As promised, we came back at least for now in a slightly smaller format, we intend to return to the old layout, with historical facts and further analysis in another cycle of our wide galaxy. We will improve the tag system, increase our rotativity(with the same quality) and start bringing exclusive rips, like this wonderful Brazilian gem today.
Vanusa Santos Flores(22/9/1947, Cruzeiro, São Paulo) on its only second LP release is somewhat between romanticism, psychedelia, souland a bit of experimentalism, Tropicalia like, though their composers aren’t top-notch stars, this is the testament that even Brega(tacky) artists always subjugated by critics and the so-called intelligentsia produced fantastic examples of vanguard inside the commercial musical market (Universal, Sony, Warner, EMI).
Vanusa’svisceral performance throughout the album is simply dazzling, a foxyJanis Joplin on its peak moments, accompanied by a garage band brushstrokes with a beautiful brass and strings arrangements by maestro Portinho.
Radical 1969, post-AI-5 scenario.
Though she appeared with the Jovem Guarda movement, Vanusa circulated freely by all spheres of Brazilian popular music to long-70s, slowed the pace in the ’80s and now in 2014 is up to release a new album in more than 10 years!
The ‘IM’ highlights are for Sunnyand Caminhemos. Relish all spices and शुभ यात्रा!
A1Meu Depoimento (Fábio / Paulo Imperial)
A2Que Você Está Fazendo Neste Lugar Tão Frio (Tom Gomes / Luis Vagner)
A3O Que É Meu É Teu (Sílvio Brito)
A4Teu Regresso (Fábio / Paulo Imperial)
A5 Espere (Carlos César / Alexandre Cirus) A6Hei Sol (Dom)
Operation Condor was a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and the assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas and to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments. Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Condor is highly disputed, estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to it. (!)
Condor’s key members were the governments in Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil. The United States along with the CIA provided technical support and supplied military aid to the participants until at least 1978, and again after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981.
Chile. This alliance of terror was the icing on the cake that was already being prepared since the beginning of the 60s. The 1964 presidential election of Eduardo Frei Montalva(Christian Democrat), made the country embarked on a far-reaching social and economic programs, particularly in education, housing, and agrarian reform, including rural unionization of agricultural workers.
By 1967, however, Frei encountered increasing opposition from leftists, who charged that his reforms were inadequate, and from conservatives, who found them excessive. At the end of his term, Frei had not fully achieved his party’s ambitious goals.
After three attempts to run the country, Salvador Allende finally succeeded on September 4, 1970 elections with a narrow plurality of 36%, the candidate from the Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) became the first Marxist president of a Latin American country through open elections. The Chilean way to socialism was finally tangible: the nationalization of industries (Copper Mining), income redistribution, collectivization and economic-diplomatic approach with the socialist/communist countries, promised to break all the obstacles from the status quo, leading to a more equal life.
But the socialist dream did not last long, an economic depression that began in 1972 was exacerbated by capital flight, plummeting private investment, and withdrawal of bank deposits in response to Allende’s socialist program. Production fell and unemployment rose, simultaneously, opposition media, politicians, business guilds and other organizations helped to accelerate a campaign of domestic political and economical destabilization, some of which was helped by the United States (sic).
By early 1973, inflation was out of control.
The crippled economy was further battered by prolonged and sometimes simultaneous strikes by physicians, teachers, students, truck owners, copper workers, and the small business class. On 26 May 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court, which was opposed to Allende’s government, unanimously denounced the Allende disruption of the legality of the nation. Although illegal under the Chilean constitution, the court supported and strengthened Pinochet’s seizure of power. A failed attempted coup occurred in June, known as Tanquetazo helped to accelerate the process.
On September 11, 1973, Chile would go into his darkest period of its history, a military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet, took over control of the country and overthrew Allende. As the armed forces bombarded the presidential palace (La Moneda) Allende made its last speech and apparently committed suicide. The first years of the regime were marked by many human rights violations. On October 1973, at least 72 people were murdered by the Caravan of Death. At least 2,115 were killed, and at least 27,265 were tortured (including 88 children younger than 12 years old). (!!)
A hallmark of terror was the countless detainees kept in the National Stadium, one of those tortured and killed was a teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter and political activist Victor Jara. He was brutally tortured, fatally shot in the head and its body was later thrown out into the street of a shantytown in Santiago.
This is obviously a small summary of a much more complex situation, Patricio Guzman’sThe Battle of Chile develops into three parts the full details of the story, check it!
Let’s go to our history:
Aguaturbia was a unique experience in the history of rock, even today his name is associated with the roots of the movement in Chile. With a hippie inspiration, psychedelic characteristic and recognized authentic imitation in style and appearance of musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were the ingredients that gave life to this quartet, perhaps the first local cult band. Its existence did not exceed five years and never achieved massive success, however, both musical quality and the irreverence of his discourse are recognized today as forces managed to shake Chilean society.
Established in May 1968, at the height of the 60s new libertarian tendencies, their leader Carlos Corales, was one of the most important guitarists of the local environment (The Tickets, Pat Henry and The Blue Devils and Los Jockers), which together with Denise on vocals, Willy Cavada on drums and Ricardo Briones on bass, shaped a band that never stopped looking at what the U.S. and England produced to expand his blues-rock and psychedelic music.
Denise, whose real name is Climene Puleghini Solis was a young Brazilian from higher sectors of society, fascinated with R&B and rock, despite having no musical training whatsoever. His parents did not authorize his bold idea of forming a rock band with her boyfriend, and, to that refusal, she married with Corales!
They started playing covers in small clubs in Santiago, but eventually were encouraged in their own compositions (sung in English, like most local rock bands of the time). The themes concerning love, peace and the defense of their appearance held their debut album in 1970. Before recording, Corales traveled to the U.S. to buy new instruments.
However, this well-planned debut, recorded in just three days, would get sparks between the public, though not precisely for its musical arguments. Aguaturbia’s cover showed the four musicians naked, sitting in a circle with a neutral expression on their faces.
The album, released under the RCA label, had an acceptable sale and just a few months later, they released his successor Aguaturbia II (or Aguaturbia Volume 2), which created a new uproar, this time, for a photograph that appeared Denise crucified, inspired by Dali’s (magnificent) Christ of Saint John of the Cross.
The controversy was mixed with political and social upheavals from Popular Unity (Allende’s party) and the activity of the group lowered its intensity.
Carlos: ‘There came a very strong rejection of certain people, who even wanted to excommunicate us. Suddenly, there were these folks who wanted to beat us and cut our hair. They shouted fags, drug addicts! We played a time of change that was terrible in many ways. If the first album censorship failed to say anything, in the second, it was a complicated situation. Imagine a woman on the cross, is something very special.’
On late 1970, after been invited to participate in the famous Red Rock festival in Santiago (due to the general chaos that afternoon did not even get onto the stage), the band decided to try his luck in the U.S. They settled in New York to work and study, and formed a group called Sun, where his music was welcomed in some quarters and allowed them to survive. The band returned to Chile in 1973, with a different formation, after participating at the Viña del Mar festival the band finally ends in mid-74.
Let’s go to our album:
This 1993 re-release containing songs from the (only) two albums, helped to revive the interest of its music not only in Chile. The re-issue from the albums are now available via Light in The Attic site and since the mid-2000 Aguaturbia made its comeback to Chilean stages with the same energy from that era. Unfortunately, the drummer Willy Cavada died of a heart attack on early October 2013. (RIP)
After this long post, the ‘IM’ highlights for this HEAVY psychedelic-blues band are: Somebody To Love and Aguaturbia, don’t miss this little gem.
Korea. After the formation of Add4 by Shin Jung-Hyun in 1962, Korea saw the development of Rock music, obviously thanks to the world entrance of The Beatles. 1964 would mark the very birth of K-rock, bands like Key Boys and He 5 turned into a national success, the images seen in A Hard Day’s Night became a common point between these bands. The ’60s was presented with dozens of records, tours, television appearances and mass hysteria by the legion of fans avid for the Korean Beatles!
The leader and guitarist of He 5 was Kim Hong-Tak, one of the predecessors of the electric guitar alongside Shin Jung-Hyun; after the triumph of Merry Christmas Psychedelic Sound in 1969, including famous covers and versions of traditional songs, with the turn of the decade, the group decided to add flute and clarinet to their sound, thus He 6 was formed. Predicting this success formula, Korea would saw a definitive entrance of psych, garage, and soul in its musical charts.
Let’s go to our history:
Since the late ’60s they played hard psychedelic songs on live shows (At Seven Club in I-Tae-Won, a small quarter of Seoul which is now well known even internationally for its diverse markets, restaurants, and bars) but they couldn’t make this music style on albums because of record company’s pressures. They gave them some discretionary power to have them created the results which they had first on Merry Christmas Psychedelic Album and later on (fabulous)He 6 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
But most their fans couldn’t understand the tracks of these albums, so they were forced to change to more popular styles, like trots and romantic ballads. (!)
At least they had their chances to make some albums with the music style they wanted after they became a nationally recognized pop-rock group. The band throughout their career launches only 8 albums, with the aforementioned difficulty to moving on after 1975(second last Lp) and the definitive end in 1980.
Let’s go to our album:
This amazing set shows an excellent mixture of psychedelic, blues-oriented hard rock and soul in a very laid back improvisation feeling. Kim Hong-Tak’s heavy fuzz guitar all-over the set with best funky rhythm set (Cho Yong-Nam and Kwon Yong-Nam, later entered in SJH & Yup Juns!) and beautiful flute passages.
The ‘IM’ highlights are Running Man, a furious 9-minute track coming out of a Blaxploitation movie, with tons of fuzz, swinging guitars, breakbeats, percussion and flutes in a variety of moods. A psychedelic shell! And In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the cover from Iron Butterfly’s megaton hit stands out to be a better version than Shin Joong Hyun’s live album, including the whole drum solo! Kim Hong-Tak’s abilities at guitar must be heard, this is no ordinary beat sound and deserves respect.
Today’s post will have minor text info, quite because our friends from A Estos Hombres Tristes already made a small dossier about the artist, sadly, there’s no information about him on the net, too, let’s check it!
Let’s go to their history:
Argentina. We’ll have to go back in time, more specifically the late 50’s. Taking advantage of the explosion of Rock and Roll captained by Elvis Presley and its clones, RCA Argentina decided to start a fierce commercial strategy, beyond comparison of what was being made so far. With biweekly public concerts, dozens of Lp’s, frequent television shows and whole manufacture of new young idols, La Nueva Ola was born like that. Their Castellano versions of great American classics foresaw the pop mass consumption of these artists. Were part of this first cast, names like Chico Novarro, Palito Ortega, Violeta Rivas, Johnny Tedesco, Nicky Jones, amongst many others.
With the imminent success of the show, RCA and Channel 13(El Trece) signed a contract to broadcast a weekly musical program, geared to a young audience, called El Club del Clan. It was aired for the first time on November 10, 1962. Starring a group of ‘friends’ where each artist represented a stereotypical character that corresponded to a musical genre, like Romantic, Tango, Twist, Bolero, Cumbia. A large second cast was formed this time and between them, there was a young Perico Gómez. The only Afro-American in the Clan used to wear a galley hat and always singed the Cumbia (solo or with duets); during the program, the protagonists talked about everyday situations and humorous sketches happened amid the presentations.
There’s a curious fact about it, because the same thing occurred in Brazil a bit later, on 1965, Jovem Guarda started its broadcast and with the same commercial musical proposal, launched artists like Roberto and Erasmo Carlos, Wanderléa and a whole bunch of teen idols that suddenly had TV programs, singles, albums, line clothes, action figures and a myriad of products for sale!
After one year on air, with more than three albums released, its national audience reached inedited peaks: scenes of collective hysteria were common in fashionable clubs, vying for the presence of his characters and certain profit. In 1964 the program already showed some attrition, and with the attendance of some participants to another channel (and program), the Club was canceled at the end of the year. The definitive entry of Beatlemania worldwide and in Argentina, helped the program losing ground amongst its fans eager for another product to consume.
In the late ’60s, Alfredo Aldo Céspedes, would change its name and style once again. The harmless and smiling Perico Gómez gives place to a more serious and mature Pot Zenda. Regarding this time, his name appears in the list of acknowledgments on the first AlmendraLp, he also collaborated with the band during the recordings. On its short career, he recorded three singles in diverse labels, participated in the Argentine version of Hair and after 1973 moved to Venezuela. There, he played throughout the country and died in an automobile accident in March 1988. His remains were then, taken to Buenos Aires where it received a grave. (RIP)
Let’s go to our album:
One year after changing its name, Pot Zenda entered at T.N.T. studios, in early 1970, accompanied by Edelmiro Molinari to record his first single, since the Club Clan era. Once again, Mandioca labelis responsible for all production and distribution, the two songs appeared on the famous compilation Pidamos Peras a Mandioca releasedon the same year. He also participated in November at the Barrock festival.
With some horn attacks on the arrangements, Basta de Llorar, has its rock-soul pace with a great vocal performance and Edelmiro’s solos showing up; this uptempo song caught me in surprise, the silly beat/garage tender (so common at the time) evolves into a psychedelic bomb! Vuelvo a Sonreir takes us back to the Clan era, with mellow lyrics this romantic chanson got some orchestral tinges too.
As a bonus, I’ve added Heloisa. I have finally discovered where the song came from, a band called Totem from Uruguay, these chicos will appear soon here. Hea Teekond!
A1 Basta de Llorar
B1 Vuelvo a Sonreir
Label – Mandioca MS-013
All songs and lyrics by: Alfredo Céspedes(Pot Zenda)
Today’s post will be a little extensive and will continue in future entries, through our ‘IM’ galaxy. Almendra deserves it. This is a first explanation essay, peace!
The holy triad of Argentine Rock, is composed by three groups, the first ones: Manal, a power-trio of blues psych-rock with great influence from Cream; Los Gatos, Castellano Rock founders, with a pop beat olla, and finally, Almendra, certainly the most inventive and poetic, of the three, they released only two albums by RCA Argentina, until their end in 1971. Among them, a skinny leader: Luis Alberto Spinetta(January 23, 1950 – February 8, 2012), known as ‘El Flaco’, was a singer, guitarist, poet, composer, considered one of the greatest artists from his country.
His instrumental affluence, lyrical and poetic works, got his recognition throughout Latin America and also worldwide. He’s considered one of the godfathers from Argentine Rock, leading Almendra, Pescado Rabioso, Invisible, and many other bands, apart from his wide solo career. In his lyrics, there’s the influence of writers, philosophers, psychologists, artists such as Rimbaud, Van Gogh, Lü Dongbin, Jung, Freud, Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze, Artaud y Castañeda, as also, native cultures.
Almendra was a quartet. Before its first historical record, released in late 1969, Los Chicos, in his early year, launched over 5 single records in Argentina. Today on the ‘IM’, we’ll have the first part of the series: two singles, a left out and a B-Side:
1)Tema de Pototo(Luis Alberto Spinetta, Edelmiro Molinari) //////////////////////////// El Mundo Entre Las Manos(Luis Alberto Spinetta, Rodolfo García) [RCA Vik 31Z-1368] *
2)Hoy Todo el Hielo En La Ciudad(Luis Alberto Spinetta) ////////////////////////// Campos Verdes(Luis Alberto Spinetta, E. Del Guercio) [RCA Vik 31Z-1413] **
4)Final(Luis Alberto Spinetta, E. Del Guercio) ///////////////////////////////////////////////////// B-Side from [RCA Vik 31Z-1565] ****
Let’s go to their history:
Almendra had his first precedent in 1965, from the English rock bands Los Larkins and Los Sbirros, both from Bajo Belgrano a neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Los Larkins was led by Rodolfo García, future drummer of Almendra, muchacho four years older than ‘El Flaco’ Spinetta and neighbors from the same neighborhood.
Spinetta: ‘Everything started on the 15th birthday of my sister. One of the guests was a pianist and played in a group called Los Larkins, they rehearsed very close to home, where Rodolfo played drums. One day I went to one of the tests with the suspicious eyes from my parents, they knew it was a definite step for me; when I entered and saw all those electric instruments, guitars unlike the Spanish or creole, I completely freaked out! From there I got this sound that is an emblem for me: bass, drums, and guitar.’
The other band that would give birth to Almendra, was Los Sbirros, composed by students from the same school that Spinetta, and was led by Edelmiro Molinari, who excelled at the dominion of electric guitar and Emilio del Guercio, future bassist. Spinetta started in Los Larkins, but played at any given time in both groups. Little by little they were merged in late 1966 and formed a quintet composed by Spinetta (voice), Rodolfo García (drums), Emilio del Guercio (bass), Edelmiro Molinari (guitar) y Santiago “Chago” Novoa (keyboards), they were 16, 17 years old on average and the foundations of what would be Almendra was ready.
In early 1967, Roldolfo García was drafted into military service. This fact made the band entered a one-year hiatus, more precisely the year that La Balsa, music from Los Gatos, composed by Lito Nebbia and Tanguito, explodes in the charts, achieving tremendous national success. It was the first original rock sung in Spanish and marks the beginning of a new musical style known in Argentina as Rock Nacional.
1967, 1968 and 1969 were years of great cultural transformations in Argentina and the world, placing the youth as a distinct social, revolutionary group: The Summer of Love that marked the birth of Hippie movement, the assassination of Che Guevara in Bolivia, the French May, the Prague Spring and domestically El Cordobazzo.
On this context, germinate the trends that Spinetta and other young Argentines both crave: take the vanguards of tango and folklore in order to give a sort of rock with local climate, sung in Castellano. The feat was a cultural rupture of enormous proportions, the esthetic standards of the time did not accept this unattended manifestation, especially in Spanish. On March 1968, García was discharged from military service and the group began rehearsing daily. Novoa, keyboardist, simply stopped going to rehearsals and the quintet turns into a quartet:
Luis Alberto Spinetta (leading voice and guitar)
Rodolfo García (drums and vocals)
Emilio del Guercio (bass and vocals)
Edelmiro Molinari (leading guitar and vocals)
In mid-1968, Ricardo Kleiman, the producer on the radio program ‘La Noche en Modart’, which had enormous popularity with the youth from those years, went to see a band rehearsal, they played an own song with English titles, Where are You Going Mary Sue?. Kleiman was impressed and offer them a single record on RCA with Rodolfo Alchurrón as artistic director. The single was recorded somewhere in August, released on September 20, 1968, and set out for sale at the beginning of 1969.
Tracks include: Tema de Pototo, side A///El Mundo Entre Las Manos, side B *
Tema de Pototo (Para Saber Cómo es la Soledad):
The first theme edited by the band was composed by Luis Alberto Spinetta to a college fellow who believed to have died on a trip to Bariloche (!). When he received the telegram denying the good news, the verses suggested: ‘La soledad es un amigo que no está / Es su palabra que no ha de llegar igual’. Years later the young prick called Mario D’Alessandro became the band’s official dentist! The theme has an orchestral accompaniment directed by Alchurrón composed of strings and woodwinds.
Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad:
The group releases another single record Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad, side a/// Campos Verdes,side b **, yet in 1968, and it’s from this one that the band begins to be noticed and established commercially.
Spinetta: ‘The Almendra singles are a work in itself, at the margin of the albums. The first two had consequences outside the band. On December 68′ came the second, which included Hoy Todo el Hielo en La Ciudad. There is here a poetic dimension that puts us at a distance of every beat wave, so common to the epoch; we passed by a minor key chorus and followed an epic escalation, with a baroque-pop feel!’
The myth of a dystopian frozen Buenos Aires comes in tune with ‘El Eternauta’the great sci-fi story by Oesterheld. There is no hell or deluge, in the end, only the eternal ice that covers the sky across the days. Even at noon, there’s no sun.
These years also held two video clips, one of the first ones made in Argentina.
The band’s debut on live stages, occurs at the disco Matoko’s in Mar del Plata, at Constitución avenue, a downtown nightlife balneary, where they played throughout the summer. For another magazine/publication of the time, Spinetta declared:
‘Ended the time of repeating what others do, translations, all of these vain things. We have to sing what is ours, what is authentic, from within.’
On January 2, 1969, they fix Gabinetes Espaciales*** at TNT studios. The band wanted the track as A-side, future single, but RCA Argentina, eyeing the huge commercial success of a romantic rewriting made by Leonardo Favio, re-launched as Para Saber Como es La Soledad, released the band’s third single record with a repeated song: Tema de Pototo, side A ///Final, side B****
Final, the pretended ending for Almendra (first) Lp, was cut from the final tracklist due to time limitations. It enters here as a tuneful simple ballad B side!
Let’s go to our highlights:
Our choices may not be always based on greatest hits, however, it is undeniable the quality and importance for Tema de Pototo, a #1 hit, tremendously arranged, with a hippy aura. It should always be a choice in someone’s lists, a delightful 100% psychedelic! But today, the ‘IM’‘ highlights are for:
Campos Verdes and Gabinetes Espaciales.
Lastly, there isn’t a lot of photos from the band, especially with high quality available on the internet, however, there’s an incredibly rare book, with drawings, text and rare photos, released in 1970/71, that you can luckily check it.