Wandering, from town to town, went the blind of that time. They brought couplets and verses that they displayed before an audience in need of gruesome stories; a very healthy way to let out the terror that nests in the collective unconscious.
Crimes of passion, dismemberments and blood crimes were counted following the metric of romance. With the expansion of the printing press, the tradition was lost and the stories of those first sheets of string became more prosaic and turned into pages of events, but they maintained their essence in the gypsy songs of the seventies, when a generation grew up On the margins of the cities he began to count his duquelas to the rhythm of an electric rumba. Songs like The story of Juan Castillo, performed by Los Chichos, give a good account of this.
A few days ago an album was presented in Madrid that compiles the most significant songs of such a scoundrel style as urban rumba. bears by title Gypsy Power and it comes from David ‘El Indio’, the Vetusta Morla drummer, who has been in charge of directing it for Sony Music. This is the definitive compilation of a genre that has been expanding its audience in recent years thanks to the revival of the so-called quinqui cinema.
As it could not be less, Los Chichos is followed by Las Grecas, Los Chorbos, Lole y Manuel, Amina, El Luis and all those groups and soloists who are part of the suburban rumba, from when the bumper cars and the Winston pack on the sleeve of the shirt. The record closes with the most beautiful love song written for quinqui cinema: I stay with youthe gypsy ballad of Los Chunguitos and central theme of the film hurry up by Carlos Saura.
The booklet that is included in the disc has been carried out by José Manuel Gómez Gufi and is a very precise map that serves to locate each song. The photo illustrating the cover is from the archive of Jacques Léonard –el payo Chac-, a French photographer who joined the gypsies of Somorrostro, marrying Rosario Amaya and becoming one more of that barracks neighborhood. The payo Chac archive is considerable. Collect snapshots of a way of life that comes to be a reading of love and freedom. The work of this photographer has been disseminated little or nothing, but in his portraits we can find the influence of Ansel Adams and Cartier-Bresson.
Now let’s go back to the sheets of string, to the stories of blood and a knife, to the achares and the duquelas, to the scoundrel rumba that mixed the rhythms of blackness with those of the gitanería to become mud and uralita, open fields and a bonfire where, During the winters, the barefoot children of those times when shacks were planted at night just like moonflowers would come closer. Each song has a story, each voice tells a chronicle, an event or a hoax that is exaggerated to turn loss into success.
Many of the names that appear in this compilation knew glory, the roller coaster that goes up and down around the lights of the fair showbiz Iberian, shabby and rude as befits a system that makes glitter stars to then trample on them, turning the artist into a passing being, a suffering loser capable of putting down roots in the depths of the mud.