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Daniel ‘El mono loco’ Carbonell Heras released a soloproject called ‘Jambito Loco’ in 1996 before he founded the group Macaco in 1997 in Barcelona. Together with Ojos de Brujo the band is considered one of the founders of the Musica Mestiza movement. In the slipstream of the 1998 Olympic games the movement got a push and in 1999 Macaco released their debut ‘El Mono en el Ojo del Tigre’ (The monkey in the eye of the tiger. On it the band ties the tradition of the Catalan and Roman music with elements of rock, funk, hiphop and reggae. Musicians on the album were Joan Garriga (from Dusminguet), Amparo Sánchez (from Amparanoia), Mucho Mu (from 7Notas 7Colores), and Carlos Juanlu (from Ojos de Brujo). Although with some success in their homecountry Carbonell got international attention with a remix for David Byrne called ‘Delaveraveraboom’. The follow up album ‘Rumbo Submarine’(2001) was dedicated to Narcís Monturiol. This Spanish idealist wrote the book ‘El arte de navegar por debajo del agua’ in 1869 displaying the idea of a submersible vessel. Macaco used the allegory that the door was open to the Mediterranean world to enter the international stage. Contributions this time came from the Senegalese Touré Kunda, Brazilian Lenine, the Italian trompetplayer Roy Paci (Mau Mau).

The double album ‘Entre Raices y Antenas’ (Between Roots and antennas) of 2004 again was a concept album connecting the old (the root) with the modern (the antenna). On of the highlights is a duet with Dutch singer Lilian Vere from Zuco 103. Although well made the album wasn’t the success the band expected. The 2006 ‘Ingravitto’ (2006) saw a return to the more basic music with the band manoeuvring between Bob Marley and Gato Perez. The track ‘Mama Tierra’ was an environmental outcry. After a tiresome tourscheme Macaco finally had the time to start recording again in 2008 resulting in the 2009 album ‘Port Present'. In 2010 he records a duet album with artists like Bebe, Michael Franti, Estopa and Jorge Drexel. In 2012 he incorporates Latin elements for ' El murmullo del fuego'. In the same year he starts a campaign to raise awareness in the fight against childhood cancer for the "Hospital Sant Joan de Deu". In 2014 he writes the soundtrack for the animated movie Mortadelo y Filemón contra Jimmy el "Cachondo".

On the web:

- Macaco's website: http://www.macaco.es

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Jan Delay (Germany)

Jovanotti (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: Although constantly referring to Macaco as a band the fact is that Dani is the sole driving force behind them so you might consider Macaco more a solo artist then a full blown band. I assume that Dani has such a focussed idea where he wants to go musically that a band would only slow him down. And that idea is mixing the classical Spanish music with modern elements. His music is filled with reggae and urban music blended with the flamenco. Together with Ojos de Brujo one of the most interesting musical export products from Spain. .

Recommended albums:

? - El Mono en el Ojo del Tigre - 1998

♪♪♪½ - Rumbo Submarino - 2002

♪♪♪♪ - Entre Raíces y Antenas - 2004

♪♪♪ - Ingravitto - 2006

♪♪♪ - Puerto Presente - 2009

- El Vecindario - 2010

♪♪♪ - El murmullo del fuego - 2012

♪♪♪- Historias tattooadas - 2016

♪♪♪♪♪= outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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