Canteca de Macao: Spain's Conscious Flamenco-Fusion Group Releases Powerful Album
Canteca de Macao, a nine-piece band from Madrid rocks out on their latest album, "Nunca es Tarde" ("It's Never too Late"). The Spanish group has a powerful and energetic sound that mixes Flamenco, Spanish Rock, Salsa, Cumbia, Ska, Reggae and Jazz, while simultaneously incorporating profound messages into the music. For those who understand Spanish, the lyrics undoubtedly pull at strong human emotions while also providing a sense of optimism and push for change. However, the unique blend of musical genres, especially the contrasting Latin rhythms, are not the only fascinating aspects of Canteca. In fact, prior to even recording an album, Canteca de Macao funded its musical project through "crowdfunding." Canteca utilized Lanzanos.com, a funding platform similar to Kickstarter.com in order to fund its musical endeavors. As such, various projects including those of musical or artistsic genres can basically present their projects to the public in order to gain mass financial support.
Canteca's fourth album starts with the title track, which translates to "It's never too late to be sincere, It's never too late to start again." Immediately, one cannot deny the important addition of trumpet player Enrique Rodríguez Paredes, who stands out considerably from the beginning of this cumbia. Next, "Lo Mas Bello" ("The Most Beautiful") blends flamenco and salsa, a lively track that showcases the trumpet, percussion, and guitar heavily. The lyrics urge for a change with words such as "It is the time for ideas, to reinvent the present, to push with more force and stop looking back." The song closes with, "In the end it is something more profound: I dedicate myself to the most beautiful in the world."
If it is not clear after a couple of songs, the album transcends boundaries be it musically, culturally, lyrically or generationally. What is most memorable about Canteca is its keen ability to fuse various genres of music into an album, and even within a single song. For instance, "Libre" ("Free") begins with Spanish guitar riffs, but gradually transitions into a Salsa, with a brief jazzy instrumental break, and back to salsa again.
However, reggae lovers were not forgotten as "Tu Voz" ("Your Voice") offers unmistakable reggae rhythms with an even deeper socially conscious message. The track highlights the contributions of the talented trumpet player and percussion sections, balancing nicely with the Gwen Stefani-like vocals from lead singer Anita Kuruba. The track sheds light on the generational shift that is occuring and speaks of values as being hidden. "Brighten our path with your voice, illuminate the consciousness that comes from the heart...our goals are so confused, so difficult to reach and with such few tools."
The sensual track "Desnúdame" or loosely translated as the Spanish command for "Undress Me" also has reggae undertones and a sexiness that is tranquil and tasteful. The album closes with a medly of sounds including an impressive Andean-esque performance by flutist, Danilo Montoya. While at times Anita Kuruba's voice is reminiscent of Gwen Stefani, in songs like "Tierra" and the closing track "Chacarera," she sings with the vigor of a "gitano" or a gypsy, a style that compliments well with the flamenco elements of the group. The group's powerful musicianship and lyrics clearly appeal to international crowds, as reflected by the fan base that continues to provide mass support for the talented ensemble.
Canteca de Macao is currently touring in Spain and in the U.S.! Current Tour dates are listed below with more dates to come:
September 15 Madison World Music Festival September 20 NMSU Cultural Series September 21 ¡Globalquerque! September 22 Lotus Festival September 23 and 24 Chicago World Music Festival
Free Downloads, information, tour dates, and more available below: