Thursday on Sound Travels was an exploration of some flamenco(ish) songs. Fusion is the word that comes to mind, and I played some songs that show exactly how broad that interpretation can be...
It's a shame Ojos De Brujo, one of Spain's freshest, most forward flamenco fusion bands, broke up because they had a unique style. Of course I, like many discovered that lil fact a year after it had already happened speaks to exactly the kind of middle age that the band was mired in towards the end with most of their potential spent and a sound that while good, stayed the same. Nevertheless, the band was solid and in those early years, were full of intrigue. And for Thursday's Sound Travels, I played an unlikely flamenco infused cover of "Get Up Stand Up" that totally works.
Then we went back in time, to the early 60's for a group called Los Martinos whose vintage fusion of Cuban and Spanish rumbas found them some fame in post-embargo Miami. In fact, they were one of the first Cuban bands to record in Miami after the embargo in 1959.
Los Martinos "Cuidao"
Back to Spain for a leading light on the new pop-flamenco scene; the heralded and sultry singing of Concha Buika, aka Buika. Grammy-winning singer is iconoclastic by simply being herself; of African extraction in a context that seems unlikely (being that Spain is...well, extremely caucasian). Her confident presence and undeniable talent however makes that view seem a bit quaint and naive, nearly a disrespect to the naturalness of her fit. She's got plenty of soul, and in the tune I played, just a bit of that flamenco sound I was searching for today...
Up, Bustle & Out close out the Sound Travellin' with a nice number from their underappreciated Mexican Sessions release. Of course, everything about this talented crew of globally inspired musicians is underappreciated, I dare you to tell me you've ever heard of them. Even their Wikipedia page will tell you next to nothing. But they were one of Ninjatune's dopest artists and Ninjatune, at this point, is a venerable label having survived 20+ years putting out niche artists for scenes that barely even exist in the US and are quite small in their native UK. Dope label, buy everything in their catalogue and I'm sure you'll agree.