Manuel Agujetas
Agujetas, Cantaor

cd cover:Agujetas Flamenco singer Agujetas doesn't sing as much as he roars, bellows, screams and moans. His piercing cries are part anger, part pain; Agujetas startles. His singing is rough, simple and uncivilized. That's both the appeal and the detriment on this soundtrack from a documentary film made by Dominique Abel. Five of the six tracks were recorded at Agujetas' home. The longest cut, "Martinete", an a cappella piece, appears to have been recorded as Agujetas was beating a piece of metal (perhaps a horseshoe although the liner notes do not mention this). Agujetas sings in the cante jondo (deep singing) style, considered to be the very root of flamenco. Compared to the lighter, more commercial flamenco styles which grew up in the late 1960s, Agujetas is a primitive. He's like an old Delta bluesman whose range may be limited but whose powerful voice forces you to stop and pay attention. -Aaron Howard

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