Various Artists

Futuro Flamenco, Vol. 2

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Hardcore traditional flamenco has been reinvented by a new generation of performers. Without losing or diluting its essence, a number of performers have pushed the genre into the 21st century. For Barcelona's Ojos de Brujo, it's a case of adding beats and new styles of flamenco song, rather than focusing on the virtuosity of the guitar work. United Future Organization, on the other hand, offers a track in "Esperanza" that possesses a more ambient edge, while Cosmic Rocker cuts up flamenco over beats on "Papo," an almost postmodern interpretation. Veteran Peret, always one to take chances, sounds positively staid in this company, but there's no denying the raw power of his voice. Chacho adds piano to the traditional guitar, voice, and palmas (handclaps), while los Amaya's interpretation of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is wonderful, kitschy fun. Toro turns flamenco into house music without losing its essential flavor, while Suv's "Colores" adds subtle electronic treatments to a flamenco song. Both Alabína and Clave y Guaguanco show flamenco's Arabic roots in their material, to stunning effect. Some other tracks aren't as successful but, overall, compiler Martin Morales has done an excellent job here, illustrating just how flamenco has grown and changed.

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