Various Artists

Rough Guide to Flamenco Nuevo

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Over the last decade, flamenco's undergone a revolution and reinvention, as Rough Guide to Flamenco Nuevo excellently illustrates. These days, it's a brilliant, multifaceted gem, where the jazz flute of Jorge Pardo can sit comfortably next to the electronica of Digitano and the Ladino singing of Yasmin Levy. A few of the names have become internationally known, like Levy, Ojos de Brujo, and Javier Ruibál, and justifiably so, as they each push away at frontiers. But the revelation of this disc is that there are plenty of others equally inventive waiting to find a global forum. Singer Elena Andujar is especially impressive, while the duo Rodrigo y Gabriela (who live in that flamenco hotbed, Ireland) are adroit, imaginative guitarists, while Solar Sides fuse modern dance music and flamenco in a very subtle fashion. The disc is worthy playing for Diego Carrasco's "Asereje" (aka "The Ketchup Song") alone. Gloriously infectious, it's also far from the global pop hit of the same name. This is a most welcome disc, a way in to what's happening in flamenco, and how it's reaching out to the world.

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