Combo Chimbita - IRÉ
“Combo Chimbita is making some of the most incredibly inspired music in the world right now.” – Uproxx
“Psychedelic cumbia band Combo Chimbita just might be the planet’s top candidate for the saviors of rock ‘n’ roll.” – SPIN, ‘50 Best Rock Bands Right Now’ List
“a heady stew of quasi-cumbia-tropical-futurism-kitchen-sink musical stylings … Singer Carolina Oliveros still holds court over it all.” – AV Club
IRÉ finds its rallying spark in convulsive present day realities by metabolizing the anxieties of systemic racism, capitalist decadence, totalitarian governments and the attempted erasure of queer and trans people. Early writing sessions in the summer of 2020 found Combo Chimbita grappling with the limbo of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a firestorm of Black Lives Matter protests swept through streets around the globe. Months later, they flew to Puerto Rico to record and mix the LP, bearing witness to the suffocating complexities of the island’s imperialist tether to the U.S.
“Each intentional collaboration builds a critical bridge with queer & trans artists whose work illuminate ways of resisting, of living, [and] of stretching into generations of wisdoms,” explained director and producer Oscar Diaz. “Teresa Karolina’s bold reflection in ‘Yo Me Lo Merezco’ challenges the societal neglect often imposed onto the trans community; Helen Ceballos gives birth to the ancestral roots that guide us through our many evolutions in ‘Memoria’; Edrimael Delgado Reyes defiantly steps into the fire of enlightenment in ‘Babalawo’; and Lio Villahermosa helps us center our healing through the rubble and destruction in ‘Oya’.
Each single release has made this clearer, with UPROXX trumpeting Combo Chimbita as “making some of the most incredibly inspired music in the world right now… [and] pushing incredible boundaries in keeping these stories at the forefront.”
“It’s important to listen and feel this worry and the desire to change and improve things,” adds Oliveros, capturing IRÉ’s transcendent purpose to heal and construct a new world through the power of music. Like the jaguar before them, Combo Chimbita carries on; delicate, resilient and roaring.