The Barcelona sound – mestiza – is a cross-cultural musical fusion whose heartland is the immigrant melting-pot of the Raval. The local postcode – 08001 – lends a name to the sound’s hippest flagbearers, while also typically “Raval” is the collective called Cheb Balowski, an Algerian-Catalan fusion band. The biggest star on the scene is the Parisian-born, Barcelona-resident Manu Chao, whose infectious, multi-million-selling album Clandestino (1998) kick-started the whole genre. He’s widely known abroad, and influenced many Barcelona bands, including the world music festival favourites Ojos de Brujo (Eyes of the Wizard), who present a fusion reinvention of flamenco and Catalan rumba. Other hot sounds come from the Latin American dub and reggae band GoLem System, and the fusion-freestyle merchants LA Kinky Beat.

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