Grupo Macarena

Gypsy Flamenco

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An interesting group of flamenco musicians, Grupo Macarena actually hail from outside of Iberia. There are Germans and Turks as well as French and Spanish performers in the collective. Here, they show off something interesting in flamenco -- both major regions of influence. The main vein of flamenco of course comes from Andalucia, with the stereotypical heart-rending songs and palmas. That's represented with approximately half of the album here, and performed relatively well. The group's specialty, though, is in flamenco from the Camargue -- a rhumba flamenco from the south of France. This is the style made famous around the world by the Gipsy Kings, and indeed the lead singer here worked with them for some time prior to their rise on the world scene. The sound here is unmistakable, having the "fleet-footed" tempo and guitar work along with some intense vocals. For Andalucian flamenco, there are many better artists and albums out there, but for the Camargue, the only real competition to this album comes from the Gipsy Kings themselves (and perhaps Los Reyes). Worth a shot for the rarity and quality of the Camargue alone.

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