Preview: Ojos De Brujo, Roundhouse, London

The castanet takes on the turntable
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The Independent Culture

The anarchist musical collective Ojos de Brujo (ODB), a 10-piece from Barcelona, refer to their music as "flamenkillo" – it is flamenco mixed with elements of hip-hop, including scratching/ turntablism and rap, as well as funk, salsa, reggae, and even Indian music.

The merry band of young Spanish musicians – who rate artistic freedom above everything else and set up their own record label in 2001, La Fabrica de Colores, for their second album, Bari – perform live this week at the Roundhouse, London. They are joined by special guest Faada Freddy from the Senegalese hip-hop collective Daara J.

Among the ODB members are Marina Abad (lead vocals), the only Gypsy in the band, Ramon Gimenez (flamenco guitar), Xavi Turrull (cajon, tabla, congas), DJ Panko (scratching), and a flamenco dancer, Susi Medina. They will perform Techari Live, a just-released CD of new arrangements of songs from their third album, Techari. The original Techari included a guest appearance from Nitin Sawhney, who has returned the honour by collaborating with them on two tracks for his album Philtre.

"To have our own record album has meant that we can release our music in countries such as South America," says ODB singer and percussionist Maxwell Wright, 28. "This would not have happened otherwise because no record label would have invested on such a small scale."

Each song has its own drawing. "The second album sleeve was designed by the famous graffiti artist from Granada, El Nino de Las Pinturas," Wright says.

ODB performed at this summer's Big Chill Festival and Loveboxx Weekender. "It is important for us to create a party atmosphere but also to connect to people. Usually we have a VJ [video jockey] with visual messages on a screen for those who don't understand Spanish. We cover unjust issues, such as the poor treatment of immigrants – issues that are worth singing about because we feel it rather than because we want to wave a banner."

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