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Macaco: Spanish Pop 'Fusion Without Confusion'
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Macaco: Spanish Pop 'Fusion Without Confusion'

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. DANI MACACO (Vocalist, Macaco): (Singing) (Spanish language spoken)


Fusion without confusion - fusion sin confusion. That's what the man behind the Spanish band Macaco says about the group's music.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. MACACO: (Singing) (Spanish spoken)

Unidentified Group: (Singing) (Spanish spoken)

SEABROOK: Listen carefully as you're rocking out in your cars there. You can here flamenco guitar, hip-hop beats, maybe even a little reggae in the vocals. Macaco is driving Europeans out of their seats right now, dancing to its new CD �Ingravitto.� The lead singer, keyboard player and writer and producer of Macaco is Dani Macaco, better known as El Mono Loco or the Crazy Monkey.

And he joins me now in studio. Thanks for being here.

Mr. MACACO: Well, thanks to you for inviting me.

SEABROOK: The big hit coming off of this album is �Mama Tierra.� And �Mama Tierra� is about Mother Earth. It's a green song. Tell me what it says.

Mr. MACACO: Yes. Well, I feel really close - I'm from Barcelona, from Spain, from Mediterranean. And I live very close to the sea. And all my life I've been very close to nature.


Mr. MACACO: Nature, sorry. And I wanted to do a song not very complicate because I wanted also the kids to understand it, and I didn't want to be very metaphoric, you know. And I compare Mother Earth like when - if I say something bad about your mom or your family, very fast, you will be like, hey, what are you talking about, you know, being defense.


Mr. MACACO: I compare that feeling with �Mama Tierra.� There is something very big that is under our feet but is alive, you know. So I'm trying to get the people in this feeling.

SEABROOK: Now you say - the lyrics say, what if we acted like she actually was our mom? You say, I've shouted:

(Spanish Spoken)


SEABROOK: I've shouted, I've yelled but she's slowly dying.

Mr. MACACO: Yes.

(Soundbite of song, �Mama Tierra�)

Mr. MACACO: (Singing) (Spanish spoken)

SEABROOK: Let's talk a little bit about your sound. Your music is really rooted in Barcelona, in the area of Spain called Catalonia. And there is a specific sound - the rumba catalana - you might call it the Catalonia rhythm that your music is really rooted in. Tell me about the rumba catalana.

Mr. MACACO: Well, rumba catalana is my roots, you know. It's a very strong music that comes from flamenco. Flamenco is a music that had been picking up a lot of musics from India, Africa. And rumba catalana is like the groovy part of flamenco and - I don't know how to define it. But it's - it has a technique called ventilador(ph) with the guitar that it goes very�

(Soundbite of beat sound)

(Soundbite of song, �Mama Tierra�)

Mr. MACACO: (Singing) (Spanish spoken)

Mr. MACACO: If you use rumba catalana like this�

(Soundbite of beat sound)

Mr. MACACO: �and you start doing that slower and slower�

(Soundbite of beat sound)

Mr. MACACO: �that becomes a reggae, no. And also people say that - the way that I sing is a mixed of the reggae and rumba catalana. That is something natural. I don't know why and how I start doing that, no.

(Soundbite of song, �Fast Lane�)

Mr. MACACO: (Singing) With the cosmic situation while living without direction. I'm cosmic and I cosmic and I cosmic and hey. New spirit elevation connecting the situation, without gurus, without prayers, without dogmas, without levels. The speed civilization give no time for meditation. Blowing our minds, scratching our hearts, slow down. Slow down.

SEABROOK: I want to talk a little bit about the scene in Barcelona. I read an interview you did with a Spanish magazine, and you said, 10 years ago, there was this creative moments in the streets of Barcelona. And at that time, a bunch of really interesting projects were born, and several various of those are just now getting to on a worldwide level. Tell me about that moment then about 10 years ago. What was going on?

Mr. MACACO: Well,- I always say that I - for being global, I think, you have to be local, no, at the same time. It can seem a easy sentence but it's something that I really believe. In that time, there were - I'm with a lot friends that they came from different countries. In that time, we were in a house that were a little squat in Barcelona.

SEABROOK: A squatter? You were taking over a house? Is that what it is?

Mr. MACACO: Yes, yes, yes.


Mr. MACACO: Close - very close to the port of Barcelona, puerto, no. Las Ramblas is a very big street, very old part of Barcelona where live all the musician, the people that didn't have money�


Mr. MACACO: �and�

SEABROOK: Sort of an artists' neighborhood.

Mr. MACACO: Yeah, a lot of artists, you know, a lot of prostitutes, a lot of, you know, people coming - like the all poors. And I decide with another friends to go to the street and start playing in Las Ramblas, no.

SEABROOK: On the street?

Mr. MACACO: On the street. And we will go with batteries of a cars, connecting with big amplifiers. And that moment was very, very special because everybody was there and someone came with pandeiro, typical Brazilian percussion, and other with a guitar, hey, how you do this? Hey, we can try this with this, oh, that works, no. Something natural - not mixing for mixing. That's why I say always fusion without confusion because it's not a formula chemic(ph), you know, it's not mathematic. It's something that you has - comes from the heart, from the feeling, no.

SEABROOK: Organic.

Mr. MACACO: Claro, completely organic, no. And that's how I feel it and how it grows.

SEABROOK: Dani Macaco of the band Macaco. The new CD is called �Ingravitto,� and he's touring in the United States now.

Thanks very much for joining me.

Mr. MACACO: Gracias. Thank you very much.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. MACACO: (Singing) (Spanish spoken)

SEABROOK: You can hear complete versions of Macaco songs online at

Now, Dani Macaco often sings about revolutions - musical, astronomical and social. And that brings us to our parting words today from a past revolutionary, American abolitionist and Boston native Wendell Phillip. He said: Revolutions are not made, they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.

That's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED for this Saturday evening. I'm Andrea Seabrook. Now move those feet.

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