One of my photos

Ojos de Brujo

May 7th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Music · 4 Comments · Music

Another CD which tempted me at the same time as Rodrigo y Gabriela, was the new album from Ojos de Brujo called Techari.

Ojos de Brujo come from the vibrant music scene of Barcelona, and have a strong flamenco flavour, with gypsy and Arabic aspects and rapping and scratchng thrown in for good measure.

It is percussion and acoustic guitar-heavy with some brass and turntable effects.  If that sounds a bit like a description of Manu Chao then so be it – actually Ojos de Brujo are livelier on record than Manu Chao, but less raucous when they play live. If this band sound like anyone else (and they don't really) then it would be Les Negresses Vertes with whom they share the clappy, shouty, gypsy/Arabic sound on a few tracks. ("Clappy, shouty" is how I have heard LNV described before. I prefer to think of it as exhuberant and infectious)

This album is not a great departure from their previous one, Bari, but is perhaps a bit more accessible.  There are the same rapid fire vocals from the two main singers (don't even try to follow the lyrics in the booklet!) and traditional Catalan percussion boxes, but now there is also an Eastern influence as well, with Indian rhythms and tablas on the track Todo Tiende.

Included with this album is a CD-ROM, with a well-authored and attractive set of menus leading to a few video clips and a 13-minute documentary, as well as about 160 photographs. 

I am certainly going to be clearing a few things off my iRiver to make room for this album! As with a lot of so-called 'world music' this is exciting, interesting, catchy and miles better than most music we are exposed to on the radio and TV.  Opening your mind to some new sounds like this could be the biggest favour you will ever do yourself.

By the way, Ojos de Brujo are playing at the (free) World Party festival in Croydon on July 15th alongside De La Soul.  The Croydon festival is where I first heard Rodrigo y Gabriela a few years ago, and getting Ojos de Brujo to play is a real coup for them. Its a very friendly and enjoyable festival generally, and you get to go on a tram to get there. What more could you ask for?  I saw OdB play in Islington a while ago and they were one of the most exciting bands I have seen – so expect crowds of very excitable Spanish teenagers, and a flamenco dancer on stage: she contributes little to the music but adds greatly to the atmosphere. A sort of Spanish Bez.

Ojos de Bruco will also be at the Big Chill festival at Eastnor deer Park in August. 

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Danivon

    I think I might be able to persuade Ms Danivon to go see De La Soul, especially for nowt…

  • Skuds

    That would be good.

    There is a great atmosphere at the Croydon festival – and usually a decent curry tent and beer tent.

  • Danivon

    It definitely looks like a winner! Are you going this year?

  • Skuds

    Oh yes. And J isn’t working weekends now, so she ought to be able to come along too.

    I missed last year, but 2004 was brilliant, with Rachid Taha and Rodrigo y Gabriela there. The kids enjoyed being exposed to something a bit different.

    I’ll give you a bell nearer the time if I don’t see you before.