Con Otro Aire (Sony BMG, 2008)
Chambao’s leader, María del Mar Rodríguez Camero (better known as La Mari), has been in the news lately. She won an ASCAP award for a duet with Ricky Martin. Now her latest CD, Con Otro Aire, is finally available in North America. Chambao has attracted the attentions of thousands of world music fans because of La Mari’s mesmerizing voice, but that’s not la Mari’s only skill. She writes her own songs and most of the material on Con Otro Aire was penned by La Mari. The beautiful lyrics are highly poetic and pay tribute to the sea, the plight of the boat people (immigrants trying to reach Spanish shores) and environmental issues.
Chambao’s music has been labeled as Flamenco chill out. The band’s creative Flamenco-rooted style is sometimes combined with dreamy keyboards and hypnotic processed vocals. On Con Otro Aire, however, the innovation is the use of global beats and instruments, including North African vocals and ud.
Chambao is climbing fast to the top of the list of favorite artists of 2008.