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Radio Tarifa

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Since the extraordinary and unexpected success of the debut album 'Rumba Argelina', Radio Tarifa has evolved from a part-time studio band to a fully professional touring and recording group complete with flamenco dancer. Recorded and fine-tuned over the last two years the group's second CD 'Temporal' has already generated rave reviews in Spain where the album has sold more than 50,000 units.

With Mediterranean instruments like the oud, derbuka and ney, Radio Tarifa collapses recognizably Arabic sounds with flamenco rhythms, playing with a flair reminiscent of a traditional Balkan wedding band. (The Spanish ensemble also tackles a 16th-century Sephardic tune and a 12th-century French procession.) Central to Radio Tarifa's charm is the rough-edged voice of Benjamin Escoriza, whose throaty elocution makes his Spanish a terrific blur of clarity and wavering timbre. Aside from the Mediterranean percussion--supplied mainly by the differently-pitched hand drums--Radio Tarifa also dots its grooves with Afro-Cuban inflected bongos and an electric bass, making this global concatenation particularly delightful. --Andrew Bartlett

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