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Techari Live

Ojos de Brujo

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Album Review

There is an increasing number of bands from a wide variety of countries and cultural traditions blending the sounds of their ethnic music with breakbeats and electronica. But Ojos de Brujo take a somewhat different tack. They embrace the sounds of modern technology, but use those sounds sparingly, like a spice in the mix of their cross-cultural Spanish/Gypsy/flamenco stew. In a live setting, their devotion to tradition (or traditions) is even more obvious — as is their phenomenal technical skill and the almost punky energy they generate on-stage. What makes that energy even more exciting is the fact that they don't sacrifice elegance and complexity to achieve it; instead, they just play fast and hard and they clap really, really loudly. Notice, for example, the combination of a jaggedly complicated rhythm, gorgeous sung melody, cool muted trumpet, and turntable on "Respira" — not to mention the speed-rap interlude courtesy of Daara J MC Faada Freddy. Notice also their excellent arrangement of Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" which, to their credit, has not a hint of reggae about it (the studio version included here as a bonus track is even better than the live one). And notice their tendency to sometimes go just a bit over the top when they bring in the Middle Eastern vocal elements; "Todo Tiende" and "Tanguillos Marineros" are both fine songs that are marred somewhat by irritatingly overwrought melismatics. Overall, though, Techarí Live is a thrilling document of one of the world's finest groups at work.

Biography

Formed: 1996

Genre: Latino

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Originally more of a collective than a band, the Barcelona-based flamenco fusion group Ojos de Brujo, which translates to "Eyes of the Wizard", came together in the mid-'90s when guitarist Ramon Giménez began playing with like-minded experimental musicians such as singer Marina "La Canillas" Abad and percussionist Xavi Turull, trying to find out what kind of sound they could create. In 1999, as an official group, Ojos de Brujo issued their first album, a completely self-produced and self-recorded...
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Techari Live, Ojos de Brujo
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