Ojos de Brujo ‘Corriente Vital’ (Warner Spain) 3/5

Released to tie in with the tenth anniversary of the Catalan group and rumoured to be their last recording together while individual members pursue solo careers, this compilation enables the listener to go back in time to the emergence of rumba flamenco, which Ojos de Brujo have been a the forefront of pioneering, and which has been an integral part of the music scene in Barcelona. Among the favourites, ‘Sultanas de merkaillo’ with its instantly catchy hooks stands out and the fusion of flamenco guitar and hip-hop beats works extremely well. Similarly a flamenco take on Bob Marley’s ‘get up, stand up’ with Spanish lyrics included and lovely harmonies is a winner of a song and Bob and Pete Tosh would surely have appreciated this tribute. Two new songs include the title track produced by Nitin Sawhney with subtle beats and hip-hop influences. A one-off gig at the Barbican in mid-April may possibly be the last time in a while that UK audiences have the opportunity to see Ojos de Brujo live, which would be a great pity since their infectious enthusiasm is simply made for a live context.

Tim Stenhouse