Sunday, March 29, 2009

Into The Fire

So I've been hanging out in Spain lately. I spent the weekend watching Woody Allen's "Vicki Cristina Barcelona," eating tapas and listening to live flamenco music. There's something about the intensity of Spanish culture that yanks at me. Watching flamenco dancers twirl their skirts and stomp out rhythms at the local nightclub/restaurant Alahambra Palace (more on this in another post), wasn't enough. So I dug through my flamenco music collection. I love flamenco in all it's forms, traditional guitar, nuevo and fusion. The drama, romance and emotion of the music enthralls me. But I haven't found a single flamenco artist that enthralls me quite like Concha Buika.

Born on Mallorca of parents from Equatorial Guinea, Buika grew up in a swirl of African, jazz and gitano (gypsy) sounds. Her third CD "Nina de Fuego" (Fire Girl) shows her literally unveiled on the cover, with tattoos of the names of her female family members, her muses, trailing down one arm. It's a symbolic image that perfectly captures the rawness and vulnerability of Buika's music. Her smokey, throaty vocals melts around a verse and stabs it out in another. The CD showcases a hypnotic fusion of jazz, flamenco and soul singing. No matter if you don't speak Spanish, the power of her voice leaps over all cultural barriers. You feel the longing and soul-wrenching passion in every note. Javier Limon's guitar soars as eloquently as Buika's voice. It's a perfect, 11-track album, from beginning to end. I thought it was funny when I discovered that before she became the queen of flamenco fusion, Buika used to do Tina Turner tributes in Vegas. Now that I think about it, it's not so surprising. Fiery divas are divas, no matter the culture.


17 comments:

Catherine said...

I have this album and really like her music too...two other spanish bands I really like and have seen live a few times including here in Mexico City are Chambao and Ojos de Brujo...

A Cuban In London said...

What a voice! I knew about her already through The Guardian's Friday Review section but had not heard her yet. Many thanks. Like Catherine, I love Chambao and Ojos de Brujo.

Greetings from London.

Alexiev said...

Great music...

Best wishes from Buenos Aires...

http://www.alexiev.com.ar
Proyectos
Alexiev Store

Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

WOW, what a fantastic blog you have going here and that music is awesome!!
I tried to follow, but it wouldn't let me right now but I will try again later.
If you have a moment or two of your life that you'd care to waste, please visit me at my blog and say hello!!
Take good care and........

Steady On
Reggie Girl

myfolieadeux.com said...

Amazing! I like Buika!

By the way, in case you're interested, Folie a Deux and Mr and Mrs Smith Hotels are joining forces to giveaway some fantastic prizes at my blog. Hope you can visit! Thanks!

Gnawledge said...

if youre diggin buika, id also suggest the new ojos de brujo (just came out tuesday), la shica's recent album "trabijito de chinos", and our granada doaba project --> http://www.gnawledge.com/granada

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Wow! What a fab picture! She does look and sound fiery.

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, Cuban and Gnawledge, I'm actually a huge Ojos De Brujo fan already. I was listening to them while I was getting ready to go out and hear the live famenco!

Alex, Midlife, Jen and Jean-Luc, thanks for dropping by, I'll visit soon.

Ebony Intuition said...

Lovely. I'm going to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona this week, maybe tonight.

Dominique said...

I love discovering new (to me) music! Thanks for giving me some more great music to check out.

jen laceda said...

I keep coming back to your blog to listen to this!

By the way, I am giving away some stuff from Mr and Mrs Smith hotel starting tomorrow, in case you are interested =]

Fly Girl said...

Okay Jen, I'm on my way! You love the song that much? Makes me think about giving away some world music CDs, my desk is overloaded with stacks sent by record labels. Perhaps I'll have a contest of some sort...

Reggie Girl said...

I'm on board Fly Girl!!
You are a bright spot and thank you for you lovely comments. I will return them :)

Steady On
Reggie Girl

ibou said...

Great song and great artist! I love this.

Fly Girl said...

Thanks for dropping by, I'm gald you enjoyed it!

lynne Jordan said...

She is fabulous. Thanks for sharing that video. You just don't stop taking us on adventures!!

kristine said...

Barcelona is one of my favourite places. You do a very good job of putting your finger on why!!