Martires Del Compas | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Martires Del Compas


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Martires del Compas, from Seville, Spain, have been celebrated at home for the way they mix non-Iberian styles into their version of flamenco, but there's no chance you'll confuse them with the Gipsy Kings. On their U.S. debut, Mordiendo el duende (Detour), they sound more inspired by Madrid nuevo flamenco heavies Pata Negra. Stripped-down songs like "Soleares del tetabri" and "Tu hielo" emphasize the ragged, intensely soulful voice of Chico Ocana, the rapid-fire acoustic guitars of Manuel Soto and Julio Revilla, and those inescapable staccato handclaps. The album does occasionally suffer from too much multi-culti ambition--as on "Por el centro," a stab at Andalusian funk that would make James Brown choke on his paella--but even on the rock-tinged "Oye el libro," which features slick Santana-esque electric guitar solos, or "Maltratada," which is suffused with breezy rhythms borrowed from jazz, Ocana's fiery singing keeps the group's sound consistent. Opportunities to hear contemporary flamenco groups are few and far between; we're lucky to get three shots at this one. Tuesday, August 21, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. Wednesday, August 22, 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia; 773-277-4433. Thursday, August 23, 9:30 PM, Nevin's Live, 1450 Sherman, Evanston; 847-869-0450.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Enriqu Carrazoni.

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