Spain has a badly spotted history of mistreating "outsiders," but the country's music is heavily influenced by these same groups. Even Spain's signature music, flamenco, sprang from persecuted Gypsy, Jewish and Moorish communities. Three recent releases demonstrate the beauty created by this once-feared diversity.Read More
Since the 1970s, when Paco de Lucía began fusing flamenco with jazz and rock, one wing of the genre has broken free of its traditional moorings, while staying respectful of its origins. After a spectacular U.S. debut in 2002, the Barcelona-based collective Ojos de Brujo returns with Techarí, which again pulls in a variety of styles - most obviously flamenco and hip-hop. But like all the bands I'm writing about today, Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Warlock) is not easily pigeonholed.(...)
Techarí, on "Six Degrees," lacks some of the excitement of "Bari," but is still a vibrant brew. This time around, the group is joined by guest artists, including flamenco guitarist Pepe Habichuela and Asian Underground leader Nitin Sawhney, but the draw here is still the group's unique sound. Heavily percussive, the band uses palmas or handclaps, the South American box- like drum called the cajon, the Indian dhol drum and handfuls of turntable scratching.
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