De Madera is one of the few performing Flamenco guitar duos who originated in the United States. Based out of Charlotte, NC, this duo brings a wide variety of styles and influences to their interpretation of modern Spanish guitar music. Afro-Cuban rhythms, salsa, and merengue inflections and a fresh approach color this technically precise and beautiful music. Juan Benavides and Jaime Ibarra are both virtuosos of their instruments, making this album shine with a complexity that is rarely found in groups so small. Supported by just a few other players who add bass guitar and percussion, the two are the true centers of the sound. Highlights on the album include the highly danceable "Gato Girls" and "Mamaqui," the Caribbean-tinged "Borrasca," and the edgy "Nubarrón." Issued by Alula Records, which has a reputation for showcasing some of the best and most talented world music musicians, this album is an example of another one of their winners.
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AllMusic Review by Stacia Proefrock