Telegraph Avenue – Telegraph Avenue (1971)

capa cópia

Presently, there is a great demand and worldwide interest on foreign Latin-rock releases, these obscure gems, made with crude recording equipment, amateur techniques, and with pressings done, most of the time were on recycled vinyl.

The Peruvian Rock music scene (Inca Rock), initially was basically influenced by Rockabilly and later on by the tidal waves created by Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Peruvians groups played in the musical styles of Elvis, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, throughout the ’50s and early ’60s. Later on, the mid-sixties saw the influence of Surf, Go-Go, The Beatles and some of the first Mersey Sound groups inspired the new generation of rock musicians. During the unrest cauldron that Latin America was, over the period, the country would face two subsequent military coups and its losses.

The first, led by Juan Velasco Alvarado in 1968, self-proclaimed the Armed Forces Revolution, tried and managed to overthrow the aristocratic republic with nationalist and anti-imperialist ethos. Infamous actions as the confiscation and prohibition of rock music through the national broadcasting services, the increased price for importing sound equipments and instruments and its pinnacle on the cancellation of Santana’s concert, in 1971, who was already at the Airport, in Lima; the government alleged the possession of marijuana by its band members and the fear of crescent youth riots, merged with a discourse of alienation music and maintained order. (!)

1968 Coup d'État
1968 Coup d’État

The imminent economic fiasco, made the military junta exchange its key figure, thus, Francisco Morales Bermúdez inaugurated the second phase government in early 1975. With more conservative guidance, opening Peru to foreign capital and multinationals, the Inca inheritors would only saw a new constitution in 1979 and their first elections after thirty years in 1980.

By the end of the decade, the psychedelic scene and its bands changed to the ‘new’ Progressive, Punk Rock and Heavy Metal aesthetics.

Let’s go to their history:

Peru. The year of 1969 saw the development of the most interesting era from the Lima musical scene, groups like Laghonia, Traffic Sound, Black Sugar, Pax, El Alamo, Gerardo Manuel & El Humo, Tarkus and Telegraph Avenue popped through a context of repression, poor technical conditions and radio boycotts. Peruvian rock only stands behind by Brazilian and Argentine scenes, with beautiful melodic textures and balanced blends of folklore and western influences!

Special note by the legendary Mag label, they recorded 80% of the material from all these bands and certainly deserves a dedicated post.

Album Insert
Album Insert

In the mid-’70s, Telegraph Avenue was formed after the lead guitarist Bo Ichikawa returned to Peru, after having stayed half a year in San Francisco, he had been exposed to the vivid local hippie rock culture. The crazy chain of events from the ’60s and ’70s had made Telegraph (a real avenue), as well as Berkeley, a symbol of the Counterculture of an era, attracting a diverse audience of visitors, including college students, tourists, artists, street punks, eccentrics, and homeless.

There are some brilliant photos from that era by Nacio Jan Brown and Joe Samberg, for you to understand the outlook of an epoch, check it!

On its return, he assembled all kinds of American influences, in a very powerful way, with English lyrics, and unlike ideas for the main arrangements. The band was finally formed with Bo Ichikawa and Chachi Luján on the guitars, Alex Nathanson on bass, and Walo Carrillo on drums and percussion; the only four-piece band that included melodic vocals and a mixture of psychedelic rock with Latin rhythms. An interesting fact is the multi-instrumental ability of all its members, too.

Telegraph Avenue
Telegraph Avenue

Later, the band would see a two-year hiatus after their first release, with Carrillo and Nathanson forming Tarkus on 1972. Then, the group reunited for its second and final release Telegraph Avenue Vol. 2 in late 74′ early 75′, shortly after, they were disbanded and the album became one of the lasts from the Peruvian psychedelic scene, much persecuted by the military dictatorship (sic).

Nevertheless, since 2008 the band gather together once again, much influenced by the rediscovered and re-press of their first album. As if not enough, they also released a third Lp with inedited material on 2011, called Telegraph Avenue III!

Let’s go to our record:

Before publishing its first album, the group was known from playing at parties in Pueblo Libre, the majority of these being graduation parties. There were also appearances at celebrations for the Club de Leones, Club Yugoslavo, Club Hebraica, and the Galaxy Discotheque, including a time were Telegraph Avenue played in the interior of an empty swimming pool! One of the most exciting concerts was at the University of Lima in November of 1970, the group was asked to play every weekend, and had bookings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday almost all year round.

Live
Live

In June 1971, the band published their first self-titled Lp, which contained eight songs, it reached great sales during that year, and was well recognized throughout Peru. With more than 50 performances, they decided to take a break at the year’s end.

With styles very varied, ranging from Californian feelings, soul, blues, and sixties flavored rock styles, the psychedelic element is rather unique and can only be heard in other Peruvian acts, such as Black Sugar. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Happy, an ultimate ballad that makes me long for a time that I didn’t live, with heavenly guitars, tuned chorus, and sweet naïve lyrics. An instant hit! And Let Me Start, a hard punch one with colorful fuzz, swinging bassline and nice uptempo mood. If on one hand, the band doesn’t have much-engaged lyrics, the harmonic parts are over the psych average, don’t miss this Inca Rock memento. Yaxşı Səyahət!

Telegraph Dreamers, 1972
Telegraph Dreamers, 1972

Tracks Include:

A1 Something Going

A2 Happy

A3 Sweet Whatever

A4 Lauralie

B1 Sungaligali

B2 Let Me Start

B3 Sometimes In Winter

B4 Telegraph Avenue

Companies

  • Recorded At – Estudios Mag

Credits

  • Acoustic Guitar, Percussion (Gemelas), Congas (Tumbas), Vocals – Chachi Luján
  • Acoustic Guitar, Clavichord, Bass, Alto Vocals – Alex Nathanson
  • Maracas, Tambourine (Pandereta), Percussion, Drums, Vocals – Walo Carrillo
  • Xylophone, Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Guitar (1a), Vocals – Bo Ichikawa
  • Written By – Nathanson (tracks: A1, A3, A4), Ichikawa (tracks: A2, B1 to B4), Luján (tracks: A2, B1 to B3), Carrillo (tracks: A3)

Notes

Grabación: Hecha en Los Estudios Mag de Lima, Perú en 8 Canales.

  • Design (Diseño) – Ichikawa, Carrillo
  • Design (Diseño), Photography By – Mario Acha

Gracias Joe.

Mag LPN-2404

Today
Today

Novos Bahianos + Baby Consuelo – No Final do Juízo (1971)

capa cópia

Brazil, 1969. After the infamous AI-5 (institutional act #5), the dictatorship that was ruling entered in a new phase, seeing its 5th birthday, with an urban guerrilla and a mass wave of protests throughout the country. The most reactionary group made a coup inside the coup. From that moment the previous censorship was installed on every layer of the society, no civil guaranties at all, any manifestation was a subversive act, elections/congress suspended, as the unions and student leadership.

The terror against anyone contrary to the order was real. Many people were persecuted, arrested, tortured, killed and buried as indigents under the iron tutelage of the State, and the connivance from big entrepreneurs, media groups, multinational companies, industrial bourgeoisie and CIA (Torture expertise). (!)

100.000 March, 1968
100.000 March 1968

The only thing that this tropical, multicultural and joyful society could vote and participate, was the emblematic Festivais (music festivals), liberated by the junta. Created in 1965, aired and transmitted live by multiple broadcasters, always held by the end of the year, it was the greatest musical event from the time; eagerly awaited, with mass media coverage, the crowds could boo and cheered to death in a collective catharsis, revealing new national superstars or villains!

Renowned artist like Elis Regina, Geraldo Vandré, Edu Lobo, Nara Leão, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Tom Zé, and many others was revealed there. However, due to the turbulent development in 1968 festival, the dictatorship decided to prune and systematize the spectacle. There was a strict preoccupation to show an ordained happily country to the world, the festival would be transmitted on early January to Europe, via Rede Globo (sic), in a 3-hour special.

At the end of the year, most mentioned artists were exiled by solidarity or not, Tropicalism was dead, Marighella too; inside this turbulent musical void, Os Novos Bahianos (first graphed with H, after without) emerged and caused a fuss.

Early Promo
Early Promo

Let’s go to their history:

It all started at Vila Velha theater (Salvador, Bahia) with the show ‘O Desembarque dos Bichos Depois do Dilúvio Universal’. The members: Luiz Dias Galvão, agronomist, poet, musician, cinema and dramatics enthusiast, 32 years; Antônio Carlos de Morais Pires, 21 years of fiery musical essay at Turiassu, interior of Bahia; Paulo Roberto de Figueiredo, ex-crooner from Orquestra Avanço, 23 years, nicknamed Paulinho Boca de Cantor; Bernadete Dinorah de Carvalho (Baby), from Niterói (Rio de Janeiro), newcomer to Salvador, which commemorate his seventeen years living under the bridge (!); lastly, Jorginho, Carlinhos, Lico e Pedro Anibal de Oliveira Gomes (Pepeu) that formed the backing band, Os Leif’s. With the exception of Bernadette, they were all from Bahia, unheard, strange, radicals and young.

It was the beginning of Novos Baianos, at the tropical chaos of 1969.

Baby, carioca problem-girl, dreamed, like many in its age, being an artist, a singer, the one who deserves posters with your initials. Her baptism name didn’t help too. In an impetus of boredom and freedom, she goes with her friend, Ediane, to Salvador, there she meets Galvão and Moraes at Brasa’s, a unique bar from there. Paulinho (boca de cantor) also met the triad and joins them at Dona Maritó boarding house. The only one with previous musical experience (live shows and recording), were Pepeu (guitar), owner of an unmistakable style, genuinely Brazilian, crossing Hendrix with Choro. (!!)

1970
1970

In the beginning, only a quartet: Moraes, Galvão, Paulinho e Baby (whose new name was born and celebrated from a movie character) which was accompanied by Leif’s. Galvão was the poet and mentor, Moraes the main composer, Galvão’s partner, with a subtle acoustic guitar. Paulinho was the rascal, Lúcifer, and mellow singer. Pepeu the guitar hero. Baby the stoned singer. All, with a Tropicalia pinch in 1969/70.

After the racket from Dilúvio in Salvador, they went to São Paulo, were performed in numerous TV shows always exceeding the expected number of songs and staging absurd expedients. The first manager was Marcos Lázaro, through João Araújo (manager of Gil, Caetano, Gal) they signed with RGE and release their first single:

Yet in 1969: De Vera /// Colégio de Aplicação.

Then in 1970, a caustic, sardonic, threatening Lp (Ferro Na Boneca – RGE) which included tracks from the compact, a cornucopia of styles/titles. They also participate as actors and on the soundtrack from two Underground (Marginal) films of the era: Meteorango Kid e Caveira My Friend. Still, they released a double compact without Baby, who was trying her first steps on a solo foray.

These early albums will have dedicated posts in the near future!

Fun!
Fun!

Let’s go to our record:

Today’s album is an incredible double compact, never re-released on Cd, forgotten and hated by the band due to technical aspects. It was the one and only attempt on Phillips, at the time directed by the mighty Nelson MottaOne thing that must be said, was the radical transformation that the band went through after meeting with João Gilberto, he also lived with them for a short period at the infamous apartment in Botafogo. The roots, that were until then based in various styles, such as, rock, baião, soul, tango, turned into samba and choro strictly.

This little revolution happened in late 1971, and it’s well counted in the documentary Filhos de João. So this is their last release without the sound that would be recognized and praised not only in Brazil but worldwide!

Psychedelic Novos
Psychedelic Novos

We go from hippy folk to a Latin brass experience (even sung in Spanish!), passing through some sambas and harsh fuzz rocks sang in an over the top registry by Baby! Special mention lyrics go for Dê um Rolê, a counterculture hymn, that became very (very!) famous on the interpretation of Gal Costa, the song preaches love from head to toe, going completely against the terror that was represented by the military.

Please enjoy this little gem and Jó Utat!

Tracks Include:

Novos Bahianos + Baby Consuelo – No Final do Juízo (1971)

A1 Dê Um Rolê (Moraes Moreira / Galvão) ~ Paulinho Boca de Cantor

A2 Você Me Dá Um Disco? (Moraes Moreira / Pepeu Gomes / Galvão) ~ Baby do Brasil

B1 Caminho de Pedro (Moraes Moreira / Galvão) ~ Moraes Moreira

B2 Risque (Moraes Moreira / Galvão) ~ Moraes Moreira e Baby do Brasil

Credits

Production Director: Nelson Motta

Photo: David Drew Zingg

Compacto Duplo – Philips 6245 003

Rio Curves
Rio Curves

Indonesian Mixtape ~ 2013

Benny Soebardja & Lizard
Benny Soebardja & Lizard

Indonesia. Fossilized remains of Homo Erectus and his tools, popularly known as the Java Man, suggest the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by at least 1.5 million years ago. Austronesian People who form the majority of the modern population, are thought to have originally been from Taiwan and arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE. The earliest evidence of Islamised populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra; for the most part, Islam is overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and (curious tolerant) multiple religious influences.

Europeans arrived in Indonesia from the 16th century seeking to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku. In 1602 the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was established and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the Netherlands government created the Dutch East Indies under government control. (sic)

By the early 20th century, Dutch dominance extended to the current boundaries. The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupations in 1942-45 during WWII ended Dutch rule and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan on August 1945, nationalist leader (future leader), Sukarno, declared independence and became president.

Tielman Brothers
Tielman Brothers

While the West and many other western-styled democratic countries reveled in rock music, the left-leaning government of Sukarno took a dim view of western influence in the early days of the Indonesian Republic, restricting the purchase and sale of Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, as well as those of homegrown artists performing western-style rock music. This could be accredited to a rejection of Western culture after three centuries under Dutch colonial rule and was argued to help Indonesian artists create their own form of Indonesian pop music. (!)

Sukarno’s government insisted on Indonesia producing its own brand of pop music, yet many of these groups still showed western musical influences in their arrangements shown either by the crooner styled vocals or R&B flavored guitars for rhythm. Indonesia’s more popular groups, most notably Koes Bersaudara, later renamed Koes Plus found life increasingly difficult under Sukarno frequent queries from the authorities for performing western rock, while other Indonesian rock n’ roll pioneers like the Tielman Brothers had to make their name in Europe.

These were the early beat, garage and pop scene.

Dara Puspita 60's
Dara Puspita 60’s

Let’s go to our history:

Sukarno’s anti-imperial ideology saw Indonesia increasingly dependent on Soviet and then communist China. By 1965, the PKI was the largest communist party, outside the Soviet Union or China. Penetrating all levels of government, the party increasingly gained influence at the large expense of the army.

On September 30, 1965, six of the most senior generals within the military and other officers were executed in an attempted coup. This fact prompted a violent army-led communist purge, aided by CIA and British Foreign Office, over a million people were killed in a year, a year and a half, throughout the country. (!!)

1965-66 Prisions
1965-66 Prisons

General Suharto politically outmaneuvered President Sukarno, and became president in March 1968. When he finally opened the floodgates for western culture, Suharto’s new order regime’s friendly stance towards western powers allowed the emerging rock music scene to flourish. With the country entering open relations with the western, many Anglo-American artists like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Genesis, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, King Crimson, Janis Joplin and Black Sabbath flooded Indonesia’s radio waves while its fresh new sound helped create many of Indonesia’s best-known artists of the ’70s, be it directly or indirectly. The decade also provided numerous bands and household rock stars still active on today’s musical charts.

Thanks to Now Again’s fantastic compilation (2011) of Indonesian rock, Those Shocking Shaking Days, people worldwide were able to taste the greatest bands from the Indorock scene. With a tumultuous historical background, led by a 33-year dictatorship, Rock music was a real exhaust valve in a land of fear, death, and corruption. We’re talking about a place where a right-wing paramilitary organization Pemuda Pancasila grew out of the death squads to reach maximum popularity as national heroes! They got strictly bonds with the government and more than 3 million members throughout Indonesia! With no trials or official recognition, this frightening aspect it’s shown on Joshua Oppenheimer documentary, The Act of Killing.

Commie Purge
Commie Purge

Let’s go to our mixtape:

A Mixtape it’s a personal choice that usually ranges a certain time or era, serving as a gateway for new listeners. Today we’ll focus on 70’s scene, therefore, some brilliant Indonesian bands will be out of our first selection, such as Koes Plus, AKA, Shark Move, Super Kid, Panbers, Duo Kribo, etc. Their complete biography and developments will be left for an exclusively dedicated post, there will be many, don’t worry! This is just warming for Indonesian rock, phew, let’s to them!?

Dara Puspita ~ Tabah & Cobalah (1971)

dara puspita 71 cópia

Harapan Kosong /// Did You Know That?

Dara Puspita (Flower Girls) was Indonesia’s most successful girl band of the 1960s. The girls were one of the few groups who actually played their own music. Hailed from the city of Surabaya in East Java and first formed in 1964, on 1965 the band relocated to Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and soon gained a reputation as a sensational live act, bashing away their instruments, jumping and screaming out their songs.

Riding on the beat garage, in 1968 they took the almost unprecedented move for an Indonesian band of trying their luck in Europe and spent the next few years touring in England, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, and Hungary. They even played in Turkey and Iran! In late 1971 the girls returned to Indonesia and played a number of concerts, and on April 1972 they played their last show.

The selected songs are from their last era, a real psychedelic issue with less girlie posture, serious fuzz, and organ. Words in English and Indonesian, some soul swing and no political themes on lyrics. By the way, the band was much used in Suharto’s years as a nationalist flag of Indonesia’s greatness (sic). Their 71′ released are also on Hans Pokora’s book, that’s why is so difficult to find any good transfer.

Harry Roesli Gang ~ Philosophy Gang (1973)

harry roesli cópia

Peacock Dog //// Roda Angin

Harry Roesli has been a well-known artist in Indonesia, who pioneered contemporary music with consistent delivery of social and humanity critics in a straight forward and transparent way. He was born in Bandung and passed away on December 11, 2004.

During early ’70s, Harry formed a band called Gang of Harry Roesli with his friends: Albert Warnerin, Indra Rivai, and Iwan A Rachman. Five years later the group was disbanded. Harry was then granted a scholarship by Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschapelijk Werk (CRM), to study in Rotterdam Conservatorium, Netherlands. To support his life while studying and expressing his musical talent, he played piano at Indonesian restaurants, achieving Ph.D. in Music (1981) and then lecturing at the department of music at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI).

This is his first release, words in English and Indonesian, fabulous keys timbres, small Latin accent with a pop-psych overall. Harry lyrics suffered constant boycotts and a blacklist agenda by the military government. He’s certainly the most restless author from all, with dozens of records and few acknowledgments worldwide.

Benny Soebardja & Lizard ~ Benny Soebardja & Lizard (1975)

Benny Soebardja cópia

Crime /// Loosing Time

The Indonesian Hendrix, the self-proclaimed founder of the private press scene, Benny Soebardja is one of the most important figures from the Indonesian music industry. Having been a member of three of the biggest bands in Indonesia: The Peels, Shark Move and Giant Step. Backed by the almost unknown Lizard band.

He got some problems due to its first solo release, with a banned cover and government intimidation who saw too much freedom of speech on its lyrics. The words in English were made with the help of British poet Bob Dook. With psychedelic nature, organ, reeds, light/heavy guitar work, and harmonic soulful chorus, some social criticism themes are included. He’s still on the run!

God Bless ~ God Bless (1976)

godbless cópia

Sesat /// Eleanor Rigby

God Bless pioneered the birth of rock music in Indonesia dated back in early ’70s. The band’s central figure vocalist Ahmad Albar, previously formed Take Five (1966-1967), and later Clover Leaf (1967-1972). When he returned to Indonesia, Fuad Hassan (drums), Donny Fatah (bass) and Deddy Dores (keyboard) were invited to form with him, God Bless. They dominated rock music performance during the decade, even though they did cover versions of Deep Purple, Genesis, Kin Ping Meh, Queen.

God Bless also performed as the opening act for a spectacular show (with 120,000 crowds!) featuring Deep Purple live in Stadion Utama, Jakarta, 1975. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1976, by Indonesian label Pramaqua. With a major hit: Huma di Atas Bukit the album remarked the birth of Indo rock scene.

Classic Rock at it’s the best definition, words in Indonesian with a tuned rock band. They’re the best selling rock band from Indonesia history and are still on the run!

Giant Step ~ Kukuh Nan Teguh (1977)

giant step cópia

Mekar //// Alam Bebas

One of the legendary Indonesian progressive rock acts of the ’70s, with influences from the American/British prog legends, they established their own sound with great originality. They went through a series of line-up changes with the omnipresent figure of Benny Soebardja, plus the best musicians from Bandung: Deddy Stanzah (Rollies), Deddy Dores (Freedom of Rhapsodia), Albert Warnerin (Philosophy Gang).

They managed to release several albums with great commercial success before finally breaking up in 1986. Sung in Indonesian, strong moogs and synths, nice guitars, flutes, broken signature, and beautiful rock ballads. Altogether, you can call them true prog heroes, with no influences from traditional music or social criticism themes.

Guruh Gipsy ~ Guruh Gipsy (1977)

guruh gipsy cópia

Janger 1897 Saka /// Geger Gelgel

The only album released by the band (with Chrisye), it’s the second greatest from all time according to Rolling Stone Indonesia (!). We’ll make a complete post with biography and info members in the near future, this is no ordinary record! After sixteen months of production, as the two musical elements have different spectrum in terms of notes and chords progression, Guruh spent a lot of time outside the studio to learn the subtleties of western music as well as Bali traditional music. They strived to find the harmony that blended prog rock with Bali traditional gamelan music.

With a rock combo (guitar, bass, drums, organ), orchestra, female backing vocals, heavy moogs, and traditional instruments, this is probably the greatest mix between traditional and modern anglo music I’ve ever seen, at least in Indonesia!

A symphonic prog with outstanding arrangements, full-length songs, heavenly chorus and many different climates throughout the record, a must-see.

Trip Becik!

Indonesian Orangutan
Indonesian Orangutan

Almendra – First Singles (1968-1969)

almendra cópia

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 CreamLos 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 & Chicos
Almendra & Chicos

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] **

3) Gabinetes Espaciales (Luis Alberto Spinetta) /////////////////////////////////////// Compilation LP ‘Mis Conjuntos Preferidos’ [RCA Vik 3836] ***

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.

Color Humano
Color Humano

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.

Rehearsing
Rehearsing

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.

Live
Live

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)

Almendra Poster
Almendra Poster

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.

almendra 3 cópia

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.

Muertos de Mentira
Muertos de Mentira

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!

Musica Joven
Musica Joven

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.

Góð Ferð!!

Afterwards
Afterward (RIP, Flaco)

Rogério Duprat – A Banda Tropicalista do Duprat (1968)

capa cópia

Born in 1932 in Rio de Janeiro, Rogério Duprat, began studying cello at the early ’50s, a period that integrates the State Symphony Orchestra. In 1955 moves to São Paulo, becoming conductor and composer of the Symphony Orchestra. In the early ’60s, funds the classical avant-garde movement ‘Música Nova’, alongside Júlio Medaglia, Damiano Cozzella, Régis DupratGilberto Mendes.

still on the ’60s, travels to Europe, where he studied in France, with the composer Pierre Boulez, and in Germany with Karlheinz Stockhausen. (!)

Back in Brazil, he dedicated to creating experimental pieces on the computer, with Damiano Cozzella once more. At the University of Brasilia, where he taught, Duprat was part of happenings and manifestations of random music.

Still, on the sixties, he began working on several film soundtracks and is from there that he initiates contact with popular music, most especially with Os Mutantes!

III Festival de Música Popular Brasileira, TV Record
III Festival de Música Popular Brasileira, TV Record

Debut in 1967 with Domingo no Parque alongside Giberto Gil and Os Mutantes and bill the award for the best arrangement of the III Festival of MPB (TV Record). Thereafter, the proposal of Geléia Geral by Tropicalia enters the scene.

Pop Cannibalism. Revolution Consumerist. /// o sol se reparte em crimes, espaçonaves, guerrillas /// He works extensively with Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Gilberto Gil, Os Mutantes, Tom Zé, Lanny Gordin, Erasmo Carlos, Walter Franco, etc, of the records from Festivals, dozens and annual, recorded live.

Gil & Mutantes, Live Divino Maravilhoso (Tv Program)
Gil & Mutantes, Live Divino Maravilhoso (TV Program)

Let’s go to our record:

When asked of his first solo foray, the conductor is emphatic:

‘I do not really like that. In fact, they forced a lot. For starters, that picture, made ​​me climb on the table to beat photograph … Something so silly, naive, bitchy! Anyway, I ended up doing because I wanted to make the album, has some things I like. But it suffered from the fact that the record company forces me a bit on some international music repertoire, which was a bit more commercialized. Within the record company, they did not understand things well…’

Launched in the first half of 1968, riding on the musical-wave Tropicalia, the album was a commercial failure and saw over the decades to become a holy grail of all Tropicalista production from 67 to 69. Often compared to a tupiniquim George Martin, Rogério Duprat has his own vision of what you expect from American standards, pop, sambas, bossa, psychedelia and much more!

The Maestro
The Maestro

Both scholar and pop, coming from the leading arranger of Brazilian music, certainly the freest and inventive, the Tropicalia pope! The ‘IM’ highlights: ‘Flying’, roaming a psych landscape with reverse fuzz and an oniric feel. And ‘Quem Será?’, a samba from the ’40s in a luxury cinematic collage, amazing!

As if that were not enough, the album also features the always welcome participation of Os Mutantes in four tracks, wandering through all aspects of the disc. Bonum Iter!

Tracks Include:

A1. Judy In Disguise
(J. Fred / A. Bernard / J. Wessler)

A2. Honey
(Bobby Russell)
Summer Rain
(James Hendricks)

A3. Canção Para Inglês Ver
(Lamartine Babo)
Participação: Os Mutantes
Chiquita Bacana
(João de Barro / Alberto Ribeiro)
Participação: Os Mutantes

A4. Flying
(John Lennon / Paul McCartney)

A5. The Rain, The Park And Other Things
(Steve Duboff / Artie Kornfield)
Participação: Os Mutantes

A6. Canto Chorado
(Billy Blanco)
Bom Tempo
(Chico Buarque)
Lapinha
(Baden Powell / Paulo César Pinheiro)

B1. Chega de Saudade
(Tom Jobim / Vinicius de Moraes)

B2. Baby
(Caetano Veloso)

B3. Cinderella-Rockefella
(M. Williams)
Participação: Os Mutantes

B4. Ele Falava Nisso Todo Dia
(Gilberto Gil)
Bat Macumba
(Gilberto Gil / Caetano Veloso)

B5. Lady Madonna
(John Lennon / Paul McCartney)
Participação: Os Mutantes

B6. Quem Será?
(Jair Amorim / Evaldo Gouveia)

Ficha técnica do disco sem créditos aos músicos da banda.

 Philips 765.048 (Mono)

Chacrinha & Caetano Veloso, 1971
Chacrinha & Caetano Veloso, 1971