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. Although their backgrounds are in heavy rock, metal, and psychedelic funk and soul, they gleefully fuse elements from cumbia, 70s funaná from Cape Verde, kompa from Haiti as well as salsa & reggae, mixing the Guacharaca and futuristic-yet-retro synth sounds.
*Photos by Itzel Alejandra Martinez
Rudy De Anda
Rudy De Anda is bursting out of the musical melting pot of the LBC. As front man for the Long Beach psych-prog group Wild Pack of Canaries, Rudy felt the creative pull to begin a solo project that is currently catching fire and hitting the festival circuit with plays at last year's Noise Pop, SXSW, and Music Tastes Good. 2016's Delay, Cadaver of a Day is the follow-up to De Anda's debut EP, Ostranenie and broke into the Top 100 in the CMJ charts, coming in at #94.
"The albums have earned de Anda a rightful place in L.A.'s emerging alt-Latino movement, a growing collective of bands — including "big brothers" Chicano Batman, for whom de Anda has opened — that dabble in non-Latino scenes and support one another's efforts while charting individual paths so distinct it might be a stretch to call it a movement at all." In 2013, when the band was treading on and off hiatus, De Anda started writing his own songs and was approached by one of his musical mentors, Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (Mars Volta, Jack White) to record. Lost in their effortless chemistry, the two friends setup sessions in Ikey's living room in-between his Nashville trips and his Jack White tour schedule. Additionally, De Anda is part of a budding Los Angeles artist management group called Qvolé Collective representing and celebrating progressive Latino music from the US.The band has shared the stage with established acts Warpaint, The Specials, Chicano Batman, Dr. Dog, and No Age to name a few.
“Billy Changer has the name of the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, and like the everyman in a Philip K. Dick story, there may be something special about him—something powerful even—that he neither knows about nor fully controls. This self-titled LP—originally one side of a split tape with Corners bandmate and frontman Tracy Bryant—is an understandably uneven listen. It was put together more from experiences that transformed into songs than as a plotted album, so you can’t ever be sure what’s coming next. Maybe an experiment: “Black Angel,” like the very early Spacemen 3 when they couldn’t quite keep their heads held up, with intently reverent subway-sound Velvet Underground guitar. Maybe a scene from a movie never made: instrumental “Chiller” is strange and a stand-out for it, a song with vibes so heavy it needed like an actual vibraphone. It’s urgent, nervous, even menacing—a walk alone as headlights flash off your back. Or maybe a deep one like “Sweet Time,” a Daniel Johnston heartbroke valentine with loose-as-hell Sticky Fingers production. Side two is where the album starts to dissolve into itself, where the songs can’t quite hold to each other and Changer brings out the slide guitar to show just how slidey everything can be. By closer “You’re My Girl,” we’re in a Flies On Sherbert waking dream with a song so loose it’s suddenly all around you. What makes this album far different from the usual “I made this!” autobio recordings are the vast wells of tension and want and id within—and the way the songs drift uneasily above them, sometimes warping and distorting in ways you’d never expect. “Band of Brothers” seems like it must just be about a night out with friends … but there is something staggeringly desperate and even tragic happening there, too. It’s like a song from a car going off a cliff—a snapshot of the instant just before moving forward becomes falling down. If there’s a Joy Divison influence at work here, it comes in three places: the lockstep rhythm at the second half of the resolute “Island Fever,” the razor’s-edge production precision and then these stark and fearless moments at the precipice. Changer always brings you back, but I wonder if that’s even scarier—he does know the edge is there, right?” —Chris Ziegler (LA Record)