Various Artists

Rough Guide to the Music of Spain

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Subtitled "Infectious Beats From the Spanish Streets," this is a collection of newer, often younger artists, mostly acoustic performers, who are all of, and frequently working in, the traditional and regional styles of Spain. There's plenty of Andalusian influence here, right from Javier Ruibál's opening track into Javier Paxarino's Arabic-inflected "Amanecer el la Sabika," but that's hardly all. Galicia is represented by Anubía, while the wonderful Hiru Truku and "Neska Soldadua" raise the Basque flag. In between there's a very fair selection of what's going on in Spain, whether it's the flamenco of Diego Carrasco or the political Catalan song of María del Mar Bonet. At its heart, as the compilers note, a lot of this might be classified as pop music (though not in the more American sense), but still very rooted. Notably, some experimental performers, such as Mercedes Peon and those working in a straight folk form (like Susana Seivane), aren't here, but that's fine; this gives exposure to many lesser-known talents, all of whom deserve it. A strong look at a part of Spain that hasn't received enough international sun -- yet.

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