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The highly combustible (roughly) two-year period in Brazilian history in which the Tropicalia movement swept through music rightly receives much press (see Caetano Veloso's Tropical Truth for what could be as close as a definitive document for such a highly deterritorialized moment): a total liquidation of high and low culture constructs, prefiguring eclectic digitalia thirty years early.

However, the period immediately following ('70-'75, let's say) was at least as musically rich, if not as conspicuous in its deconstructionist fervor. While Laurel Canyon was a few thousand miles away, the Brazil70 aesthetic was not entirely removed from the same post-trip mellowness, if not somewhat less insular and markedly more comptent compositionally.

Here, in time for summer, and in no particular order are nine crucial post-tropicalia Brazilian records.


Novos Baianos-Acabou Chorare: Communal-folk stylings, some subtle, downcast-cosmic samba cannibalism, one or two sudden acid guitar solos to keep things from getting too soporific.

Gal Costa- India: Even split between early bossa Costa and a sort of pan-global, extended groove style marked by some tangoesque accordian work.

Milton Nascimento- Clube de Esquina: Collaborative record with Lo Borges, 'spiritual' in the best way, shimmering arrangements, an overall sophisticated-rural vibe.

Edu Lobo- Missa Breve: Langorous, lapsed-Catholic, slowed-down MPB. Most of Lobo's LP's from the 70's are keepers.

Arthur Verocai- s/t: The Brazilian David Axelrod? Huge breakbeats, angular string arrangements, swaths of delay feedback, gorgeous melodies. This has been sampled to death so crate-diggers keep moving, probably.

Jorge Ben- Africa Brasil: Ben, among other things, really enunciated the influence of West African rythm in Brazilian musics, as well as on this disc progenating a few strands of proto-disco DNA. Trivia: the track 'Taj Mahal' was pilfered in its entirety for Rod Stewart's "If You Think I'm Sexy."

Caetano Veloso- Joia: Whispy, fey, gossamer strands of voice, mbira, hand-percussion and a Beatles cover (Help) make this one of the least insufferable "domestic solo" LP's.

Caetano Veloso- Araza Azul: The influence (and excellence) of this record cannot be overstated: a post-acid musique concrete aprroach to the last half century of Brazilian song: microtonal singing, loops of fragments of songs, field recordings, and some quite subtle choices in pitch, panning, and mic placement. Playful, experimental, and surprisingly listenable, even to the uninitiated.

Nelson Angelo e Joyce- s/t: Angelo and Joyce were newlyweds when they recorded this LP, and it shows in the best way:dimly-lit, closely-harmonized guitars and voices, almost  reverse-psychedelia (expansively intimate, cosmos within.)



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20th Century Music