Socialist Worker

Ojos de Brujo - Aocana

by Martin Smith
Issue No. 2150

Ojos de Brujo

Ojos de Brujo

In Caló, the language of the Roma, Techarí means “Free”.

Techarí is the title of one of Ojos de Brujo’s albums. It sums the band up perfectly.

Based in Barcelona, Ojos de Brujo celebrate the freedom and sensuality of flamenco and the rumba. They mix these with a contagious rhythm and sonic experimentation.

They describe their style as “jipjop flamenkillo” – hip-hop with a little flamenco.

Their new album Aocana is another tour de force that sees them developing their unique sound even further.

Barcelona has witnessed a massive transformation over the past 40 years. It has seen several waves of migrants searching for a new life.

The poor from Andalusia in the south of Spain came first. They brought their flamenco music with them.

These immigrants created the first flamenco fusion known as Rumba Catalana, which is a fast adaptation of flamenco, something akin to Latin Jazz.

Twenty years later, the poor from North Africa and Latin America followed. They too brought their culture and music.

Barcelona has been at the centre of a musical revolution, pioneered by Manu Chao, and popularised by Ojos de Brujo and other bands.

The group’s name means “Eyes of the Wizard”. According to the band, a wizard’s eyes look deeper into the issues and reveal the truth.

And this explains why Ojos de Brujo are so popular – they challenge the establishment and show solidarity with immigrants, squatters and those on society’s margins.

Lead singer Marina describes the band as “children of the streets,” and beautiful children they are too.

CD out now

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Tue 5 May 2009, 18:31 BST
Issue No. 2150
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