Brooklyn-based quartet Combo Chimbita honed their sound by playing together for years, experimenting with different styles until they landed somewhere between lively guacaracha rhythms and cosmic psychedelia. The group’s intricate hybrid sound was brought to life when they began to focus more on vocal contributions from Carolina Oliveros, which guided the mysterious atmospheres of their 2017 debut full-length Abya Lala.
Combo Chimbita were formed in Brooklyn, slowly coming together out of years of four friends playing together and interspersing more experimental threads with their shared Colombian musical roots. The band was made up of guitarist Niño Lento, bassist Prince of Queens, drummer Dilemastronauta, and vocalist/guacaracha player Carolina Oliveros. Their sound truly took shape during ongoing residencies at Barbès, a corner bar in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood. During these nightly jams, the band began morphing more traditional Colombian sounds with psychedelic jamming and spacy synth sounds not common to the traditional forms. After releasing a split 7″ with Greenwood Rhythm Coalition in 2014 and a four-song EP, El Corredor del Jaguar, in 2016, the band recorded their raw and enigmatic debut full-length Abya Yala in 2017. The album was recorded during an intense three-day session that found the group going into long trance-like jam sessions. They followed in 2019 with second album Ahomale, which looked to Colombian folklore and mythology to inform its otherworldly and often foreboding songs.