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Flamenco Forward

Barcelona Bastardo is how both the generation and the music of this innovative scene, that has emerged in the past five years, has been described. To celebrate it, Organic, an independent Barcelona label, recently released the album Barcelona Zona Bastardo, bringing together some of the many different groups whose sound is also referred to as 'El sonido del puerto' (The Sound Of The Port) (see Barcelona feature in fR234).

Much of its underlying energy has come from a collective called La fabrica de colores (The Colour Factory), which sprang up as a point of interaction between lots of different artists working in music, theatre, dance, animation, video, photography, sound, painting, performance and more. Many of them live and work in places on the left-hand side of the ramblas as you walk up from the port. A musical collective involving musicians working in various other groups, emerged from this to create Ojos de Brujo. I'd heard about them from people like Spanish DJ Lara López and Paco Martín, director of Cartagena's La Mar de Musicas Festival, but nothing quite prepared me for the impact of an Ojos de Brujo live gig.

Their name means Eyes Of A Wizard or Witch - in Spanish brujo embraces both genders. In English wizard evokes old men in caftans with long Lord Of The Rings-type beards. Nothing could be further from the dynamic energy of singer Marina Abad, in her blue polka dot, flamenco-frilled sevillana skirt, shortened to above the knee. Her feet kitted out in socks and trainers and her head wrapped around in a scarf - Cuban style - with hair escaping from the top. "I love that crazy, strong image. I love to dress up, to disguise myself to create a personality. I love those different styles: flamenco, Cuban, Bulgarian women with their layers, rich embroideries and jewellery. I like recycled clothes from second-hand shops."


This feature first appeared in fRoots 237, March 2003

 

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