Local Wire

Son de la Frontera

Think of the music played by Spain's Son de la Frontera as pure acoustic music that does not rely on any studio gimmicks. The five-piece group from Morón de la Frontera has a sound marked by the presence of the très (a three-stringed instrument commonly used in Cuban folk music) played by guitarist Raul Rodrigues, along with dancer Pepe Torres and the dramatic voice of singer Moi de Morón. One of the tracks that immediately stands out on this album is the mostly instrumental "Al Jardin de La Alegria" ("To the Garden of Happiness"), which begins with a sad, Portuguese fado-like feel, picking up rhythm as the song progresses. There's also "A Los Viejos Maestros" ("To the Old Masters"), which pays homage to the flamenco artists that came before them — mostly the legendary Diego del Gastor, from whom the group draws inspiration. It's a traditional tune that features the compelling vocals of Morón, the compas and the dance, and words that speak of the sufferings and persecutions that the Gypsies of Spain have endured — "Your people want to kill me," he sings. "Tell me how much is due to me, and I will pay." Cal is a disc intended for flamenco purists, but it can also be appreciated by newcomers to the genre who might have been attracted to it by the more pop-oriented efforts of fellow Spaniards Ojos de Brujo. Son de la Frontera has the unique ability to remain traditional without dwelling in the past. Music evolves, and they are clearly aware of that.
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Ernest Barteldes