Sunday, 17 February 2013

Horizonte Eléctrico 2 - 10 Flamenco Rock Classics

As I said in my previous post, Horizonte Eléctrico - 10 Great contemporary Spanish bands that should be better known outside Spain, Spain is the home of the guitar. The Spanish have a tradition of guitar playing that goes back centuries. Flamenco music features some of the great virtuosos in guitar history. This tradition has been drawn on, consciously or unconsciously, in Spanish Rock for decades.

For a music steeped in tradition flamenco seems to adapt easily and I have tried to make this 10 track selection as varied as possible. It features the Beatles inspired pop / rock of Los Brincos, the hugely influential Raimundo and Rafael Amador who, in the bands Veneno and Pata Negra, were the first to convincingly merge flamenco with rock and blues in the 70s and 80s, the astonishing voice of El Luis, the 1970s new flamenco of Lole and Manuel, prog-rock from Triana, the 80s rock of El Ultimo de la Fila, the psychedelic space rock of Los Planetas and the highly successful flamenco jazz / soul of Grammy nominated Concha Buika.

In no particular order here are 10 examples of some great flamenco rock and gitano soul.

Raimundo and Rafael Amador
Virtuoso flamenco blues brothers. Raimundo and Rafael Amador were enormously influential in that they were the first to successfully merge traditional flamenco with blues and rock. Both are from Seville, and after playing with flamenco legends Paco de Lucia and El Camaron in the 70s, they formed a band called Veneno with fellow Sevillano Kiko Veneno (see below). Their own band Pata Negra had a lot of success in the 80s (also see below). Raimundo recorded with BB King in the 90s and guested with BB on tour. This clip is from the 80s.

EL luis - Yo Le Pregunto Al Viento
What a voice. Luis Barrull is from Galicia and is a great example of Gitano Soul. After releasing two albums, El Luis in 1976 and Solo in 1978, he ended up in prison for drug trafficking. His career never really recovered. The first album is a classic. A massive wall of sound with manic drumming and a voice that sounds like a cross between Johnny Cash and Solomon Burke.

Los Brincos - Flamenco
Flamenco garage rock from 1964. Los Brincos were one of the most successful and influential Spanish bands of the 1960s and are deserving of their own post. Coming soon.

Veneno - Indiopole
Kiko Veneno formed the group Veneno in 1975 with brothers Rafael and Raimundo Amador. Their eponymous first album, released in 1977 was not a great commercial success at the time but is now considered one of the great classic Spanish rock albums. It was the first album to successfully integrate flamenco with rock and blues. Listened to now it comes over as a kind of flamenco punk rock. Lyrics inspired by Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa set to music which sounds like a version of flamenco played by Captain Beefheart's Magic Band or even the Incredible String Band. It's kind of unique. This track is an instrumental and the Amador brothers mix some lightning fast blues and rock runs into the trad flamenco riffs. The revolution starts here.

Pata Negra - Ratitas Divinas
Raimundo and Rafael Amador's post Veneno band, Pata Negra. They recorded several albums throughout the 80s and early 90s which the brothers defined musically as "blueslería". Outstanding are the electric "Blues de la Frontera" (1987), and the mini acoustic LP "Guitarras callejeras" from which this song is taken.  Heavy riffing plus some wonderful rapid fire soloing.

El Último de la Fila - El Loco de la Calle
El Último de la Fila (Manolo García and Quimi Portet) from Barcelona, were one of the most succesful Spanish rock bands of the 80s and 90s.This was the opening track on their third LP "Nuevas Mezclas" (1987).

Triana - Abre La Puerta
Flamenco prog rock from Seville. Triana recorded 3 very influential albums in the mid to late 70s. This track is the opener of their first album El Patio (1975).

Lole y Manuel - Todo es de Color
Dolores Montoya Rodríguez "Lole" from Seville and Manuel Molina Jiménez from Ceuta were a duo and part of the first generation of artists to try and broaden flamenco's appeal towards a more general and younger audience in the 1970s. Their song "Tu Mirá"  from their second album Pasaje del agua (1976) was included on the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2. "Todo es de Color" is from their first album Nuevo Dia (1975). Very atmospheric and probably the least rock and purest flamenco track in this post

Concha Buika - No Habrá Nadie En El Mundo
Another fantastic voice. Concha Buika is from Mallorca though her family is originally from Equatorial Guinea. Not so much rock, more of a mix of flamenco with soul and jazz. This track is from the album Niña de Fuego which was nominated for the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

And finally...
From "Una ópera egipcia", the most recent (2010) album by Granada's Los Planetas. Flamenco rock meets space rock and finds God?
Los Planetas - La Pastora Divina

Horizonte Eléctrico - 10 Great contemporary Spanish bands that should be better known outside Spain

My page dedicated to Spanish Rock. Click below.

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