Saturday, April 08, 2006


After visiting Sevilla last week, I can certainly say this: flamenco lives. Andalucia (the most southern part of Spain) breathes flamenco, being an essential part of the regions tradition and pride. But it doesn't keep to tradition: in cities, flamenco bars and liveshows draw spectators daily, not just tourists but also Spanish youth. If you step into a café, not only will you hear the latest Madonna and Black Eyed Peas song, but you'll hear Spaniards singing along with the latest flamenco-pop hit (often a mix between traditional guitar-only flamenco and electro/pop songs). There are even night clubs where girls in special flamenco dresses dance passionately all night long. (If you want to see for yourself, the last week of april is a very good time, when Sevilla is soothed with flamenco performances during the Feria de Abril.)

Traditional flamenco music involves mostly an acoustic guitar, clapping hands and a gypsy voice lamenting in long hauls. If you're not into Spanish culture, and not impressed by finger-breaking guitar play, traditional songs probably won't appeal to you. Legends Paco de Lucía, Manolo Sanlucar, Camarón de la Isla and many more have free samples at the Spanish iTunes store.

Modern artists add a new dimension to the traditional gyspy music. Niña Pastori, for instance, combines classical guitar with modern pop elements. Her latest album Joyas Prestadas (selling a lot in Spain at this moment) is a collection of pop song covers: Alejandro Sanz, Maná and Juan Luís Guerra are some of the covered artists. Chambao add electronic elements, forming what they call "flamenco chill". "Pokito a Poko" is a nice example of their music: focus on athmosphere, though catchy and well sung. Even though it sometimes sounds a bit cheap (too much echoes), I kinda like the song. Maybe it's the travel memories or the Spanish wine :)

More information about flamenco (both modern and traditional) on these excellent websites: De Flamenco, Flamenco Sound or Flamenco World.

Chambao - Pokito a Poko mp3 video buy@iTunes