Geracao Bendita (Shadoks reissue of 1971 album)


Once you stray outside of Tropicalia’s inner circle of Brazilian psychedelic royalty (Gilberto Gil, Gaetano Veloso, Os Mutantes, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben and Tom Ze) there are so many more misses than hits. Therefore, it was a pleasant surprise to find an album that holds its own against any album recorded by the aforementioned artists. This Spectrum has nothing to do with Pete Kember of and his brilliant continuation of Spacemen 3’s work, but this Spectrum was assembled to perform the soundtrack to a Brazilian hippie flick.

Consisting of actors and actresses in the film as well as members of the 2000 Volts band, this Spectrum has much love for Os Mutantes’ first two classic albums, but the Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers and Magical Mystery Tour albums as well. Vocalists jump from English to Portuguese without rhyme or reason as the band professes their love of peace, love and understanding, but it doesn’t really matter anyway. The main attraction is in how this suddenly assembled band deftly builds upon the sound of Os Mutantes and slathers the tracks in fuzz guitar.

However, there is one track on Geracao Bendita that still floors me a year after I first stumbled upon it. “Mother Nature” combines the Brazilian vibes of Tropicalia, the wide eyed optimism of the Beatles and the laid-back West Coast vibes of Haight-Ashbury in one track. It’s Abbey Road, After Bathing at Baxters and Os Mutantes in one sitting. The rest of Geracao Bendita is good, but this track makes me grin from ear to ear. There is not hyperbole in my mutterings. I really, really love this song.

Arthur Verocai

s/t 1972


Some of you may have fallen in love with Tropicalia and how Brazilian musicians like Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Gaetano Veloso, Gal Costa and Jorge Ben took psychedelia and stamped their own imprint on the genre. However, Arthur Verocai’s debut deserves to mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned artists. He had only served as a produced before letting loose with this gem which combines the breezy grooves of his contemporaries with expansive orchestral that echo the smoothness of Joao Gilberto’s finest arrangements with the contemplative, mellow psych of Gil and Veloso’s late 60s work. There are also hints of Zappa’s Hot Rats on a couple tracks and some of oozes a silky sleaze that predates Steely Dan’s mastering of that rare adjective. Plus, I love how he subtly layers the echo onto his vocals and focuses on the lost art of the sax solo in rock.