Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Os Mutantes

This is Os Mutantes first album in 35 years. If you don’t know Mutantes, it would be easy to say something like they’re the Brazilian Beatles or the Brazilian version of the guys from Buena Vista Social Club, but they’re not; they’re Os Mutantes.

The Mutantes were a big part of the Tropicalia movement in Brazil during the ’60s. Imagine what you know about the psychedelic ’60s in America and the UK, and then combine that with Carnival, and you can basically suss up the sound of that movement. Put simply, it’s fucking wild.

Around 1964, there was a military coup in Brazil, and yes, that did suck. The starched uni’s were cracking down on the kids, art, and social activism. Legendary Brazilian musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil were playing with Mutantes at the time, and they were arrested and forced into exile on some trumped up charges off communism. (Back in the ’60s anyone who didn’t agree with the far right were branded “communists” much like people are branded “socialists” or “Nazis” now. All bullshit).

But the point is, Mutantes’ music was so radically different and powerful that the government got involved. If that’s not an endorsement of something really special and creative going on, I don’t know what is.

For the past few decades, Os Mutantes have been gone. In the ’90s Kurt Cobain begged them to reunite so they could open for Nirvana. What an ass. Nirvana should have been loading Mutantes’ gear and stocking their green room.

The music on this album will blow your mind. Listen to it on a real stereo with some real speakers, not ear buds or plastic computer speakers. The instrumentation, harmonies, and pure passion will knock you over.

*via current


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