Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

KETAMA

Gypsy rock group from Madrid, on the cutting edge of flamenco fusion, named after a Moroccan village much loved for its hashish. Their early influences were more Latin- American, less blues-oriented, than rivals Pata Negra. Formed by members of two old flamenco families, the Sorderas of JÚrez (lead vocalist JosÚ Soto) and the Habichuelas of Granada (guitarist Juan Carmona and percussionist/vocalist Antonio Carmona, later joined by guitarist JosÚ Miguel Carmona). Their first album Ketama '85 also featured the magnificent Pepe Habichuela on guitar (b '44; his album A Mandeli '83 is recommended). La pipa de kif '87 made no attempt to hide their fondness for Morocco; after Vente pa Madrid '88 came Songhai '89, the first of two collaborations with the Malian kora player Toumani DiabatÚ and the English bassist Danny Thompson, arguably the artistic highlight of the output to date, though Songhai 2 '94 is an album of equal adventure, rhythmic variety and often beauty (as on 'Pozo del deseo'). Other albums incl. the cheerful Y es que me han kambiado los tempios '90 (with Pata Negra's Raimundo Amador on electric guitar and a general liking for titles incl. the un-Spanish letter 'k'), Pa gente con alma and Canciones hondas '91, El arte de lo invisible '93.