Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Ojos de Brujo, Techari

Ok.  I try to critically evaluate music in a balanced manner, I really do.  Try to identify both strengths and weaknesses, try to avoid opinionated ranting, try to be open minded.  I really do.  But with this band I’m failing.  Can’t help myself, so

/rave on

Ojos de Brujo are an 8-piece band based in Barcelona and they just knock me out.  Their techarimusic is strongly grounded in flamenco but, as they insist, they are not playing pure flamenco.  Instead they play an inordinately rich stew of hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, who-knows-what influenced flamenco.  The result is so rich in rhythmic nuance and complexity as to be utterly captivating.  Weaving in and around the rhythms are hook laden melodies that I just never seem to tire of.  And they rap too.  The band has two flamenco guitarists in Paco Lomena and Ramon Gimenez, two vocalists in front woman Marina Abad and percussionist Maxwell Wright, additional percissionists in Xavi Turull and Sergio Ramos, Javi Martin plays bass and Panko is a turntablist .  On “Techari” they are joined by a small army of additional musicians playing keyboards, percussion, strings, guitars, vocals and more.  Allmusic.com describes their “Mood” as “passionate, sexy, hypnotic, sensual, sophisticated”.  They are all that and then some.

I turned on to Ojos de Brujo after reading an article in the New York Times in the fall of 2006 about the music scene in Barcelona.  The article described an eclectic group of musicians and bands that were drawing on both traditional and modern musical traditions to create experimental and exciting new music.  It also characterized the Barcelona scene as one where virtually no one cared very much about record contracts, marketing budgets or becoming music stars.  It was all about the music.  Ojos de Brujo appears to typify this approach.  Their first album, “Vengue”, (see Tuned In To Music’s review of “Vengue”) was self-produced, self-recorded and released on the German label Edel Records.  Apparently they didn’t like the constraints involved in working with Edel so they formed their own label, La Fabrica de Colores, in order to release their second album, “Bari”, which was also completely self-recorded and produced.  “Bari” is every bit as good as “Techari” and I think “Techari” is great.  I return to both albums frequently and I don’t see that ending any time soon.  I love this band.  When I listen to them play I start talking about maybe we could move to Barcelona.  This is a really stupid idea.  I know it’s a stupid idea but I don’t care.  Ojos de Brujo lives in Barcelona, they play there, we could hear them play all the time if we lived there, right?  So?  Let’s move there!  They’re that good.

Okay, that’s enough,

/rave off

Wait a minute.

/rave on

I really love this band.  Did I mention that?

/rave off

Music from this CD can be heard on Tuned In To Music Podcast 005 – Playlist 1

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06/09/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music

4 Comments »

  1. […] rhythm.  In comparison with their later albums “Bari” and “Techari” (see Tuned In To Music’s review of “Techari”) “Vengue” places a bit more emphasis on the vocals of percussionist Maxwell Wright and […]

    Pingback by Review: Ojos de Brujo, Vengue « Tuned In To Music | 07/11/2007 | Reply

  2. […] their second album, self-published on their own World Village record label.  As was the case with “Techari” , their third album, the packaging is luxurious.  It is clear that this band cares very much […]

    Pingback by review: Ojos de Brujo, Bari and Remixes from Bari « Tuned In To Music | 08/02/2007 | Reply

  3. […] In previous reviews I’ve raved about Ojos de Brujo’s three albums, “Techari“, “Bari” and  “Vengue“.  I like the group so much that I began […]

    Pingback by Review: Various Artists, Barcelona Zona Bastarda « Tuned In To Music | 08/24/2007 | Reply

  4. […] Vengue and 2002′s Bari, Ojos de Brujo released their third album of new material, Techari, in 2006.  On December 22nd of the same year they performed the material from the album along with […]

    Pingback by Review: Ojos de Brujo, Techari Live « Tuned In To Music | 07/14/2010 | Reply


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