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Flamenco Forward

So where do they rehearse? "For a long time we've been rehearsing in my house," says Marina. It's a very small room so it's close, intimate. Then we've been preparing, when rehearsing before we go on stage, which is great because you come with a different energy and so many things happen and it helps us improvise."

Ojos De Brujo
They talk about loops, technical effects, programming and then Marina takes us through each song, explaining how they put them together, with the others chipping in. "Quien engaña no gana (Who Cheats Never Wins) is made with loops which is magic. It opens with the voice of Juanlú's daughter [the bassist] who's only five years old and is a little wizard herself. In the middle it becomes a tango from Triana, with more punk, electronic samplers, scratch, bits and pieces. Ventilaor R-80 is dedicated to Camarón [the late great flamenco singer]. It's a rumba, the happiest song to dance to. It's a 'rumba ojos de brujo,' then the chorus is a rumba catalana. It says, 'have this rumba to dance, feel better, help you live but not make you forget reality'. That's the message."

And Tanguillo de Maria (Maria's Tango)? "It's a tribute to marijuana because we think it's a plant that helps. There's a parallelism drawn between marijuana and Mari, an Arabic woman who is illegal here, just like maria (marihuana). There's a lot of Moroccans come into Spain but they've not got papers, yet have to survive. Some are allowed in, others not. Some die in trying. Bulería del ay! [and all three fall sideways making a big sigh 'ayyy...']. It's a funky bulería about a very flamenco phrase that serves for many things: an exclamation for happiness, sadness, panic, and it makes people laugh, so it's positively global."

This feature first appeared in fRoots 237, March 2003


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