Out of cosmopolitan Barcelona comes one of the most exciting new world fusion bands. Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of Wizard) call their music ‘jiphop flamenquillo’ but this flamenco hip-hop base serves only as a platform to launch into a plethora of musical genres. On their third album Techarí (‘freedom’ in Caló, a Gypsy language), their sound is more eclectic than ever. On a rigorous flamenco instrumental core, Ojos fuses hip-hop, bhangra, acid jazz, Arabic, reggae and even heavy metal rhythms and harmonies. Thanks to exceptionally talented musicians, a wonderfully tight rhythm section that includes a human beat box and Indian vocal percussions, and a flamboyant performance from singer Marina la Canillas, these wired minstrels pull it off brilliantly. Growing recognition has also helped Ojos recruit guests such as guitar legend Pepe Habichuela, Cyber from Asian Dub Foundation, Senegalese rapper Faada Freddy, Nitin Sawhney and Cuban pianist Roberto Carcassés. And while flamenco’s lyrics usually focus on the joy and suffering of life, Ojos’ are refreshingly politicized, dealing with issues of social justice, immigration and globalization.
Thankfully for the non-Spanish-speaking, the record comes with a CD-ROM, which includes the lyrics in 14 languages.