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LOCOMOTORA

Blops

Prog Folk


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erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The five compositions on the album "Locomotora" (between 5 and 13 minutes, running time at about 40 minutes) has a pleasant atmosphere with a strong 'Sixties' feel': dynamic and powerful interplay like CREAM and tasteful and swirling organ like The DOORS. The guitarwork is good (from howling licks and bluesy chords to fiery soli), the flute play alternates from folky to rock (between LOS JAIVAS and JETHRO TULL/FOCUS) and the organ gives the music a real boost, great! I hope that thanks to this CD-release Los BLOPS will change from an obscure band into an acclaimed pioneer of the Chilean progressive rock movement.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#33900)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Leaded by Eduardo Gatti a legendary musician in the land of Violeta Parra. This is ne of the greatest albums from the 70´s scene in Chile, the album is mostly folk/psych with strong elements of this beautiful andean culture, everytime i listen this record it come to my mind band like Los Jaivas, Jethro Tull, even Jefferson Airplane, a very enjoyable album for those who like the 60´s Psychedelia. Trippy flutes, nice organ, heavy guitars, all this and more is what Blops offers you in this beautiful album..Locomotora

Luz, amor y vida

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Send comments to pepefloyd (BETA) | Report this review (#107788)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars Musically the last album from Los Blops is also their most mature, skillfully combining flute with more modern instruments like the 5-string bajo bass, numerous keyboards and the usual varied Latin percussion. The band seems to have finally found a sound that both works for them and is sonically engaging for broader audiences.

This is heavier album than the previous two, thanks mostly to the expanded bass sound and heavier use of snare drums than the in the past. The album opens with the highlight track, a nearly thirteen- minute instrumental “Allegro Ma Non Troppo” in which the band appears to employ both acoustic and synthesized flute sounds, or at least they’ve found some way to introduce a heavy and sustained vibrato in the flute that isn’t typically heard from that instrument. There is more than a little psychedelic as well as fusion influence in the music, although the drum solo toward the end is rather gratuitous and actually takes away from the swaying, hypnotic mood just a bit.

The entire album consists of only five tracks, with three of them running more than eight minutes each. “Tartaleta de Frutillas” is nearly nine minutes long, and here the mood shifts to a bit heavier rock sound with plenty of organ and smooth electric guitar. Still there are no vocals to speak of, although a couple members of the band offer wordless vocal accompaniment at times. Once again the bass plays a pivotal role in grounding the music.

The band seems to decide to launch into a somewhat restrained guitar freak-out with the title track, but here again the strong role of the organ (and piano in this case) offer some variety and interesting interplay with the guitar. Unlike so much South American prog music of this period, the band seems to have decided to all but abandon heavy Latin percussion in favor of the snare drums and cymbals, especially on this track.

I’m not sure exactly what type of organ is employed on “Piromano”, but this, the piano and the electric guitar blend in a three-way interaction that is more focused and grounded than anything the band had produced to this point. It’s quite surprising to go back to their comparatively primitive debut and hear the remarkable transformation to highly complex, keyboard-driven music after starting out as what appeared it would be simply another acoustic, vocal group. Eduardo Gatti is the star here with his electric guitar work that covers mildly folk, psych, folk and conventional rock territory, all in one composition.

I could have done without the spoken-word passages on the closing track “Sandokan”, but this is also the only song that features any vocals to speak of, and the sung parts of those are as good as the band’s debut in which singing was more prevalent. This starts off like its going to be a slower, bluesy number but like “Locomotora” it morphs into another guitar/bass/organ psych jam midway, which drags on until the end of both the song and the album. Maybe ‘drags’ is a bad word since the energy and skill displayed are once again show great maturity in the band over the few years since they began recording.

This is quite unlike other Chilean bands of the era like El Congreso, Los Jaivas and Congregacion who all tended closer to more traditional folk music. So did Los Blops at first, but this last album shows the extent to which they had grown beyond that and embraced more of the sounds of European and North American psych and acid folk. Easily a three star record, and close to (but not quite) four. Well recommended to fans of El Congreso, Los Jaivas and Congregacion; but also those who enjoy acid folk bands and even groups like Jethro Tull. Los Blops are a pleasant progressive treat that are sadly not well-enough known outside their native country (but should be).

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#181999)
Posted Sunday, September 07, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Hi boys.

Finally in 1973, Los Blops made an progrock Album, it's a pity that it were nothing but the last.

Their two first ones was acoustic and 'folkloric' but not much. more influenced by sixties rock and classical music.

This album is completely different, there is zero folk influences (despite what others Reviewers say), neither presents acoustic elements, Blops took a 180 degree turn, they created an all-electric album, where prevails the electric guitar of Eduardo Gatti, the keyboards and transverse flute, which is acoustic but is electrically reverberated, in that sense the album is fairly homogeneous, the style is maintained throughout the album, it also highlights the consistency of sound, demonstrating a maturity that was reached suddenly and very early, compared, for example, with Los Jaivas, who had many albums of improvisations (La vorágine collection) (1969-1970) and very psychedelic improvisations until 1974 in 'El Volantin'(1971), the B side of La Ventana (Todos Juntos) (1972) and the B side of "'Los sueńos de America' (1974).

The first track "Allegro ma non troppo" opens the alum with this 11 minutes of amazing melodic quality and great skill in flute, keyboard and electric guitar. (Bravo for Juan Contreras in Flute).

'Tartaleta de frutillas'(strawberry pie): possibly the favorite theme of everyone, also, excellent melodic quality, Gatti opens with very pleasant vocals, singing but without transmitting any meaning, later highlighted the harmonies of voices, keyboards and flute, a great theme, one of the bests of Blops career.

'Locomotora'(Locomotive): also a good instrumental, but i think it doesnt highlights much in the album, it has the usual style of the album, skilled electric guitar and keyboard solos, without flute this time.

'Piromano' (pyromaniacal): also a good instrumental, good psicodelic harmonies of electric guitar, bass and keyboard solos.

'Sandokan'(yeah, Eduardo Gatti loved to read Salgari novels and called Sandokan to this theme): it starts with a strange words of the bassist Juan Pablo Orrego, the language sounds like German or Russian, maybe it doesn't have any meaning, IF SOMEBODY UNDERSTANDS IT PLEASE MESSAGE ME, after that little introduction, starts beautiful guitar chords of Gatti, besides his warm voice, in a soft and sweet musical amalgam, very enjoyable, which then flows into the typical instrumental development with the usual style of the group, fast, moved and good.

With her third and latest album, The blops had a musical evolution that makes him deserve the 4 stars, the consistency of their sound, are not just improvisation, not just flute, keyboards and guitar solos, but defined and high quality melodic structures, resulting in a sonic experience that is electric and warm at the same time, however, their lack of lyrics and message, makes me feel that they were in debt, a debt of sense, but what else can be blamed on this album? Besides his lack of lyrics?, perhaps the themes are a little more similar each other than they should, but it is his style and is acceptable, I think it is an excellent album.

This Album is a cult album in the Chilean progressive music, in the popular ambit it doesnt transcended, cause his musical complexity and his lack of sense, but for those who hear Chilean prog rock, this album is a must, also has influenced many young Chilean prog bands like 'Cazuela de condor' and 'Mar de robles'. This is a very rare album, only 100 copies were distributed, and the original masters were lost during the dictatorship in Chile, what we heard today is thanks to vinyls that came out before that.

Without being a sixties album, this album will transport you to the 60s remembering you groups like The Beatles and The Doors, leaving a good taste every time you hear it, regardless of the type of progressive rock that you like. Cheers

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Send comments to Hannibal_20 (BETA) | Report this review (#1453257)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2015 | Review Permalink

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