Hip Flamenco Billy

Mártires del Compás ~ No Papeles - No Papers
Mártires del Compás

Sin Papeles (World Village)

Mártires del Compás
represents the hip contemporary urban sound of

, the capital of Andalucía (southern Spain). The Martyrs of the
Rhythm combine edgy Gypsy rumba, smokin’ rock, the new sounds of hip hop, and
electric flamenco. The rumba from

is not as slick as the overproduced Catalan rumba. Instead, the

rumba has a rootsier sound, with a lot of jamming and great
interaction between vocals, palmas (handclapping) and guitars. The rock element in

Mártires del Compás
reminds me of the golden era of flamenco rock in the mid
1970s. That was the time when Andalusian innovators like Triana, Iman, Gualberto
and Medina Azahara combined electric flamenco with progressive rock.

Leading the group are the unmistakable gut-wrenching raspy vocals of Chico Ocaña,
who uses flamenco vocal techniques. His lyrics ignore political correctness and
encourage social activism. Ocaña criticizes the environmental policies that
allowed the Prestige oil spill catastrophe that took place in Galicia
(northwestern Spain) in 2002. Ocaña also defends the rights of undocumented
African immigrants (the title of the album, Sin Papeles, no Papers, is a
reference to immigration) who desperately try to cross the Strait of Gibraltar
to get the “riches” of Europe. As Chico Ocaña says in the liner notes: “The
only weapons of mass destruction that we will never find, are those of hunger
and injustice

Mártires del Compás
will be touring North America. For more information,
click on

Mártires del Compás Tours North America

Recordings available: No Papers, Mordiendo El Duende, Flamenco Billy, Sinpapeles Es Conpapeles Son, Prohibido Da El Cante

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.