This page has been archived and is no longer updated.Find out more about page archiving.

Ojos de Brujo Aocaná Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

A more playful, experimental side of their music.

Jon Lusk 2009

In the decade they've been making albums, this eight-piece group from Barcelona have forged an original hybrid of flamenco, Catalan rumba and hip hop with an ever-expanding range of other ingredients. Meanwhile, Ojos de Brujo's music has become almost synonymous with the sound of their city and spawned several imitators.

This fourth album is familiar enough to please old fans, but they have more than doubled the number of guests and collaborators used on previous album Techarí (2006), further enriching their stylistic palette.

Lead singer Marina La Canillas Abad continues to provide the group’s most distinctive trademark – a brash, slightly melismatic vocal style, which is often multi-tracked or backed with her own close harmony vocals. Admittedly it's a limited instrument, but there are plenty of others to leaven the mix.

The key players include the twin flamenco guitars of Ramón Giménez and Paco Lomeña, Xavi Turull's diverse percussive talents and DJ Panko's intermittent scratching. Carlitos Sarduy is the newest member, and a welcome addition on trumpet, piano and more percussion.

Things kick off in fairly typical OdB style with Todos Mortales, which has a ringtone-friendly chorus (Gira gira…) but offers little in the way of surprises. The rapper Tote King makes a refreshing appearance on Dónde Te Has Metío, while Rumba Del Adiós benefits from an expanded horn section. Una Verdad Incómoda offers a more menacing hip hop vibe, hints of drum 'n' bass and strong raps from Kumar and Maxwell Wright.

Thankfully the line ''Take my hand/free your hypothalamus'' is sung in Spanish, although the sleeve notes include translations.

It's on the last third of the album that the more interesting departures take place, beginning with Busca Lo Bueno, a very successful collaboration with Cuban salsa veterans Los Van Van. Tantas Flores makes the connection between Gypsy flamenco and the Indian subcontinent more explicitly than on any of their albums, and the closing ballad Lluvia is a soothing aftermath.

It ends with a dreamlike coda of watery sound effects and percussion that reveals a more playful, experimental side of their music.

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page.