily have to be this super white Western high-tech Star Wars stuff; that the indigenous ideas and culture of people of color, people of Latin America, can also represent a magical and substantial future. It’s a vision that maybe a lot of people don’t necessarily think about often. The old and deep knowledge that indigenous people have of the land has been neglected for many years as part of capitalism and colonization.”