Monday, July 25, 2011

Lula Cortes/Ze Ramalho - Paêbirú

An ultra obscure double LP, recorded by Brazilian musicians Lula Cortes and Ze Ramalho. It's divided into four parts, one for each element (water, earth,fire and air), mostly about the myth of Sumé, a character of Tupi and Guarani indian mythology. Legends tell that Sumé came to the indians, before the coming of portuguese and spanish settlers to South America, trasmitting them lots of knowledge (introducing for example the cultivation of mandioca, mate or sweet-potato). Paêbiru is a tupi-guarani word for "the road of the sun", and old indian road crossing several brazilian states, which was allegedly opened by the character. It is believed that Sumé left some of his teachings engraved in a mysterious stone called Pedra de Ingá, an archeological mysterious site in Paraíba. The album cover actually shows Lula Côrtes photographed against this stone. The myth was later christianized by the jesuit missionaries in the region, transforming Sumé into St. Thomas the Apostle. 

Besides this, there's also the legend of the album itself. The studio where this was recorded stood near to the river Capiberibe and all its content was destroyed by a flood in 1975 (little time after the recording process), in which 80% of the city was flooded. Only 300 copies of the album that were stored in Lula Côrtes house (in a distant suburb) survived this tragic flood. With the passing of the years, this (and, of course, its undoubtable quality) made Paêbiru the greatest rarity in brazilian music, with copies being sold online for thousands of dollars. It is said that Zé Ramalho doesn't allow the reissue because he wants the names of him and Lula Côrtes inverted and also the cover front photo, since his photo appears in the back side cover.

As for the music itself, take it from me, you've never heard anything like this ever before. An unparalleled marriage of distant music traditions like psychedelic folk, baiao and brazilian jazz music. Wonderfully rich and transporting - this one can take you very very far if you let it. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs to

Legendary fuzzy space rock/neo psych pioneers Spacemen 3 formed in Warwickshire in 1984. This is a bootleg compilation of their demos, featuring tracks that would end up on their first 2 records. Essential and raw document of one of Britain's finest acts. Also, best album title of all time?

come down easy