Martires del Compas emerged on the Spanish music scene at the beginning of the 1990s, some time after some of Seville's gypsy musicians had come to accept the idea of a meeting between flamenco and rock. To use the proper flamenco terms, compas means the specific rhythm for a type of song or palo. While Martires del Compas plays 37 different palos, they also derive their substance and modernity from the latest styles around.
Chico Ocana maintains that although he may not be a gypsy by blood, he has a gypsy soul. He and fellow Martires del Compas members, Julio Revilla, Alberto Alvarez, Manuel Soto and Jesus Diaz, found that their first album, Flamenco Billy, became a manifesto for this hybridization of styles. Their third album, Al Compas de la Llaga Dolorida, went even further with its mix of rock, jazz, African and Afro-Cuban sounds. Martires del Compas now occupies a specific position in contemporary Iberian music, a position which is unassailable as far as orthodox flamenco is concerned.