Argentina, as in many other Latin American countries, had a turbulent political context over the 60’s/70’s. With the first coup in 1966, the new junta constantly exchange its presidents, closes the Congress and extinguishes all political parties, trade, and student unions. Due to this regress, massive popular demonstrations such as the Cordobazo/Rosariazo denounced the bad situation of life and lack of rights.
It didn’t take long for urban guerrillas like ERP and the Montoneros arose and began its murders and demands. Amid this turbulence, in 1973, Juan Domingo Perón (Argentina’s most important political figure) returns from an exile of 18 years, being received by millions of people at the Ezeiza airport.
During the occasion, extreme right-wing snipers kill more than 18 people and injure hundreds, in the event that became known as the Ezeiza massacre. (!)
With his death in 1974, the situation between the left and right parties intensifies, the junta creates the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance (death squad), that along with the Operation Independence stopped a guerrilla attempt to capture and secede the territories of Tucumán. Chaos reigned through the country and the military made a last coup d’état, on 24 March 1976. The military government led by Jorge R. Videla, started one of the bloodiest regimes from the Southern Cone, marked by repression, censorship and (innumerable) disappearances (sic); it also implemented coercive measures in the political, economic and cultural spheres.
Among these was: the hardness of employers over their employees, cultural restrictions such as the prohibition of certain songs and musicians of national and international acts, authoritarian power against the Peronist model, common workers, guerrillas, trade unionists, and intellectuals. Under this dictatorship, youth should belong to a line responsible and committed with patriotism as well as the western lifestyle and Christianity. By contrast, the rock of ’60s had outlined a rebellious young man, with long hair, beard and hippie ideology (free of dogmas).
The world in those years lived immersed in a post McCarthyism witch hunt, reflected in the military panorama that was installed throughout Latin America. These functioned as referees control amid the Cold War between East and West.
The Argentine rock, like society as a whole, suffered greater censorship during this period, seen as subversive by the military, in a speech of 1976 Admiral Massera denounced rock musicians and their fans as potential subversives! In the eye of the hurricane, the mid-70s saw the folk and pure rock n’ roll groups lose strength to a new and complex sound: the progressive and symphonic rock. (!)
Bands like Crucis, Espiritu, Contraluz, Alas, El Reloj, La Máquina de Hacer Pájaros and (lastly) Serú Girán inaugurated a new era for Argentine Rock.
The rebellious lyrics and criticism of the society through metaphorical and explicit pamphlets relating to love, drugs, and imaginary heroes have been set aside, for unusual concepts and aesthetics that constantly annoyed the regime.
Let’s go to our history:
Bubu was originally formed in 1973 and led by Miguel Zavaleta (singer), characterized by its musical and theatrical proposal, whose tendency is assimilated with progressive or symphonic music of the time. They began performing in public under the name of Sion and debuted in theater Del Globo in 1976, marked by its freshness, joy, and staging. After a series of successful concerts, the band started to record their debut album, but now without the participation of Zavaleta, resulting in difficulties at the beginning, which were overcome by incorporating Patty Guelache.
Concluding the conceptual work in 1978, with the name of Anabelas, heavily influenced by King Crimson, the band had to wait a few more months until the album release. With the Lp on the streets, the group decides to separate.
Let’s go to our album:
A few months ago when I heard the album for the first time, I could not fail to impress me and ask myself: why i haven’t known this before?! I must confess I’m not a proghead, my favorite acts from Argentine Prog are Serú Girán and La Máquina, but even here we do not notice any resemblance to these bands.
The band touches across many different styles yet imitates no one! The King Crimson influence is mostly through the guitar of Eduardo Rogatti which is Fripp-like in many places and is the closest this band comes to imitation. As Bubu performs driving marches with dramatic vocals and Wagnerian intensity, you can also hear shades of the Canterbury scene from Henry Cow to Soft Machine and Stravinsky!
Debuting with only 3 songs, an avant-garde initiative for the standards of the time, once more I won’t highlight any track. Like many other conceptual albums, the whole is more important than an excerpt. Bubu is a band to challenge your listening skills and is a great place to start to get into the more adventurous styles of prog rock.
A1 El Cortejo de Un Día Amarillo (Danza de Las Atlantides / Locomotora Blues)
B1 El Viaje de Anabelas
B2 Sueños de Maniquí
- Bass, Effects: Edgardo ‘Fleke’ Folino
- Drums, Percussion: Edurado ‘Polo’ Corbella
- Flute (Piccolo, Bass Flute): Cecilia Tenconi
- Guest, Piano: Mario Kirlis
- Guitar, Effects: Eduardo Rogatti
- Lead Vocals: Petty Guelache
- Chorus: Cecilia XZ, Golo, Manzana, Maqui, Marcelius ‘El Potente’, Voulet
- Tenor Saxophone: Win Fortsman
- Violin: Sergio Polizzi
- Lyrics by: Win Forstman
- Music, Arrangements by: Daniel Andreoli
- Sleeve design by: Carlos Felipe Fernández
‘Así continuó Anabelas su cósmico desplazarse en espiral por los espacios vacíos del sueño. Ondulando entre lo que podríamos decir la conciencia propia y las intersecciones de una realidad que cada tanto la ve aparecer en la fluorescencia de las piedras, en la perfección quimérica de las estructuras móviles del abrazo, o entre silencios que le son absolutamente propios.’
Recorded between March and October of 1978
EMI – 8574