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Terreno Baldio - Terreno Baldio CD (album) cover

TERRENO BALDIO

Terreno Baldio

 

Eclectic Prog

3.94 | 41 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Atkingani
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Brazilian underground movement of late 60s and early 70s (sometimes called udigrudi or marginalia) was more powerful and fruitful than originally thought. Checking the odds of the cited era we conclude that bands and artists related with the 'udigrudi' scene were reasonably acclaimed by the critics and got fairly surprising sales but received no media exposure at all, certainly due to the many problems they have with the outrageous censorship that overwhelmed then. All that was produced by those artists could have been lost in the dust of times if a renewed interested shouldn't be arisen with the internet, the new approach toward the musical trends and the eternal and indefatigable work of professional researchers and amateur curious.

And what really 'marginalia' was? A blend of pop, folk, rock, psychedelics and madness, sired and later hugely influenced by the Brazilian tropicalism movement and taking blood continuously from parallel movements from outside: psych & space rock, fusion, proto-prog, hard & acid rock, glam, latin jazz, etc. It's hard to shape an accurate definition since its boundaries are very smooth and not totally clear.

However, while 'tropicalism', rooted on Brazilian popular music, was dead around 1971-1972, the 'udigrudi', rooted mainly on international rock, struggled and got to remain alive until the end of the 70s, and going more and more in the direction of prog-rock or at least prog-related as time passed by.

It's fine, in fact it's enjoyable to see that the Prog Archives shelters acts like Casa Das Máquinas, Som Nosso De Cada Dia, late Mutantes, Recordando O Vale das Maçãs, Saecvla Saecvlorvm and TERRENO BALDIO. Sooner or later other acts from the Brazilian underground will be added, like Marconi Notari, Spectrum, Módulo Mil, Zé Ramalho, Lula Cortez, O Peso, Ave Sangria, etc, while others like Sirlan, Alceu Valença and Jards Macalé even being part of this stream are really more difficult to be included since their progressive sound of the 70s lacked the rock part required at the Archives.

But being a representative of an era or a movement means not necessarily that you are great or musically meaningful, sometimes some acts simply disappear when all the foam vanishes - this is not the case of TERRENO BALDIO: they were good. I do not like to make comparisons between artists, and specifically if one point to a sole name, like being an ersatz to Gentle Giant; it sounds like they were a weak tribute band. Also one must know the history behind the curtains; the way TERRENO BALDIO sing and play has much more to do with Brazilian bands and artists of late 50s and early 60s and it's steadily settled on bossa nova singers and folk acts. Can't we carry the aroma of originality too? Hearing the album "Terreno Baldio" I also grab much of O Terço and Os Mutantes and why not? The main influential line comes from other Brazilian artists, be them prog or not.

So much blabbing and no word up to now about the album "Terreno Baldio", the debut work of TERRENO BALDIO. We have a cluster of neat short tracks decorated with fine musicianship and exquisite whispered vocals, very refreshing and amusing. Lyrics in Portuguese are mainly incidental, basically meaningless but well placed to trim the overall atmosphere - melodies kept a certain resemblance amongst them, which is another part of the intended ambience.

'Pássaro azul', the opener, is a blues-rock provided with good tunes and strange sound effects. 'Loucuras de amor' mixes the blues climate with a kind of balladesque accompaniment; refrain brings a renaissance flair. 'Despertar' maintains the rock trend while 'Água que corre' goes from soft to a bit experimental; the bossa nova drumming and the jazz beat are undeniable. 'A volta' is very interesting with its baião intro, calling the gods from distant worlds, only to give room to some weird tunes. 'Quando as coisas ganham vida' is where they really look like Gentle Giant, but the quaint effects provided are quite different. 'Este é o lugar' shows the fine band musicianship. 'Grite', the closing track, is the album's best - a great progressive song indeed.

I believe that "Terreno Baldio" is an important piece to solve the puzzle of the Brazilian underground movement that happened 30 years ago and should not be forgotten. For this reason and also for the overall quality of songs and musicians, I rate this album an excellent addition to any music collection.

Atkingani | 4/5 |

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