So this month I would like to introduce you to Chambao.
I first came across this band on a recce for a commercial I was making in Spain's Malaga region back in 2004. My location scout drove me around this beautiful rural area and played me some fabulous music in his jeep but this is the band that I will always remember and associate with that trip.
In a nutshell they fuse traditional flamenco influences with modern electronica; it’s all superbly produced and put together, whilst the star of the show is undoubtedly the haunting vocal prowess of La Mari.
I was lucky enough to see the band a couple of times in London before they split and they were all completely outstanding performers, with the vocals just going up another level again, what a wonderful talent. I understand La Mari is now pursuing a solo career.
This is their third album, Con Otro Aire, from 2007.
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I've been listening. I expected it to sound more Cuban, I don't know why. The juxtaposition of Spanish pop and flamenco is somewhat foreign to my ears. Duende del Sur is probably the most successful song for me, being reined back and pared down a little. It's what I expect to hear in any Spanish restaurant along the south coast, with little to distinguish it. 2/5 from Lu'on Airport.
My goodness, you must have really enjoyed that Spanish trip for this music to have made such a strong impression on you, Jules. Sadly, I'm stuck with Martin at Lu'on airport. ... not, of course, that he would be bad company.
I recall you have a strong predilection for flamenco, maybe it needs appreciation of those underlying rhythms to get into this music and raise it above typical Spanish 'Radio 2' pop.
I enjoyed your reccie for Midlake's The Courage of Others so much I had high hopes this might be something that equally appealed to me. Maybe next time!
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I quite like it to be honest, the whole thing reminds me of my trip to Brazil (although they speak Portuguese as opposed to Spanish). Quite good although I am not sure I would regularly listen to it, so I have scored 3/5.
Sorry Jules, I played it last night and tried again tonight. This time I couldn't get past the third track. To use a travelling analogy, I can see how it might appeal in the location, but I couldn't help thinking about the thing a lot of us probably know quite well. You know, when you are away on a trip somewhere nice and exotic, you go visiting a vineyard and you try the product. It tastes fantastic and you get caught up in the moment, so you buy a couple of bottles to take home. The night before you leave, you're going to bed early, so you sit on the balcony worrying if you are going to get everything in the bag. You are quite stressed, especially when you think about whether you wasted your money on that wine. After all, everyone has a story about how really rough wine tastes great when you are on holiday. So you decide to just make sure and share a bottle as the sun goes down. No, panic over, it's great. Double bonus, cos now the packing is going to be fine!
When you get home, right enough, it tastes like someone strained some 7 day old camel spit through a teenage chav's sock.
Musicianship was great though! Benidorm bedsit.
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I must admit it sounds like pop-pap to me. Some of the intros are great, very Spanish and enjoyable and atmospheric - reminds me quite a lot of Loreena McKennitt's music at times (a huge compliment from me!) she is greatly influenced by Spanish music - but then the moronic pop beat comes in, and any vestiges of subtlety evaporate, and I turn off.
Listening to the whole album is too much , the music is foreign , alien almost as it is so different to anything I play . I quite liked it for a track or two but that's it , I could mix the tracks in with a playlist no problem .3/5