NPR logo Taking Flamenco and Cranking It Up

Taking Flamenco and Cranking It Up

No Somos Máquinas

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Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "No Somos Maquinas"
  • Artist: Ojos de Brujo
  • CD: Techari
  • Genre: World

Ojos de Brujo skillfully re-creates the sound of Barcelona's city streets. hide caption

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Flamenco has its own rhythm — a natural pulse of hands and feet and mouths. The Barcelona-based group Ojos de Brujo takes that rhythm and cranks it up, adding traditions of India and a hip-hop sensibility. Its members skillfully re-create the sound of their city streets, where many different kinds of music leak out of doorways of clubs and concert halls, then blend together to create one mass of sound.

"No Somos Maquinas" (translation: "We Are Not Machines") is one of Ojos de Brujo's more laid-back tunes, maintaining a kind of ironic balance between sweet, flowing vocal melodies and the mechanical precision of spoken delivery. It's both typical and unusual for the group instrumentally: The strumming of the Spanish guitar balances nicely with the vocals, while the jazz piano adds a vague cabaret feel to the swing. Add the vocal percussion of solcatu, the machine-gun fire of the spoken word, and the solid pulse of percussion, and the song becomes a writhing creature, pulsing not with mechanics, but with life.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Ojos de Brujo
Sony / BMG Import

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