Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 84: Liberdade Espacial (Brazil)


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I first dug in to Latin American bands back on Vol43:'Transfusión de Luz'. [Editor's note: there have now been four Latin rock volumes: 84 (Brazil), 89 (Mexico), 104 (Peru) and 43 (general)] That one ended up using mostly Argentinian bands, a country that certainly had more than it's fair share of heavies! This new volume is the result of my searches for Brazilian bands, and it's been a lot of fun doing it. I had a few left over from 43, and it was TDATS reader Diego de Almeida who recently encouraged me to finish it by sending a few more band names. What I've found is that there were not a lot of Brazilians at any time in the 70s that set out to make the heavier kind of stuff I usually look for. The country did apparently have more than it's fair share of beat & mersey-sound copy cats in the 60s, and lots of great psychedelic singles were produced, and the prevailing sounds of the 70s were the Tropicália and MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) acts rather than anglo/euro/US influenced rock and prog.

I guess you could say that Brazil's Tropicália scene was comparable to Germany's 'Krautrock', being that it was intertwined with the emergent avant-garde counterculture of the young generation. It reminds me of Norway's 'Trønderrock' (see Vol81) and Sweden's 'Progg' (see Vol75) movements, with it's frequent use of traditional and folk music. It also faced Brazil's socio-political turmoil and like Franco's Spain, was up against a dictatorship's attempts at censorship. Two of it's leaders, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, were arrested by Brazil's military regime and forced into exile in London. According to RYM, the record 'Tropicália ou Panis et Circencis' represented an important coming-together of musicians in 1968 that helped establish the scene.

Tracks:

01. Naná Vasconcelos - No Norte do Polo Sul (1972)
       from album 'africadeus-n.angelo-novelli'
02. O Terço - Deus (1972)
       from 2nd album 'o terço'
03. Casa das Máquinas - Liberdade Espacial (1975)
       from album 'lar de maravilhas'
04. Kris Kringle - Sarabande (1971)
       from album 'sodom'
05. Som Imaginário - Ué (1971)
       from 2nd album 'som imaginário'
06. O Bando - ...É assim falava Mefistófeles (1969)
       from album 'o bando'
07. A Bolha - Sem Nada (1971)
       single
08. Beatniks - Alligator Hat (1968)
       single
09. Perfume Azul do Sol - 20000 Raios de Sol (1974)
       from album 'nascimento'
10. Rock da Mortalha - Satânico Estripador (1976)
       live bootleg
11. Loyce e Os Gnomes - Que é Isso? (1969)
       single
12. Novos Baianos - Barra Lúcifer (1976)
       from album 'caia na estrada e perigas ver'
13. Som Nosso de Cada Dia - Bicho do Mato (1975)
       from album 'snegs'
14. Blow Up - Tá Cozendo o Tempo (1971)
       from 2nd album 'blow up'
15. Módulo 1000 - Salve-se Quem Puder (1970)
       from album 'não fale com paredes'
16. Joelho de Porco - Aeroporto de Congonhas (1976)
       from album 'são paulo - 1554 / hoje'
17. O Peso - Eu Não Sei de Nada (1975)
       from album 'em busca do tempo perdido'
18. Rita Lee & Tutti Frutti - ...Tem uma Cidade (1974)
       from album 'atrás do porto tem uma cidade'

Essential References 

Naná Vasconcelos
As I often like to do, I have book-ended this collection with a couple of novelties. Track one, 'No Norte do Polo Sul' (1972), sets the mood with some traditional Brazilian sounds from a percussionist called Naná Vasconcelos who was born in Pernambuco. It also includes the guitar skills of Nelson Angelo. Naná spent a lot of time in New York where he worked with many names including Brian Eno. He specialised in the traditional Brazilian berimbau and he has been frequently honoured for his work; named as Percussionist Of The Year by Down Beat jazz magazine many times.

Rio de Janeiro's O Terço (trans:'The Rosery') formed in 1968 and became one of the first Brazilian progressive rock groups. By their second album, the record of theirs which is most interesting to to me, they were veering from folk to heavier sounds and the track I used, 'Deus', is a great piece of doomy psych with a mellon collie atmosphere. Flavio Venturini (keyboards, vocals) and Sergio Magrão (bass, vocals) left in 1976 and joined '14 Bis', who I checked out but was not so impressed by.

O Terço
Going off on a bit of a tangent here, there were actually two 70s Brazilian bands called '14 Bis'. The other was an apparently unrelated band that only recorded one single, a few years before the formation of the O Terço spin-off. The name seems to have been taken from the name of an early bi-plane invented by Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, which you can read about here.

Lar de Maravilha
São Paulo's Casa das Máquinas was started by Luiz Franco Thomaz, aka 'Netinho' of the 60s band Os Incríveis, the act that also contributed a member to Som Nosso de Cada Dia (coming up soon). They made a few hard-ish tracks like this comp's namesake, 'Liberdade Espacial' which has a nice'n groovy riff. Over-all they were not a particularly heavy or consistent band, and they tended to change their sound over their three albums with almost every song. I found the second album to be the most interesting of their three, and it's where we find our track, which for them, is an unusually straight-forward rocker. The rest of 'Lar de Maravilhas' is quite experimental and atmospheric, swathed in moog. It is regarded as a classic originator in Brazilian prog, thought it is not doing anything new for 1975, it's one of the better examples from the country.

The Kris Kringle LP 'Sodom' has some of the earliest examples of hard rock from the country. It was apparently recorded by a Sao Paulo band that was originally called Memphis, which consisted of José Eduardo França Pontes (aka Dudu França or Eduardo França), Marco Antonio F. "Nescau" Cardoso (bass), Cláudio Callia keyboardist), Alberto Niccoli Jr. (drums) and Juvir M. "Xilo" Moretti (guitar). França seems to have been involved in a lot of music and he has his own wiki page here, which says that Memphis also recorded under the names ‘Joe Bridges’, ‘Beach Band‘ and ‘Baby Joe’, so they could be seen as something of an exploitation band.

Dudu França 
The track I used here, 'Sarabande' (a dance that uses a specific type of rhythm), is one of about four heavy cuts from the Kris Kringle record, another good one being 'What You Want'. Yet another name Memphis played under was 'The Clocks', who's 1973 s/t album is not as exciting as Kris Kringle. It's better-produced, but mainly predictable, pedestrian pop and rock'n roll. The final cut 'Rock and roll' (Velvet Underground cover) is quite good, with some harder moments.

Som Imaginário
Rio de Janeiro's Som Imaginário (Translation: 'Imaginary Sound') achieved good success in Brazil and made three varied and musically excellent albums between 1970 and 1973. They originally got together as the backing band for MPB star Milton Nascimento, and a particular show he put on called "Milton Nascimento, ah, e o Som Imaginário" which is where they took their name from afterwards. Milton was a singer/song writer who is still making music now. They consisted of Wagner Tiso (keyboards), Zé Rodrix (organ/percussion/vocals, flute), Robertinho Silva (drums), Tavito (12-string guitar), Luís Alves (bass), Laudir de Oliveira (percussion), Toninho Horta (guitar) and Nivaldo Ornelas (saxophone). I have used a track called 'Ué' (trans:'Huh') from their second album, 1971's self-titled, not to be mistaken for their 1970 debut, which was confusingly also self-titled. I love the way it starts out in a joyous, celebratory manner which is juxtaposed by the grinding fuzzy riffage that it ends in, brilliant.

Gal Costa
According to AllBrazilMusic they participated in a 1971 short film called 'Nova Estrela' (trans:'New Star') which also included Gal Costa, a famous Salvador pop star who's music crossed over into Tropicália, and on tracks like 'Cultura e Civilizacao', into psychedelia. Thanks to TDATS reader Thalita Santos, firstly for sending me some bands to check out, also for helping me out with some of the translations for this article, and for sending me a link to André José Adler; the director's blog that has a long account in Portuguese regarding Nova Estrala, and the early history of Som Imaginário. Here is an article from it, kindly translated by Thalita Santos, about his thinking behind the film: "One night I was watching a concert by Gal Costa at Theatre Opinião. She was accompanied by the Som Imaginário group, who worked a lot with Milton Nascimento, and was composed by awesome musicians: Wagner Tiso, who accompanied Milton Nascimento since the beginning of his career, drummer Robby Silva, bassist Luiz Alves, guitarist Frederyko (also vocalist), Tavito and his 12-string guitar, Naná Vasconcelos on the percussion, and Zé Rodrix on the organ and vocals.

After the concert I talked to Zé Rodrix, who I already knew since he was part of 'Momento Quatro', when he sang on the 'Fahrenheit 2000' tv show, hosted by Taiguara and Eliana Pitman, which I wrote some texts for, on TV Tupi . Moreover Zé was my confessed fan from the times I worked at 'Falção Negro' and he always enjoyed pronouncing my name in Hungarian.

Conversation goes, conversation comes! And then the short film I wanted hit me! A film with Som Imaginário!! In times when nobody even imagined that one day there would be video clips, it was a snap of an idea. There was a beautiful song by Wagner, with different climates, in a progression that went from the romantic to the mystic. A big trip. I traveled in it. I had a text from Fredera (Frederyko) that said it was 'time for the new star' and so on.

My idea was to start with images of the group accompanying Gal (she accepted to participate in a take, that was all I needed) and then explode in the progression of the song for free outdoor shots. In the beautiful places where I was going with Luiz Fernando and Luli. The Cinematography, of course, had to be Luiz’s. Everybody agreed with the idea, including Milton Nascimento. I listened to the song countless times, with the Fredera’s text, At one point it needed a beautiful woman, a magical figure to give it a 'Iemanjá’s mood', because there was going to be a lot of sea in the scenes. She would make the offer (which was neatly armed by my brother Jorge) would vanish into the sea itself. And it had to be a child who would be the proper expression of a new star. Easy, Tania Scher and her daughter Claudia who was 2 years old and had a magical sweetness.

And then the news! The Federal Censorship banned Fredera’s text. Subversive. Star must mean communist! My script had been thought up over the song and the text. What should I do? Well, let's go ahead anyway.

We had already filmed in black and white, 16 mm to be expanded and grainy, taken at Theatre Opinião(...) and we went to Filgueiras. Luli, who would later be acclaimed as a songwriter, was my direction assistant , taking care of the continuity of that visual trip.

Who had a girlfriend brought a girlfriend, who had a wife brougth a wife! A wonderful Astral!!! Lizzie Bravo, at the time married to Zé Rodrix, became pregnant with her daughter Marya in this trip. Tavito and Zé Rodrix began to have ideas to write 'Casa no Campo' in this trip. But the French woman appeared!

One of the locations was a small island which we found out and when we were ready to shoot, a French lady who was the owner of the island (we did not even know that it had an owner) appeared, saw a lot of bearded men (almost all of us were wearing facial hair ornaments), some girls enjoying a naturist bath and did not want we to shoot in her island. At first I tried to be gentle as if she was Madame Vincent from the G. Maugier book herself, used at the Alliance Française. It did not work. I asked her if she liked 'Travessia' from Milton Nascimento, something that she certainly knew from the TV festival – 'Look at him here with us!' The French woman did not take easier. I know I had just mistreated Mata Hari that threatened to call the DOPS(Department of Political and Social Order). I suggested she followed the example of Villegaignon in 1558 and returned to France. I remember that she took my picture to 'file' it but I gave her a lovely smile for the camera making a 'V' of peace with my hand.

Anyway, there were wonderful locations in Mangaratiba, including a beach where the seagulls flew over and landed on the guys from the group at the right time. It was a quiet operation to arm the camera away and take the guys by boat to the edge of the beach.

The last shot of the film was made in traveling (not easy to ride on the sand) and that was the end of the negative. We could not repeat it. But the material was great, and we were already combining with Egberto Gismonti to make a short film with him. It would be beautiful. But there was no MTV. Let alone Canal Brasil. 'A Nova Estrela' then had its debut to the public. It was an invited-only event at Cine Jóia, one of the smallest movie theatres that ever existed in Rio, (...) There was no law requirement for short films, and Brazilian exhibitors practically aired national productions only when required by law. Still, I signed the film and the INC (National Institute of Cinema) chose it to represent Brazil at the Berlin International Film Festival. Nothing happened, but the film made a nice trip back and forth to Europe!

The other international exhibition of the film was at Public Theatre’s cinema in New York, in the 80’s. I had an old 35mm copy and I was missing the film. It was a 'ultra prive' session... just me and Fabiano Canosa. Fabiano was the cinema programmer. Unfortunately the copy was scratched, with jumped frames and filled with oil. It could not be displayed.

Across the years, Lizzie Bravo always pushed me to get a copy of the short film. Once when we had lunch with Bituca in New York, he told me that he never got to see it. Gee, Milton Nascimento had to watch it! This was still in the 80's.

A couple of days after I arrived in Budapest last year, a surprise in the mail box! Paulo Mendonça sent me a DVD of 'A Velha Estrela' (The Old Star), discolored by the years, but bringing the evocation of an important era. Too bad the sound was distorted (Did it have to be the sound?). But I felt a very special happiness, and later I laughed a lot. I didn’t remember the reason of some things.

But then comes into scene - or should I say into Skype - Lizzie. She sent me the original Mp3 track… with Frederyko’s text. I synchronized on the computer and I finally remembered my film. I uploaded it on Youtube. Paulinho and Lizze were one of the first 1737 people who watched it before I blocked it for a while.

Why the blockage? Because finally, three and a half decades later, on Monday, March 12th, 2007, Canal Brasil, at 7pm... 'A Nova Estrela' ( The New Star) comes to television! Less than 9 minutes had never taken so long to be shown to so many. And I think this trip will be a gift for many people. For me, it certainly is. I was 26 years old. I am 62 years old."


A Bolha - Sem Nada EP (1971)
Track 6's O Bando, from São Paulo, made one album of progressive psychedelic pop with a horn section and a female singer; Marisa Fossa. The opening instrumental included here, 'É assim falava Mefistófeles' (trans:'Thus spoke Mephistopheles') sounds like crazy chase scene music and it's a lot of fun! A Bolha (Trans: 'The Bubble'), another band from Rio de Janeiro, made two albums from '73-'77, but the track I have used is from a 1971 3-track EP. They must have been taking more robust dietary supplements when they made it as it's the heaviest, most lysergic record they made, before falling foul to the later-70s trend for a more commercial, cleaner sound on their two albums.

São Paulo's Beatniks made a 4-track Ep in 1968 (one is tempted to ask if there were any countries that didn't have a freak-beat band with that name!) which included the obligatory Hendrix cover, this time being Fire. I have used the final track from it, Beatniks original 'Alligator Hat'. It's a rip-roaring, mad performance full of silly singing and all the better for it. They have perfectly caught that raw, in-your-face fuzz sound (maybe mono recording helps this?) that perfectly exemplifies the naive, reckless abandon of the late 60s. There is a good account of The Beatniks here.

Perfume Azul do Sol - Nascimento (1974)
Half way and time for a chill-out. São Paulo's Perfume Azul do Sol (trans:'Blue Perfume Of The Sun') made one album in 1974, and they introduce some great plaintive vocals and (in some other tracks) piano, from songstress Ana Maria. It's a nice song and the album 'Nascimento' (trans:'Birth') is a good listen, it's like west coast psych with a latin feel. They included guitarist/bassist Pedro "Pedrão" Baldanza who was also in 'Som Nosso de Cada Dia', appearing later in this comp. The band was completed by Benvindo (acoustic guitar, vocals), Jean (electric guitar, backing vocals) and Gil (drums). It is very hard to find any more information on this rarity other than that which is given on this excellent blog, 'Brazilian Nuggets', which is where I came across it.


Rock da Mortalha
A rare departure from the fuzz and prog; we reach track 10 and it's time for some Heavy Metal! So far this is the only Brazilian band I have come across playing this heavy in the 70s. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum, a handful of metal bands did form in the late 70s but none recorded until the 80s. Rock da Mortalha has been revealed on a few blogs in recent years, though it took me a while to source the mp3s as all the links are dead. From the Ipiranga district of São Paulo, Orlando Lui (Bass and Vocals) and Mark Baccas (Guitar and Vocals) first called themselves 'The Bizimbetas'. They evolved into a metallic band and found a drummer named Julinho. Wearing the requisite metal garb of black robes, audiences recount their strong theatrical stage presence. Their only available recording thus-far is a bootleg of a show reportedly made around 1976. I have had trouble extracting and translating useful/reliable information from what I have found so I will leave you to read more on three sites, here, here and here. There is even a facebook group for the band, here. Although the track I included, ‘Satânico Estripador’ (trans:'Satanic Ripper'), is a very basic recording, it’s easy to hear the potential they had and how different they are to anything else on this comp. Mick Mullen has done another awesome job of remastering this track for me, after having helped out on Vol75 and Vol81. If you'd like to hear the improvements he has made, have a listen to the original, and his studio services contact details can be found here.

Loyce e Os Gnomes
The Loyce e Os Gnomes track is available on a compilation called 'Brazilian Fuzz Bananas' which describes the band as coming from Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo. The performers names are listed as Loyce, Massaro, Fael, Raphael (guitar), Nile and Padulla. The track was originally included on a 4-track EP called 'O Despertar dos Mágicos'. Translated, that is 'The Dawn of Magic', which was a cult 60s book by two french journalists that was popular in hippie culture. I found an account of it which seems to have been written by someone who's first language is not English, so here it is in entirety, make of it what you can: "From Von Daniken to Dan Brown, they have all used this book as a source.Wittingly or unwittingly, The Dawn of Magic was the cult book of the 60s. Bergier and Pauwels were two French Journalists who practically invented the genre of Aliens visiting earth, to the legend The Holy Grail. The Priory of Sion. 


Rosicrusions and The Bavarian Illuminati. Its all came from this book. Bergier and Pauwels were two right wing French journos who some how managed to get access to the French National Archives. They forged documents in relation the Priory of Sion to support their political agenda , which was to undermine the left and the communists in post war France by alleging that Mary Magdalene came to France in the 1st century AD bringing with her the child of christ.That the Merovingians protected her descendants and the Royal Family of France was related by blood to the Royal family of Davis through Christ! I know it sounds strange so please read the book". There is also more information here and here. As Dusted Magazine's review describes the track 'Que é Isso?' (trans:'What is That?'),  it is a very early example of nihilistic Brazilian fuzz and I love the dragging, shuffling pace. This is what good psych is all about, stretching out time... another particularly good track on that comp is 'God Save The Queen', by a very obscure one-single-only band called '14 Bis', which I will use at some point in the future. As mentioned previously, one of two Brazilian bands with that name.

Os Novos Baianos
We take another departure from the fuzz for a band called Os Novos Baianos. They were a classic 'MPB' band (short for 'Música Popular Brasileira'), a genre that was initially approved of by Brazil's military government because they saw it as a patriotic alternative to the the influence of the rock and pop music invasion from abroad; it stuck to Portuguese lyrics and retained a lot of traditional identity. The track I have used is very cool, and something of a departure from their usual sound. After forming in Bahia they moved to Rio de Janeiro and after their successful second album, 'Acabou Chorare', the whole band moved to live communally on a farm. They usually played with acoustic and traditional instruments, but from time to time would use electric guitars. What I like is that on the electrics it becomes apparent, even to my hard rock-battered ears, what talented and tight musicians they were. You can hear it with this track I used from their 1976 album, 'Caia na Estrada e Perigas Ver' (rough trans:'Hit The Road and Face the Peril').

Som Nosso de Cada Dia
Formed in 1970 in São Paulo, Som Nosso de Cada Dia (trans:'Our Daily Sound') aimed for progressive rock with elements of psychedelia. They had many members; Manito (keyboards, horns), Pedrão (guitar, bass), Pedrinho (drums), Egídio Conde (guitar), Marcinha, Dino Vicente Rangel, but played as a trio most of the time. Saxophonist Manito, was in the 'Os Incríveis' (trans:'The Incredibles') in the 60s, one of the most popular beat groups. The album 'Snegs' (1975), is considered one of the classics of Brazilian rock and they once opened a show for Alice Cooper in Maracanãzinho. 'Bicho do Mato' opens with a some strong hammond organ which gives way to moog.

Blow Up's 2nd album (1971)
São Paulo's Blow Up were originally known as The Black Cats. They made two albums as 'Blow Up' (both self-titled), named after Michelangelo Antonioni's cult 60s movie, which have become highly collectible. From what I can gather they went through the usual problems of a struggling band. They had some success with a couple of singles, one of which was a soft ballad called 'Rainbow' in 1976. Included on this compilation, it was used on a TV series called 'Anjo Mau' (Bad Angel). They did not capitalize on this for various reasons and the band has existed as a live covers act since then. The track I have used, from the 2nd album, is by far the stand-out on what is otherwise a very soft pop album (as is the first) which does have some fuzz guitar here and there. 'Tá Cozendo o Tempo' (trans:'Time to Bake') is a nice example of some psychedelia influenced pop with samba flavour. Thanks again to Brazilian Nuggets for this information and if you can read Portuguese I'm sure you will be able to decipher a lot more useful information from here.

Módulo 1000
Módulo 1000 are one of the better-known bands here. Even though they only made one record it is definitely one of the best from that time in the country. Considering that Brazilian prog rock was next to non-existent in 1970, and this is the band's first album, it is impressively rich and it’s clear the band were listening to and taking notice of what was happening in experimental progressive/heavy rock around the world. There is a comprehensive interview with guitarist Daniel Cardona Romani and Luiz Paulo Simas (organ, piano, vocals) here. In that interview he explains, what is also very clear from listening to the album, that they were directly influenced by Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath. This may not be such an unusual choice of influences, but I can safely say that it was unique for a Brazilian band in that year and the album is consistently good. As such, it's definitely one of the first in this comp that you should investigate further and it's a great shame the band did not exist long enough to release any more albums. They did however record a single under the name 'Love Machine', called 'The Cancer Stick / Waitin' for Tomorrow'.

Joelho de Porco
São Paulo's Joelho de Porco (trans:'Pork Knee' or 'Pig's Knee') is regarded as one of the first Brazilian bands with an overtly 'punk' attitude. While the music was not particularly so on the debut LP I have used here, the lyrics are said to have been in the socio-politically conscious vein of other proto punk attitude bands like Australia's Sky Hooks (Vol80) or the UK's Third World War (Vol42). The band broke up after a 2nd album but founder Tico Terpins reformed it in 1983 with the addition of Zé Rodrix, mentioned earlier as an original member of Som Imaginário. Argentine rocker-come-punk Billy Bond moved to Brazil and also worked with Tico in the late 70s. Apparently Tico joined 'Billy Bond and the Jets', but I am unable to translate well enough to tell how much involvement Billy had in Joelho de Porco. Though he is listed as a member on RYM, this may have been later on in the 80s. The track I used here, 'Aeroporto de Congonhas', brings some welcome glam quirkiness, with it's unusual dynamics and dramatic shifts in rhythm.

O Peso - Em Busca Do Tempo Perdido LP
Rio de Janeiro's O Peso (trans: 'The Weight') made one album in 1975. It's a very anglo american-worshiping rock'n roll/blues based record called 'Em Busca do Tempo Perdido' (trans:'In Search of Lost Time'). They were Luiz Carlos Porto (vocals), Gabriel O'Meara (guitar), Constant Papineau (piano), Carlos Scart (bass) and Carlos Graça (drums). It's not very heavy so I'd hesitate to call it hard rock, though a couple of tracks are almost there, these are of course my faves. 'Não Sei de Nada' (included here, trans:'I do not know anything') has a great riff all the way through with Robert Plant-like vox, and 'Lucifer' has some agreeably Lynyrd Skynyrdian guitar. The playing is good, and the vocal performance is impassioned through-out but the record's lack of identity is given away by the fact it has all the cliches ticked-off; the ballad, the slow blues/harmonica one (called 'Blues'!), the acoustic one, the heavy one etc...these guys could have been much better with more direction and focus as the musical chops on display are more than good enough.

Rita Lee & Tutti Frutti
The closer is from a band that was fronted by Brazilian star Rita Lee, who made a few albums with a glam rock backing band called Tutti Frutti. '...Tem uma Cidade' (trans:'...There is a city') is the fade-out final track from Rita Lee & Tutti Frutti's 1974 album 'Atrás Do Porto Tem Uma Cidade' (trans:'Behind the port there is a city') and a nice way to end in some moody fuzz, although it is not indicative of the rest of the album which doesn't really fall in to TDATS territory. Tutti Frutti made a Rita-less album in 1980, which is nothing to write home about. Rita came to fame as a singer in São Paulo's 'Os Mutatntes', one of Brazil's most famous and influential bands. They were not a heavy band in general but they mixed things up a lot, often employing fuzz. They came out with a few heavy nuggets like the track 'A Hora E a Vez Do Cabelo Nascer', which Brazilian thrash metal titans Sepultura covered! After Rita split in 1973 to strike out on her own, they became 'Mutantes' and updated their sound with some heavier prog like 'Cidadão Da Terra'.

Os Mutantes
'Os Mutantes' started very young in the mid-60s and had an eclectic approach which was fostered by respect for The Beatles, in particular. They'd plenty of native flavour; they are regarded as part of the 'Tropicália' movement, mixing Brazilian culture with foreign arts, poetry and music (especially African), avant-garde and populist alike. This came about after they met Gilberto Gil (mentioned earlier), a musician and spokesman for the movement who was for a period exiled by Brazil's military government, but would later serve as Brazil's Minister of Culture from 2003 to 2008.

An interesting coincidence that I have noticed in the bunch of bands I used here is that no less than three of them chose to make both of their first two albums self-titled, thus they had the same names; O Terço, Som Imaginário and Blow Up. Of course, I've noticed bands have done this before, but three within this collection is strange! As bands must be aware that this is bound to cause problems and mistakes for people trying to order/buy or differentiate between their records, especially back in the pre-information age, it makes you wonder why they (or maybe their labels) did it.

This ties in with another thing I noticed about a lot of the Brazilian bands I listened to while choosing for this volume; despite them all being technically very good musicians, they tended to be unsure of what over-all sound they were aiming for, they lacked direction over an album, or over their range of albums. The result being that the style a band chose from song to song could vary wildly, to the point where they sounded like different bands playing them; often it was clear to me that a band might for instance have been thinking, "right, this one will be our Deep Purple rocker, this one will be our blues song, this one will be our soft pop hit-maker, and this one will be our wah wah-filled Hendrixy one etc....you get my drift. I can offer no explanation why this has been more apparent with the Brazilain bands I studied, maybe there's just an eclectic, restless nature to Brazilians!

To get back to my first point, it seems to back up the idea that they were consciously re-inventing themselves from song to song or album to album, and so they called their second album by the same name as the first, as though the first album had never happened. Please feel free to comment on this, and please let me know if you do not agree with me here too! Eclectic or not, I love all the tracks I have chosen here so enjoy, and adeus for now!

Some time after reading this I received a new opinion on Tropicália from Pedro Carvalho; "Just one historical correction to a mistake that many foreign writers make when writing about Brazilian music of this period: MPB was not "initially approved of by Brazil's military government because they saw it as a patriotic alternative to the the influence of the rock and pop music invasion from abroad". What happened was that the regime approved of any style of music as long as it wasn't perceived as politically or culturally provocative. They had absolutely no problem with romantic pop singers that played Anglo-American styles as long as they were bland. The country's biggest pop/rock star at the time, Roberto Carlos, always had a good relationship with the government. 

Don't forget that the military government was decidedly Pro-American, never mind the flag waving. 
The people who were actually opposed to foreign influences in music were actually leftists. The majority of the left in Brazil at the time followed a nationalist/anti-imperialist agenda and saw rock as a tool for cultural colonialism. Thus, the main anti-rock faction came from the more political side of the MPB scene. They even organized a parade against electric guitars in 1967. Ironically some participants, such as Gilberto Gil would change their minds and start having rock bands as sidemen very soon after. Also in 1967, Caetano Veloso was the first MPB singer to play in front of a rock band in a festival, which generated a reaction identical to the one Bob Dylan had in Newport in 1965. This is actually a good analogy. The anti-rock reaction in Brazil were not the government, they were the local equivalent to Pete Seeger and the purist folkies who booed Dylan. 

However, starting in 1967, the MPB/rock crossover started by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes (and followed a bit later by Os Novos Baianos) became the soundtrack to the Brazilian version of the summer of love. And even though these were definitely not political artists in the mainstream traditional leftist sense (as many acoustic MPB stars were), they were a cultural and behavioral threat to the status quo, because their attitudes, directly or indirectly, promoted free love, conscience alterations, long hair, free thinking and other "anarchic" values that were considered subversive by the authorities. 

I hope I made myself clear, in brief, the government didn't really care about "foreign influences", they were only against leftist politics or crazy hippie stuff."


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17 comments:

  1. What a Fantastic comp of rarities, Thanks!

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  2. Muito obrigado / Thank you very much!!!!!!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you all very much, This is one that I spent a long time on, and researching, and one of the strongest (and most fun) sets I have come up with so far. I'm glad people are liking it!

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    2. I totally respect all the research, a lot of blogs that cover whatever this genre is just half ass it and post the same 20 "obscure" albums everyone already has, youre clearly head and shoulders above that.

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  4. This one......This one has had me blown away for several days now. How has all this eluded me ? This one is one of the best TDATS comps you have ever done. Beautiful paintings in the air, everywhere. I cannot get enough of it. This comp needs to go down in the comp hall of fame. You have outdone yourself friend ! Well played.

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    1. Thanks, I agree that this is one of the most special ones I have done, the tracks just seem to have been made to go together, I'm glad you enjoy this amazing and precious music as much as I do!

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    2. I guess we must also to thank the passion and wonderful eccentricity of Brazil!

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  5. Hello, Rich!

    This post is absolutely awesome, man! Some bands I never heard about until listen to this compilation, and... the songs are amazing! You are incredible!

    And... I had no idea that my suggestions in past was encouraged you - a few, at least - to finish this amazing work. I am really glad with this. This blog has fantastics bands, descriptions, songs, biographies etc. I'm proud making a little contribution to this progress.

    Congratulations from a brazilian old fan!


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  6. Awesome man! Great compilation, thank you so much!!!

    Greetings from Brazil!!!!!!!!!!! Abraço brother

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  7. Hello, Rich! I'm from Brazil and I loved to see that foreigners enjoy the great bands of my country. Hugs!

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  8. dude i'm so glad that you know the brazilian good music..obrigado!

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  9. Just one historical correction to a mistake that many foreign writers make when writing about Brazilian music of this period: MPB was not "initially approved of by Brazil's military government because they saw it as a patriotic alternative to the the influence of the rock and pop music invasion from abroad".
    What happened was that the regime approved of any style of music as long as it wasn't perceived as politically or culturally provocative. They had absolutely no problem with romantic pop singers that played Anglo-American styles as long as they were bland. The country's biggest pop/rock star at the time, Roberto Carlos, always had a good relationship with the government.
    Don't forget that the military government was decidedly Pro-American, never mind the flag waving.
    The people who were actually opposed to foreign influences in music were actually leftists. The majority of the left in Brazil at the time followed a nationalist/anti-imperialist agenda and saw rock as a tool for cultural colonialism. Thus, the main anti-rock faction came from the more political side of the MPB scene. They even organized a parade against electric guitars in 1967. Ironically some participants, such as Gilberto Gil would change their minds and start having rock bands as sidemen very soon after. Also in 1967, Caetano Veloso was the first MPB singer to play in front of a rock band in a festival, which generated a reaction identical to the one Bob Dylan had in Newport in 1965. This is actually a good analogy. The anti-rock reaction in Brazil were not the government, they were the local equivalent to Pete Seeger and the purist folkies who booed Dylan.
    However, starting in 1967, the MPB/rock crossover started by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes (and followed a bit later by Os Novos Baianos) became the soundtrack to the Brazilian version of the summer of love. And even though these were definitely not political artists in the mainstream traditional leftist sense (as many acoustic MPB stars were), they were a cultural and behavioral threat to the status quo, because their attitudes, directly or indirectly, promoted free love, conscience alterations, long hair, free thinking and other "anarchic" values that were considered subversive by the authorities.
    I hope I made myself clear, in brief, the government didn't really care about "foreign influences", they were only against leftist politics or crazy hippie stuff.

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  10. Thanks Pedro, I have included your opinion in the article.

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