Country : Spain Label : Universal Music Spain Genres and styles : Electronic / Flamenco Year : 2023

Rocío Márquez & Bronquio – Tercer Cielo

· by Michel Labrecque

The Third Heaven: this is the title of this album, in Spanish. And it bears its name very well.

It starts with synthesizers. After 15 seconds comes the heavenly flamenco voice of the singer Rocío Márquez. And here we go for an amazing electro flamenco journey for 58 minutes of happiness.

Rocío Márquez is an Andalusian singer who has won awards for her flamenco performances. Bronquio is an electronic DJ and producer. This mixture could have been catastrophic and hyper kitsch but… Here, Bronquio’s machines and Rocio Marquez’s voice are engaged in an exciting and original dialogue. Who said that machines could not express emotion?

Flamenco itself is a mixture of Christian, Jewish and Arab Andalusian culture. Four decades ago, the “nuevo flamenco” appeared, with Camarón and Paco De Lucía, who aimed to infuse flamenco with jazz and rock. More recently, there was Rosalia and her 2018 album El Mal Querer. And the rapper C Tagana and El Madrileno in 2022.

Rocío Márquez knows how to sing flamenco puro perfectly, but she has long been tempted to experiment. Her 2017 album, Firmamento, was already rife with jazz experimentation. With Tercer Cielo, she ventures into electronic territory.

Let’s be clear: this is flamenco singing: buleria, garrotin, seguirya, but totally transformed by the electronic dressing. Bronquio’s work is very subtle, sometimes percussive, sometimes melodic. There are one or two effects a little kitsch, like autotune on the piece Agua. But after ten seconds, we forgot, because the following find is fabulous. The DJ makes a work of goldsmith there, who pushes the flamenco towards the future, without however never betraying it.

This journey of seventeen pieces ends in apotheosis with the almost dancing “El Corte Mas Limpio” followed by the very soft, almost a capella, “Marca”.

An album with a lot of soul and audacity. Spain continues to amaze us.

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