La Calle Perdía is the title of this singer’s latest work,
a young man who won the ‘Giraldillo’ in Seville’s Bienal
of 2002 and who has also been honored with the prizes “Andalucía
Joven de 2002”, “Flamenco Activo de Úbeda” and
“Venencia Flamenca” from the Festival de la Mistela de los
Palacios, among others. Despite his youth he has received many distinctions
as a result of his noteworthy output starting from the age of ten when
he won the children’s contest for fandangos de Huelva at La Orden
Manuel Martín Martín says that “No one even remotely
in the know is unaware that Arcángel is noteworthy for the passion
of his approach, the eagerness with which he displays his unbridled expression
and the authenticity he bears so proudly as a fundamental value of his
musical discourse (…)”. True enough, this young man squeezes passion
from his vocal chords in the same proportion he transmits it, setting
off an almost hypnotic lethargy with his penetrating voice, his sweet
modulations worthy of comparison with the warbling of imaginary birds
in possession of the most beautiful song. And now Arcángel presents
us with “La calle perdía, ‘the forgotten street’,
for those who wish to lose themselves in it”, as he himself said
last Tuesday March 16th at one o’clock midday at the presentation
of his record at the Centro Cultural El Monte in Sevilla.
He settles into each line with integrity and
self-assurance, delving into each whim of his soul.
This is the street, the street in Alosno where he spent his childhood
and where he gathers the best memories of his father to whom he dedicates
the whole record. He expressed thanks to everyone who worked on the album
over a period of seven months and said he felt secure and protected in
his second home at the Seville record company that had faith in him and
his inseparable guitarist Juan Carlos Romero with whom he composed most
of the songs. Isidro Muñoz, Antonio Rodríguez and José
Luis Ortiz Nuevo are also credited with some verses.
After the opening tangos, guajiras: “Si nos diera por pensar”.
He revels in this style making full use of his faculties with exquisite
taste in the flourishes that unfold step by step and wander freely through
the scales, despite this already being a fussy cante rich in embellishments.
Arcángel, who doesn’t go so far as to directly label it guajira,
‘invents’ a very personal and fresh sound that along with
songs like the rumba “Reconozco la verdad”, and one or two
others, make up that portion of the record that satisfies the needs of
contemporary flamenco, youthful and quality-conscious.
Bulerías is not lacking, conceived without any doubt from a different
form than we are accustomed to hearing on recent recordings of derivative
flamenco, or whatever you want to call it so as not to be misinterpreted
by studious types, although it might be an inappropriate comment given
the festive and heterogeneous nature of this form which takes so easily
to flamenco. The thing is, there’s bulerías, and bulerías.
“Abre la ventana” and “Buscando en la memoria”
form the carefully-constructed work Arcángel manages with his honey-toned
voice, and the good compositional taste of Antonio Rodríguez and
Juan Carlos Romero.
An almost hipnotic lethargy with his
penetrating voice and sweet modulations
He dedicates Gayarrito’s malagueña to Morente, and in his
superb interpretation of the soleá “Los aires llevan mentiras”
he recalls styles of la Andonda. Along with the Triana toná titled
“A Capela” it might be the best thing on the record, not to
mention the fandangos that provide the title: “La calle perdía”.
“Se meneaban cuando yo paso…”, “No te metas con mi
pare…” y “Menrira llevan los aires”, three famous
verses are all he needs to demonstrate his skill with soleares. Toná:
great ability and dramatic touches contained in his delivery reveal how
he settles into each line with integrity and self-assurance, delving into
each whim of his soul.
The eleventh cante is “Canto de los desengaños” and
it’s the perfect icing on the three quarters of an hour that feels
like so much less, and where we meandered through that forgotten street,
the “Calle perdía”.