Osanna – Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona (1972)

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Italy. Rome has for centuries been the leading political and religious center of Western civilization, serving as the capital of both the Roman Empire and Christianity. During the Dark Ages, Italy endured a cultural and social decline in the face of repeated invasions by Germanic tribes, with Roman heritage being preserved by Christian monks. Beginning around the 11th century, various Italian communes and maritime republics rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking (capitalism has its roots in Medieval Italy); concurrently, Italian culture flourished, especially during the Renaissance, which produced many notable scholars, artists, and polymaths such as da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli.

Meanwhile, Italian explorers such as Polo, Columbus, Vespucci, and Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Exploration. Nevertheless, Italy would remain fragmented into numerous warring states for the rest of the Middle Ages, subsequently falling prey to larger European powers such as France, Spain, and later Austria. Italy would enter a long period of decline that lasted until the beginning of the 18th century.

Renaissance Ensemble
Renaissance Ensemble

The second and the third wars of Italian independence resulted in the unification of most of present-day Italy between 1859 and 1866. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the new Kingdom of Italy rapidly industrialized and acquired a colonial empire in Africa. However, Southern and rural Italy remained largely excluded from industrialization, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite victory in WWI, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, which favored the establishment of a Fascist dictatorship in 1922.

The subsequent participation in WWII at the side of Nazi Germany ended in military defeat, economic destruction, and civil war. In the years that followed, Italy abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, and enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, thus becoming one of the most developed nations in the world.

El Duce, Speech
El Duce, Speech

Let’s go to our history:

The Years of Lead was a period of socio-political turmoil in Italy that lasted from the late 1960s into the early 1980s. This period was marked by a wave of terrorism, initially called Opposing Extremisms (Opposti Estremismi) and later renamed as the Anni di Piombo. Among the possible origins of the name is a reference to the vast number of bullets fired, or even the 1981 Margarethe von Trotta’s homonym film (in Italy).

There was widespread social conflict and unprecedented acts of terrorism carried out by both right-and left-wing paramilitary groups. An attempt to endorse the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) by the Tambroni Cabinet led to rioting and was short-lived. The Christian Democrats (DC) were instrumental in the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) gaining power in the 1960s and they created a coalition.

Multiple Murders
Multiple Murders

The assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 ended the strategy of historic compromise between the DC and the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The assassination was carried out by the Red Brigades, then led by Mario Moretti. Between 1969 and 1981, nearly 2,000 murders were attributed to political violence in the form of bombings, assassinations, and street warfare between rival militant factions. Although political violence has decreased substantially in Italy since that time, instances of sporadic violent crimes continue because of the re-emergence of anti-immigrant, neo-fascist, and militant communist groups. (!)

The left-wing autonomist movement lasted from 1968 until the end of the 1970s. The years of lead began with the shooting death of the policeman Antonio Annarumma in 1969 and the Piazza Fontana bombing.

Aldo Moro, Kidnapped
Aldo Moro, Kidnapped

Is in the midst of this boiling cauldron that Italian prog (or symphonic) scene is established from Collage, La Orme’s second album in 1971. The Lp, beyond the indisputable technical merit, had a great reception and was hailed as a turning point to Italian rock. At the dawn of the 70s, Italy was the first country to recognize the talents of some British progressive bands such as Genesis, Gentle Giant, and Van der Graaf Generator, whose first albums had been ignored at home, becoming their market reference; they even toured and entered at the musical charts.

Thenceforth bands like Premiata Forneria Marconi, New TrollsBanco del Mutuo Soccorso, MetamorfosiIl Balletto di Bronzo, Goblin and Osanna played symphonic rock heavily influenced by classical music, against the backdrop of the Italian canzone tradition. The scene more or less ran dry by the end of 1975, owing to the difficulty of making a living as a rock band, many bands from Italy released only one or two albums before disappearing. Emphasis on PFM, they were the only band to enter the U.S. charts and completed four tours in the country!

PFM, U.S. Tour
PFM, U.S. Tour

Let’s go to our album:

Osanna came from Naples and was formed in 1971. The band was composed of Danilo Rustici (guitar), Lino Vairetti (vocals), Lello Brandi (bass) and Massimo Guarino (drums), all these musicians come from the band Cittá Frontale. There was also Elio D’Anna who came from Showmen. The group immediately began an intense concert activity, beginning in 1971 at the Caracalla Pop Festival and later taking part in the Festival of Avant-Garde Music and New Trends in Viareggio. With all band members dressed in long vests and with their faces painted, the collaboration with theatrical groups produced unique shows, odd for the Italian audience of the time.

The group signed a contract with Fonit and debuted with the album L’uomo, who receives a good reception and won the Record Critics’ Award Italian.

The following year, master Luis Enriquez Bacalov involves the group in the execution of the soundtrack composed for the film Milano Calibro 9, a police noir thriller. The album is titled Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona, and fits into the genre between classical orchestra and rock music, which had just been started by the same Bacalov with the Concerto Grosso by New Trolls.

1972, Backcover
1972, Backcover

The intense live activity continues in 1973, in that year, they release Palepoli, which is considered one of the most successful Lp’s of the Italian prog scene (mine’s favorite). The record consists of three long compositions, which are developed around the contrast between tradition and modernity, between the urge to innovate which is opposed to the recovery of the folk tradition. Palepoli, means the ancient city, is ideally opposed to modern Naples, cold and detached in his metropolitan selfishness.

In 1974, Landscape of Life is released, though the group is undermined by internal strife, heightened during the process of recording. After its publication, the group dissolves to reconstitute itself in 1977 without Elio D’Anna, replaced by keyboardist Fabrizio D’Angelo, and with Enzo Petrone on bass. With this formation, Osanna realizes Suddance in 1978 for CBS, a record that despite critical acclaim does not receive the expected success. They finally melt at the beginning of the following year.

Palepoli Promo
Palepoli Promo

The band reformed in 1999 (with Lino Vairetti) releasing the Lp Taka Boom the following year, including old successes and some new songs. Their next production was Prog Family, under the name of Osanna/Jackson, featuring notable figures of prog rock history, such as Van der Graaf Generator’s saxophonist David JacksonKing Crimson’s David CrossBalletto di Bronzo’s Gianni Leone and others. (!)

Later, with David Jackson and Gianni Leone, the band contributed eight tracks to the live boxed set Prog Family (2009). And finally Rosso Rock Live In Japan (2012).

Although not being a proghead, I’ve always tried to bring things beyond the usual, thankfully, today’s album is no exception, and despite not even being the best of the band, Palepoli (forementioned). Here, Osanna’a terrific timbres, strong recording, and performance is a need between the Italian scene, they’re my faves!

Portrait
Portrait

Classical and Rock, I will leave the magnificent Preludio and Tema with you, this Lp also ends with some tacky  (sentimental) rock ballad, a must-see. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Variazione III (Shuum…), a preview of the direction the band took in Palepoli, Elio D’Anna’s performance resembles Hermeto Paschoal freaky technique, short but amazing. And Variazione VI (Spunti Dallo Spartito…) a serious hard rock with a soul pause and a King Crimson ending. Kyau Tafiya!

Tracks Include:

A1 Preludio (Bacalov)

A2 Tema (Bacalov)

A3 Variazione I (To Plinius)

A4 Variazione II (My Mind Flies)

B1 Variazione III (Shuum…)

B2 Variazione IV (Tredicesimo Cortile)

B3 Variazione V (Dialogo)

B4 Variazione VI (Spunti Dallo Spartito n° 14723/AY del Prof. Imolo Meninge)

B5 Variazione VII (Posizione Raggiunta)

B6 Canzona (There Will Be Time) [Baldazzi, Bacalov, Bardotti]

Fonit ‎– LPX 14

Music A3 ~ B5 by: Osanna

Credits

  • Arranged by, Directed by (Orchestra Direction) – Luis Enriquez Bacalov
  • Bass – Lello Brandi
  • Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Vocals – Massimo Guarino
  • Guitar, Vocals – Danilo Rustici
  • Saxophone, Flute, Vocals – Elio D’Anna
  • Vocals, Synthesizer – Lino Vairetti
  • Producer: Sergio Bardotti
  • Recorded by: Giancarlo Jametti
  • Recorded by, Mixed by: Plinio Chiesa
  • Liner Notes: Matthias Scheller
  • Artwork, Photography by: G. Greguoli
  • Transferred by: Franco Brambilla

Soundtrack from the movie Milano Calibro 9

Vesuvius View
Vesuvius View

Yockie and Chrisye – Jurang Pemisah (1977)

capa cópiaThe culture of Indonesia has been shaped by long interaction between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. Centrally-located along ancient trading routes between the Far East, South Asia, and the Middle East, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and ChristianityThe result is a complex cultural mixture very different from the original indigenous cultures.

Balinese dances have stories about ancient Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms, while Islamic art forms and architecture are present in Sumatra, especially in the Minangkabau and Aceh regions. Traditional art, music, and sport are combined in a martial art form called Pencak Silat, for example. Western culture has greatly influenced Indonesia in science, technology and modern entertainment such as television shows, film, and music, as well as political system and issues.

Balinese Dancers
Balinese Dancers

India has notably influenced Indonesian songs and movies, a popular type of song is the Indian-rhythmical dangdut, which is often mixed with Arab and Malay folk music. Despite the influences of foreign culture, some remote Indonesian regions still preserve uniquely indigenous culture, ethnic groups like Mentawai, Asmat, Dani, Dayak, Sasak are still practicing their ethnic rituals, customs and wearing traditional clothes. Examples of cultural fusion include the fusion of Islam with Hindu in Javanese Abangan belief, the fusion of Hinduism, Buddhism and animism in Bodha, and the fusion of Hinduism and animism in Kaharingan, can be cited.

Mentawai People
Mentawai People

Let’s go to our artist:

Today’s album presents us a duo that worked together throughout its careers, Christian Rahadi (16 September 1949 – 30 March 2007) and Jockie Soerjoprajogo are considered the brainchild of the revolution in Indonesia’s pop music.

Chrisye

Born in Jakarta of mixed Chinese-Indonesian descent, Chrisye became interested in music at an early age, at high school he played bass guitar in a band he formed with his brother, Joris. In the late 60’s he joined Sabda Nada (later Gipsy), a band led by his neighbors, the Nasutions. In 1973, after a short hiatus, he rejoined the band to play in New York for a year, he briefly returned to Indonesia and then went back to New York with another band, the Pro’s. After returning to Indonesia, he collaborated with Gipsy and Guruh Sukarnoputra to record the 1976 legendary indie album Guruh Gipsy.

Live Act
Live Act

Following the success of Guruh Gipsy, in 1977 Chrisye recorded two of his most critically acclaimed works: Lilin-Lilin Kecil, which eventually became his signature song, and the soundtrack album Badai Pasti Berlalu (w/ Eros Djarot and Jockie), with impressive 9-million copies sold up to date! Their success landed him a recording contract with Musica Studios, with whom he released his first solo album, Sabda Alam, in 1978. Over his almost 40-year career he recorded a further twenty albums.

Chrisye died in his home in Jakarta (2007) after a long battle with lung cancer.

Rolling Stone Indonesia declared him the third-greatest Indonesian musician of all time in 2011. Thanks to his successful career, he received two-lifetime achievement awardsBASF Awards in 1993 and SCTV (Indonesia TV), posthumously in 2007. (RIP)

80s Promo
80’s Promo

Jockie (Yockie)

Jockie was born in Demak, Central Java on 14 September 1954. Most of his musical skills were self-taught, although he did study composition under Muchtar Embut and musical notation under Idris Sardi (famous arranger). After middle school, Jockie moved to Jakarta and joined with several acts there, in 1973, he joined with Ahmad Albar, Donny Fattah, and Ludwig Leeman to form God Bless (as keyboardist).

He split from the band for a brief time to found the bands Giant Step in Bandung and Double Zero in Malang, but returned in early 1975. During this period he was heavily into drugs, once stealing and selling a ring belonging to Harry Roesli to fuel his habit!

Indo-Rock
Indo-Rock

In 1976 Jockie joined the committee for Prambors FM’s Teenage Song Writing Competition, he approached Chrisye to ask him to sing the song Lilin-Lilin Kecil, when Chrisye was finally convinced to record, Jockie handled the arrangement.

His first solo album Musik Saya Adalah Saya, came out in 1978, this was followed by four more albums over the next 15 years. Meanwhile, with God Bless he released Cermin (1980), Semut Hitam (1988), and Raksasa (1989), along with many tours.

Jockie joined with Chrisye and Djarot once again in the ’80s to produce a trilogy of albums, Resesi, Metropolitan, and Nona, all three went platinum. He is still on active duty and recently organized a famous series of concerts in tribute to Chrisye. (!)

Live, Lately
Live, Lately

Let’s go to our album:

Jurang Pemisah is an Indonesian pop-prog album, it was Chrisye’s first album, produced and released by Pramaqua Records. Chrisye performed the vocals on seven tracks and played the bass, while Jockie played the keyboards, guitar and drums.

Ian Antono and Teddy Sujaya played the guitar and drums respectively for the songs Mesin Kota and Dia. Jurang Pemisah was a portrait of social reality, dealing with themes such as the environment and politics, the eponymous song, was about class discrimination causing a divide between the different social strata. The other single, Jeritan Sebrang was a portrait of supporters of the Republic of South Maluku.

Republic of South Maluku
South Maluku Natives

This astonishing album reveals us a more melodic pop side of what we saw in our previous mixtape, Chrisye’s soft timbre and Jockie’s splendid keys translate the ambitious goals of this masterpiece. Different from Guruh Gipsy’s work, the Lp got no gamelan or traditional influences, nevertheless, do not be intimidated by the language, the beautiful songs showed here will capture the most universal feelings.

With folk, prog and rock tinge the ‘IM’ highlights are: Dendam, a ballad to hear over and over, with acoustic base, minor harmonics and light synths that will take you to some nostalgic place. And Mesin Kota, a hard organ-driven, with uptempo pace, joyous chorus, and some nice guitar work. Lastly, I would like to know a little more of the language and further understand the lyrics, will anyone could help us?

Apik Trip!

Tracks Include:

1 Jeritan Seberang (Shriek from the Other Side)

2 Jurang Pemisah (Dividing Canyon)

3 Sirna (Disappeared)

4 Mesin Kota (Machines in the City)

5 Putri Madam

6 Dendam (Revenge)

7 Gerutu Menggerutu (Yockie) [Grumbling Roughly]

8 Harapan (Yockie) [Hope]

9 Dia (Her)

Jakarta
Jakarta

Bubu – Anabelas (1978)

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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. (!)

El Cordobazo
El Cordobazo

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.

Videla & The Junta
Videla & The Junta

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).

Perón
Perón

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.

Montoneros Symbol
Montoneros Symbol

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.

Bubu Gang
Bubu Gang

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!

Argentine Prog Ensemble
Argentine Prog Ensemble

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.

Nzuri Safari!

Tracks Include:

A1 El Cortejo de Un Día Amarillo (Danza de Las Atlantides / Locomotora Blues)

B1 El Viaje de Anabelas

B2 Sueños de Maniquí

Credits

  • 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

Notes

‘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

Buenos Aires Overview
Buenos Aires Overview

Ofege – Try and Love (1973)

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Nigeria. The British colonized the country in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, setting up administrative structures and law while recognizing traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independenceMilitary governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments (two military juntas through the 70s and 80s). Known as ‘the Giant of Africa’, is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous nation in the world!

Nigeria is roughly divided in half between Christians, who mostly live in the south and central parts of the country, and Muslims, concentrated mostly in the north. A minority of the population practice traditional and local religions, including the Igbo and Yoruba religions. Its oil reserves have brought great revenues to the country, being the 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter.

Lagos Market
Lagos Market

It was there that a complex combination of traditional styles (Yoruba, Jazz, Highlife, Funk, and Chants) was created: the Afrobeat.

Both Nigeria and Ghana has its share on the creation, but is certainly through Fela Anikulapo Kuti that the rhythm became known, famous and multiplied; hand in hand with political activism and big band formations, the social criticism of his lyrics always was a tool for social changes!

His message can be described as confrontational and controversial, which can be related to the political climate of most of the African countries in the 1960s, many of which were dealing with political injustice and military corruption while recovering from the transition from colonial governments to self-determination.

We will turn to the subject soon with a dedicated post to the genre, its characters and   (of course) the black president. Curiously today’s album got no Afrobeat influences, it can be described as an Afro Rock with tons of psychedelia, instead of horn sections or heavy percussion we got a usual rock combo. Shall we?!

Revolutionary Gesture
Fela Kuti’s Revolutionary Gesture

Let’s go to our history:

Our friends from Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Afrojazzz, Afrorock, African Boogie had already made a dossier about our juvenile stars, but we’ll try to filter all these info. Credited as The Ofege Phenomenon, they were formed in a 70s school from St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos. His music was largely influenced by the guitar solos of Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck and the criss-cross rhythms of Osibisa (Ghanaian band formed in London). At home they were influenced by the music of BLO, Monomono, and Ofo the Black Company, the greatest rock acts from the period.

Recorded while the band members were still in high school (average age of 16), Ofege’s debut album Try And Love was originally recorded and released in 1973. Due to their vibrant combo of sweet harmonies, hooks & fuzz, they would become one of the most legendary Nigerian groups of all time, with expressive sales and national stardom.

However, with only four albums released until 1978 and no recognition outside Nigeria, Ofege’s short career would only be rediscovered with the turn of the century.

Monomono
Monomono

The renewed interest and world compilations about psychedelic music brought them to international acknowledgment, releases like Love, Peace and Poetry and Nigeria Rock Special has in its tracks different moments from the band (early psych, late funk/disco) and should be properly enjoyed.

Let’s go to our album:

Always when it comes to Africa, we immediately think of Afrobeat or traditional music, not always based on electrical resources. This is a very common ethnocentric view that minimizes or excludes the great musical accomplishments of this continent.

The Afro Rock pioneered in the late 60s (Osibisa, Assagai) subverted this condition leading the western pop into a new tinge of elements, the boys from Ofege were aware of all this when they decided to make a band.

Lagos Slums
Lagos Slums

The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Gbe Mi Lo, a wild and uncompromising instrumental tune with bits of funky elements that are dissolved into a psychedelic effect, the overall guitar work here are insanely great, with heavy fuzz and swinging rhythm.

And Lead Me On a closing track with naive lyrics and straight rock pace, delivering some raw solos and the usual beat that accompanies the whole album. The ingenuity allied with the inexperience of its members makes this album a real treasure.

Buon Viaggio!

Tracks Include:

A1 Nobody Fails

A2 Whizzy Ilabo

A3 Gbe Mi Lo

A4 Try And Love

B1 It’s Not Easy

B2 Ofege

B3 You Say No

B4 Lead Me On

EMI Nigeria – NEMI (LP) 0032

Credits

  • Bass: Paul Alade
  • Drums: M-Ike Meme
  • Rhythm Guitar: Felix Inneh
  • Lead Guitar: Berkley Jones
  • Lead Vocals: Melvin Ukachi
  • Vocals: Felix Inneh, M-Ike Meme, Paul Alade
  • Lyrics by: Melvin Ukachi
  • Written by: M-Ike Meme
  • Producer: Odion Iruoje
  • Engineer (Recording): Emmanuel Odenusi, Kayode Salami

Aguaturbia – Psychedelic Drugstore (1970)

Controversial Cover
Controversial Cover

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.

By Lattuf
By Lattuf

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.

Allende Elected
Allende Elected

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.

Revolutionary Poster
Revolutionary Poster

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). (!!)

La Moneda Under Attack
La Moneda Under Attack

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.

Site of Torture / Death
Site of Torture / Death

This is obviously a small summary of a much more complex situation, Patricio Guzman’s The 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.

1970
1970

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!

Controversial Cover 2
Controversial Cover 2

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.

1973 Comeback
1973 Comeback

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.’

Pinochet + The Junta
Pinochet + The Junta

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)

Denise Nowadays
Denise Nowadays

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.

Bonan Vojaĝon!

Tracks Include:

1 Somebody To Love (Darby Slick)

2 Erotica (Carlos Corales)

3 Rollin’ ‘N’ Tumblin’ (M. Water)

4 Ah Ah Ah Ay (Corales, Cavada)

5 Crimson & Clover (Tommy James, Peter Lucia Jr.)

6 Heartbreaker (Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)

7 Blues On The Westside (Nick Gravenites)

8 Waterfall (Carlos Corales)

9 E.V.O.L. (Carlos Corales)

10 I Wonder Who (Carlos Corales)

11 Aguaturbia (Carlos Corales)

Bass: Ricardo Briones

Drums: Willi Cavada

Guitar: Carlos Corales

Vocals: Denise Corales

Background ‎– HBG 122/15 (1993)

Today
Today