Thursday, September 8, 2011

Los Blops - Locomotora (1973 chilean progressive folk rock, Shadoks reissue - FLAC)

[ Shadoks Music Series # 080 ]

The monumental fiasco Los Blops experienced at the Vine Festival of 1972 gave rise to an abrupt reaction on behalf of the group.

It was something like "if they do not want subtle songs, poetic and loving, then try this : "Locomotive" ". The group even momentarily changed their name into "Paraffin".

The acoustic guitars were still there, at least for the performances, with an openness for the electric and the progressive thing. Julio Villalobos had already left the group by this time, and he was replaced by the classic pianist Juan Vile Carlos, who made a significant contribution in keyboards.

With this, Los Blops, after an anarchical stage of pure improvisation, returned now to another serious tryout - in the 'Manchufelá de Peñalolén'(?), this time with a serious composition and adjustment of elaborated instrumental tracks with a more aggressive, progressive, quite unclassifiable style which once again was absolutely pioneering for Chile.

Under the name of Paraffin, they returned to the public in February of 1973, and performed at the mythical festival "Los Caminos que se Abren / ways being opened", next to Los Jaivas and the 'Chilean Polen' from Peru and other groups.

The delivery of Paraffin/Los Blops was total, overwhelming, and left a memory difficult to erase, for many until today. The group played only seven tracks, among them five of them were recorded on the album... In Chile nobody wanted to record this new repertoire.

Their 'manager' at those moments, was Jose (Pepe) Romeu, an urban Argentinean and a profound shaman of high caliber, had lived before with the group in the community in the "Manchufela", and later in Peñalolén during last the three years.

He managed to organize a trip to Argentina to perform in the Olympia Theater of Buenos Aires which lead to a recording for RCA. The group never know how Pepe, who sadly left them in 1975, had obtained that opportunity. Pepe only obtained 14 hours in the magnificent studios of the RCA in Buenos Aires... so they only had these 14 precious hours to record and to mix. The group chose the five finished tracks.

One track came from the same Pepe Romeu ("Allegro ma non Troppo"), one of Juan Contreras ("Sandokan"), one of Juan Vile Carlos ("Pirómano/ Pyromaniacal"), one of Eduardo Gatti ("Tartaleta de Frutillas"), and finally "Locomotora/ Locomotive" the collective creation -; everything was recorded in one take.

They incorporated effects for the flute of Juan. Juan Carlos used a keyboard that was available in the studio. A friend of Pepe lend a sequence of synthesiser for the beginning and end of "Locomotive"...

The Blops returned to Chile after giving a concert in Rosario, with the master tape in their hands they found IRT being interested in distributing the disc, for which they delivered them the master tapes... But after the 11 from September this tape was lost.

Later Eduardo visited IRT again and after looking in all the corners, he found tape at the bottom of a waste basket! Believe it or not ..this is what happened ! With much good faith, Eduardo returned the master tape to the artistic director of the company.

The disc finally was published, only 500 copies,that quickly were sold out... but the master tape was lost again, this time for ever. So all three albums did "accidentily" lost their master tapes.

The album, like the first and the previous, have been rescued from a vinyl disc and remastered to obtain the optimal sound that this technique allows.

A sudden change in style. Still delicately played, but very progressive rock with jazzy touches. First track is progressive Rock with Tull like flutes. The second track is similar. "Locomotora" has an experimental rock start, then continues with a nice '70's prog rock that is the most progressive track from Chile from those days. Last track has very beautiful organ combined with freaky progressive rock.

Los Blops - Sandokán:

Track list:
01. Allegro Ma Non Troppo (12':42")
02. Tartaleta de Frutillas (08':45")
03. Locomotora (05':27")
04. Pirómano (05':35")
05. Sandokan (08':52")

Los Blops:
*Eduardo Gatti - guitar, vocals
*Juan Pablo Orrego - bass, vocals
*Sergio Bezard - drums, percussions
*Juan Contreras - flute, keyboards
*Juan Carlos Villegas - keyboards

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