Paêbirú is an obscure Brazilian psych concept album about the four elements (earth, air, fire, water) which got ruined in a warehouse fire back in 1974, causing it to become a massively sought-after (lost) classic, which fetched up to £3,000 for a vinyl copy.
This recording of the collaboration between Brazilian artists Lula Côrtes and Zé Ramalho is a wonderfully off-kilter record, full of fantastic hooky and strange tunes that range all over the place, from full-on freakouts to quiet pastoral. The entire range of 1970s hippie Brazilian musician culture is displayed in this record.
It's experimental, but it's relentlessly driven towards fun. If you like good music, you will like this legendary album untouched by time.
Côrtes, who composes and plays on many of the tracks, seemingly appears only when talking about obscure Brazilian psych reissues, Ramalho, on the other hand, has built a solid career as a Brazilian pop singer and takes on most vocal duties.
The sung atmospheric blend, and chanted vocals are no more or less important than any of the other elements, which include classical acoustic and fuzzy electric guitar, piano, organ, flute, sax and a range of percussion. It's free and psychedelic, but just reigned in enough to keep it tense and exciting.
The closest comparison might be to combine Amon Düül with Sunburned Hand of the Man and perhaps Double Leopards, if they lived on a commune together in Brazil and recorded while indulging in mass quantities of narcotics.
In Brazil from the late 1960's onward Tropicalia artists such as: Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, Tom Zé, and many others blended elements of psychedelic rock, jazz, indigenous folk, with more classic urban styles (bossa nova, samba etc) and instrumentation. As much a political identity movement, as a cultural, as a whole they were interested in using artistic expression as removing barriers and as a means of enabling other societal freedoms.
Released on 26th November.