I can remember having a conversation with Moonboots, just after he`d played me something from “The City” LP. He said that he and Jolyon agreed that it was Vangelis that determined the Balearic men from the boys.
I`d have to disagree. Flamenco would be my call.
From the Gipsy Kings` “Bamboleo” all those years ago, transporting an oik from South London to foreign climes he`d never witnessed, to El Chocolate, Ketama, Paco De Lucia, and more recently Vicente Amigo and Roberto Riva, courtesy of dear friend Leo Mas, Flamenco is a music so steeped in tradition and struggle that it always stirs a strange feeling of déjà vu.
As I listen I can clearly see past lives spent in white washed Old Towns, raised passions, altercations over money, over love. Wise elders with eyes of sorrow contrast with quick burning fires extinguished before their time. The flash of a stiletto, the poetry of Lorca. Retired mobsters hiding, reflecting, waiting for the hit. Such is Flamenco`s storytelling power.
It is a thing of history. The cry of the Gitano passed down through generations and shared by every family of the Roma. It is a roots music.
Less Is Enough (LIE) Radio is a Spanish on-line project making available performances and recordings from those modern artists keeping Flamenco alive. A website is on the way, but until then there is a Mixcloud page with sets like this one from Skinnybone Love from Sevilla.