35 years between albums must surely be some kind of achievement.
Brazilian band/collective Os Mutantes (The Mutants)
have been through a great many line-up changes and
reincarnations since their formation in 1966.
I am completely unfamiliar with their earlier work and
'Haih Or Amortecedor' (their first studio album since 1974)
has been both a revelation and a real ear-opener for me.
Sandwiched between an introductory speech by Vladimir Putin to the
Russian army and a postscript of wildly out-of-kilter martial mayhem is
a collection of 11 marvellously sureal and varied compositions.
Psychedelic-Latino-Wehrmacht Cabaret-Swing-from Mars !!
The good-natured sunny melody of 'Tedar' tacitly demonstrates
the band's inate musicality and versatility. The central vocal
performance and harmonies are loose-limbed and delightful.
The slightly sleazy jazz of 'Baghdad Blues', with its stunning
woodwind and brass arrangement is another real highlight.
The limber "sha la la's" of 'Anagrama' made an Old Wolf smile.
'Samba Do Fidel' demonstrates both affection and cheeky disrespect
for the idiom within the same context. It's a complete hoot !
'Neurociencia Do Amor' is so full of wonderfully elegant ideas
it seems in danger of bursting at the seams. Stunning !
'Nada Mudou' is probably the album's finest and strangest moment.
Full of quasi-vaudevillian energy. Complex, barmy and utterly magical.
It's very hard to describe just how unique these sounds are.
'Gopala Krishna Om' nails the band's hippie heritage to the mast !
In a world full of musical riches Os Mutantes and their consummate
creation deserve a chair at the top table with the best of the best.