Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Ojos de Brujo, Bari and Remixes from Bari

Ojos de Brujo’s music is self-produced, self-recorded and beginning with “Bari”, their second album, self-published on their own World Village record label.  As was the case with “Techari” bari, their third album, the packaging is luxurious.  It is clear that this band cares very much about every aspect of their music and its presentation.  A deep concern for both quality and detail is apparent in every aspect of “Bari”.

Ojos de Brujo is a group from Barcelona who wed flamenco and gypsy music to rap, hip-hop, electronica and dance with flamenco and gypsy being the strong base and the rest being flavorings.  The result is music that is often exciting and unique and is almost always interesting.  “Bari” is more like ““Techari” and less like their first album “Vengue” in its shift toward the vocals of Marina Abad and the rhythms and passion of flamenco.  The group melds their diverse influences in exquisitely fine grained ways so that repeated listening results in deeper levels of appreciation as rhythmic nuances and electronic details are discovered.  Setting Abad’s compelling vocals aside for the moment, the heart of Ojos de Brujo’s instrumental power lies in the interplay of the flamenco guitarists and percussionists as flavored by the electronics of turntablist DJ Panko.  I love this music and can’t recommend it highly enough.

The “Remixes from Bari” are, with one exception, done by Panko.  I thought this would be a good thing because, being part of the band, I expected Panko to remix in the spirit of the bari remixesoriginal music rather than following the practice of a lot of celebrity remixers of taking a snippet of the original and sticking it in a new composition that has virtually nothing to do with the track that is supposedly being remixed.  Panko did as expected but I find the results disappointing.  His treatments generally involve speeding up the track, layering in more electronics and percussion, adding effects to the vocals and deemphasizing the flamenco guitars.  Most of the time this results in the loss of the sultry, lilting rhythms that make Ojos de Brujo so compelling.  By speeding up the tracks, weakening the flamenco, and ramping up the electronics, Panko has made the music more ordinary.  In effect, he has moved the music from its own unique category of nuevo flamenco with electronic influences into the realm of electronica shaded dance music that is different in that it has gypsy influences.  In their original incarnations, Panko’s contributions are essential in producing Ojos de Brujo’s distinctive sound, when allowed to dominate, those contributions result in music that is more common and less interesting.

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08/02/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

3 Comments »

  1. […] much enjoy.  (”Ventilaor R-80″ appears on Ojos de Brujo’s second album, ““Bari” .)  As an attempt to find other bands that are playing music like Ojos de Brujo “Flamenco […]

    Pingback by Review: Various Artists, Flamenco Nuevo « Tuned In To Music | 08/08/2007 | Reply

  2. […] 1999’s Vengue and 2002’s Bari, Ojos de Brujo released their third album of new material, Techari, in 2006.  On December 22nd of […]

    Pingback by Review: Ojos de Brujo, Techari Live « Tuned In To Music | 04/28/2008 | Reply

  3. […] and soul.  Cafe Tacvba has combined Mexican musics with just about anything you can imagine.  The brilliant band from Barcelona, Ojos de Brujo, melds flamenco, gypsy music, traditional Catalan music, African and Caribbean rhythms, funk and […]

    Pingback by Review: Choc Quib Town, Oro « Tuned In To Music | 06/03/2010 | Reply


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