Blops Blops

In the quest to excavate lost gems of world music this three-CD reissue of Chilean psychedelic folk is a mixed bag of riches. Blops was a quintet of young men that began their musical career touring covers of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Doors and other contemporary rock giants. Their first, eponymous, album of self-penned songs was recorded in one 12-hour session in August 1970 to a primitive two-track at "Splendid Studios,” for an organisation allied to communist youth; this connection eventually resulted in the loss of their master tapes during a military coup in 1973. The 11 tracks mostly stuck to an acoustic sound that infused classical modes into the looser-limbed, primitive folk for guitars, drums and flute, Two songs at the centre of the album, "Vértigo” and "La manana y el jardin,” hint at the future freak-out capacity the group would have. In 1971 the group reconvened at the Aplicadá Institute of Psychology to engage in a strange regimen of group therapy/improvisation that eventually yielded in July that year, Del Volar de las Palomas. Again the album is austere, acoustic and pretty and with a greater focus on poetry. Musically, a few experiments with backward tape and massed echo again hinted at a more progressive direction. Their last official release, 1973 album Locomotora, is an electric shock to their folk system. Five long instrumental tracks of psychedelic guitar, treated flutes, synthesiser, jazz drumming, bass grooves; apparently a reaction to poor public reaction at live performances of their previous material. The group split into various, more fusion oriented projects, occasionally reassembling to play live until the early ’80s. Perhaps a single disc retrospective may have been a better use of resources, but the Blops legacy is now boxed for your perusal. (Normal)