Crossing borders in a laboratory of flamenco

To classify something as “fusion” is like throwing in a trash bin everything that does not fit elsewhere, says flamenco guitarist Ramón Giménez. World music, he argues, is an imperialist term and could be replaced with “zoo music”. And no, Ojos de Brujo, a Barcelona-based music collective, is actually not about flamenco either. “It is not as much fusing together musical styles but persons – ourselves”, Giménez explains. The awarded collective is formed of eight musicians with a diverse background. Flamenco is their common ground, but musical explorations go far beyond it, touching hip hop, reggae and funk as well as Indian, Cuban and North African rhythms. The collective has its roots in underground and alternative cultural movements of Barcelona, the lyrics depict the life of illegal immigrants, the homeless and the squeezed younger generations. “Barcelona sound” may be yet another marketing attempt. Therefore, when their first multinational record label complained about their “anti-singles”, it was taken only as a compliment.
Published in Helsingin Sanomat in 2007.

photo by ojos de brujo