SGAE Releases its Annual Compendium of Spanish Roots Music

José Menese
José Menese
Various Artists

SGAE es: Raíces, Alternativo, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Urban – six album boxed set (Iberautor/SGAE, 2006)

Every year, the Fundación Autor and SGAE release a boxed set with some of the most interesting Spanish or Spain-produced music. The 2006 edition recently came out and, as always, it is jam-packed with terrific music. The great thing about the collection is that it includes booking agent information for many of the artists.

For the readers of World Music Central, the Raíces (Roots) CD is the most interesting one. The CD begins with a song by the legendary Flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla. He is no longer around, but new recordings, videos and other documents keep surfacing, maintaining his popular flame alive.

Flamenco is well represented in Raíces. in addition to Camarón, there is a song by
José Menese, who combines traditional Flamenco with strings on “Aquí la envidia y mentira.” In addition, guitar wizard
Vicente Amigo presents Flamenco tangos from his latest recording,
Un Momento En El Sonido

Spanish song, a popular and highly commercial genre is represented by two famous singers, Lolita and María Jiménez. Lolita is the daughter of Spain’s most charismatic figures, the late Lola Flores.

Things get edgy with El Bicho, a Madrid-based Flamenco hybrid band. The group combines Flamenco with rock and dance elements. More rootsy than the better known Ojos de Brujo, El Bicho is one of the most exciting bands to watch form
Spain. The band has two albums: El Bicho and El Bicho 2.

Another innovative band is Son de la Frontera. The Andalusian musicians play flamenco, introducing ground-breaking elements such as the tres guitar. The group plays “Tangos de mi novia”, from their debut CD, Son de la Frontera.

Vanesa Martín uses Flamenco rumba rhythms combined with pop.

Another fabulous discovery is Concha Buika, an Afro-Spanish singer who treats the listener to a wonderful cocktail of sounds. Gifted with a prodigious voice, she mixes Flamenco rumba, Spanish song, R&B and even Congolese rumba. Her debut album is Buika.

Multi-instrumentalist Mercedes Peón represents the cutting-edge sounds of Galicia in northwestern Spain. She uses female choruses and tambourines, which are the foundation of the traditional music in Galicia practiced by women. On top, she adds bagpipes, world percussion, dance beats and electronics. she has several recordings available, including Isue and Ajrú.

The female singers of Faltriqueira take Galician music to new territories, using complex harmonies and creative arrangements.

José Miguel Ramos and Andreas Prittwitz are two well known musicians in Madrid’s music scene. José Antonio is a timple (small Spanish guitar, related to the Portuguese cavaquinho) virtuoso from the Canary Islands. Andreas Prittwitz is a talented German saxophonist who fell in love with the Spanish capital and settled there years ago. Both musicians combine Spanish folk roots with jazz and
contemporary acoustic music.

Lesser known than Flamenco, Andalusia has other folk music forms. La Jambre has transformed ancient folk songs into lively pieces, adding rock, world percussion, Balkan and other elements.

One of the most eclectic musicians in Spain is Luis Delgado. He has played progressive rock, Medieval music, electronica and world music. His recent work focuses on the music from Moorish Spain and the Middle East.

Guitarist Toti Soler has been around for many years. In the 1970s he was well respected for his Flamenco rooted sounds. Although he was not a Flamenco guitarist, he was well respected by rock fans and guitar lovers. His current work has Catalan music influences.

Zezo Ribeiro is yet another transplant that has settled in the Spanish capital. The Brazilian guitarist has collaborated with fellow Brazilians and flamenco musicians. “O som do samba,” a collaboration with Vanessa Borhagian, digs into Ribeiro’s samba roots.

SGAE es Alternativo

The Alternativo CD includes alternative rockers and mestizo acts. The mestizo acts are known for combining Spanish rooted music with pop, rock, reggae, hip hop and other styles. Muchachito Bombo Infierno and La Kinky Beat are two of the better known featured groups in the category.

Witty Andalusian humor and Flamenco characterize Los Delinquentes, one of the best acts on the CD.

Cheb Balowski use Balkan, North African and dub sounds, while Brazilian Wagner Pa plays lounge music with Spanish and Brazilian roots. Meanwhile, Gecko Turner combine soul, African music, and Latin jazz with lounge sounds.

The Urban collection includes Cuban rapper
X Alfonso and the Jazz CD features some Latin jazz artists such as Michel Camilo.

The remaining CDs of the collection contain pop and rock artists, with little connection to world
music or roots music.