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BLOPS

Prog Folk • Chile


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Blops biography
Blops was originally rooted in '64, they started to play covers from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Cream. From the early Seventies Blops turned into a more progressive band and when classical pianoplayer Juan Carlos Villegas joined los Blops, they became one of the pioneers from the Chilean progressive movement: their music changed from structureless jams to elaborated compositions with an important role for keyboardist Juan. In february 1972 Blops performed on the festival entitled "Los Caminos Que Se Abren", along with legends Los Jaivas, other young Chilean bands and the group Polen from Peru. Despite this strong competition the crowd named Blops as the most stunning gig but unfortunately no record company asked Blops to record an album. Then Argentine Jose 'Pepe' Romeu invited Blops for a concert in Buenos Aires and the band got the opportunity to record an album in the RCA studios, this was in 1973. In those days Blops featured Juan Pablo Orrego on bass and vocals, Eduardo Gatti on electric guitar and vocals, Juan Contreras on flute, keyboards and vocals, Juan Carlos Villegas on keyboards and synthesizers and Sergio Bezard on drums. The sound on their LP "Locomotora" has obvious echoes from Cream and The Doors and sometimes it brings early Focus on my mind.

: : : Erik Neuteboom : : :

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BLOPS discography


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BLOPS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 14 ratings
Blops
1970
2.26 | 10 ratings
Blops (aka Del Volar De Las Palomas)
1971
3.44 | 22 ratings
Locomotora
1973

BLOPS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BLOPS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BLOPS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Blops
2006

BLOPS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

BLOPS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Locomotora by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 22 ratings

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Locomotora
Blops Prog Folk

Review by Hannibal_20

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 sueños 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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 Blops (aka Del Volar De Las Palomas) by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.26 | 10 ratings

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Blops (aka Del Volar De Las Palomas)
Blops Prog Folk

Review by Hannibal_20

2 stars One feature that distinguishes the folk rock of Los Blops from the folk rock of jaivas and Congreso, is that in Los jaivas, and in the more folkloric period of Congreso (1975-1977) one can say, this is a 'Malambo', this is a 'Cueca', this is a 'Huayno', this is a 'Trote', you can identify and catalog the pieces according to their melodic and rhythmic structure, with the difference that these structures are altered, fused and executed with electric instruments.

With Los Blops, this does not occur, their first two albums are very acoustic, and in This album an folk atmosphere can be noticeable, however this is not given by particular melodic and rhythmic structures, but by a way of playing the guitar that seems inspired by many groups and singers of Chilean folk music as "Pedro Messone", "Los cuatro de Chile", "Patricio Manns" and especially "Victor Jara" and by the inclusion of certain folk instruments such as the accordion or the charango.

In fact, the style of Los Blops was undoubtedly influenced by 'Víctor Jara', they lived with him for a while, even collaborated in the performance of several songs from his album "El derecho de vivir en paz" (the right to live in peace) which it was very relevant within the ambit of the broad and significant musical/social trend known as "the new Chilean Song". This influence can be seen mainly on this record.

This album, in my opinion, is not necessarily a step backward for Los Blops musically, but neither represents a very important step, and I expected more from him, maintains the strength in his message through their lyrics, but it's an album too "songbook", I miss the good amount of instrumental pieces from the first album, therefore I feel it is even more hippie than the previous, too much message of humanity, life, nature etc, which becomes too repetitive in the long run .

Nor are we talking about a very valuable or worship album within the Chilean music, is not like his predecessor, although it contains wonderful themes and key songs of the band like "Manchufela" and "Esencialmente así no más", and songs not so key to the band but equally good as "Tarde" and "campos verdes", as album, fails to have the significance or historical value of the previous one.

in terms to progressive rock, this album does not have anything like that, it's pure folk rock. Unlike "La Ventana" (Todos Juntos) of Los Jaivas, which already reveals a progressive trend in songs like "Caminos que se abren" or "Corre que te pillo", which then would lead to a gradual development of this style in the group, the blops, had in his album "Locomotora" (1974) an unexplainable and fortuitous turn of 180 degrees towards progressive rock, because before that, they had given no indication of it.

Unfortunately, I must say, I feel that, despite having very beautiful themes that deserve to be remembered, this album seems generally quite "forgettable", is valuable, but not as much as other albums of Los Blops, and it is not a progressive rock album, for all that I think the more appropriate rating for this album is a definite 2/5, sorry Blops.

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 Blops by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Blops
Blops Prog Folk

Review by Hannibal_20

3 stars In my route across the Prog folk of my country i decided to stop a moment to analyze the work of an important Chilean band: LOS BLOPS, contemporary with their colleages; Los Jaivas and Congreso, but much less long- lived, "Los Blops" are a forgotten jewel, while Los Jaivas and Congreso are living legends.

This chilean musicians lived, just like Los Jaivas and Congreso, in comunity, which it was a kind of euphemism of "being hippie", but it also involved a certain way of being, of relating to people, of perceiving the world and to shape what is perceived in a musical work, Los Blops shared stage in more than one chance with this legends, also Los Blops incursionated in Chilean and American folk rock and had, like Congreso and Los Jaivas, a shift towards progressive rock, but unfortunately in this case, his great and beautiful progressive rock album "Locomotora" (1974) would not be another thing than his last album.

Although his first album did not come out until 1970, They started in 1964 (maybe that's why his music is very much inspired by the rock of the sixties).

Los Blops had many formations, this generated a lot of instability in the band, further the economic problems caused that the band was unsuccessful in time. Post-1974 formations do not have albums but they have some priceless video works highlighting "sambayé" (1979) WHICH, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO ANY MUSIC LOVER, regardless of genre you like. It is a tremendous piece of art. The video of sambaye is actually not in PA (blops page in PA hasnt any youtube link), if somebody that read this review can update it please help me: i cant put likn here but, if you want to help, send a PM to me

Their first album "Blops" (1970), has a very calm, acoustic sound, away from the interests of prog fans, however, beautiful and valuable, does not sound very folk, it is because I am Chilean, and I know the folklore my country, indeed the music of this album and important part of the work of this band is very akin, on the one hand with classical music and on the other hand, with the rock of the sixties, the style of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, that is, western music, the folk element emerges strongly in its second album "del volar de las palomas" (1972).

The álbum "Blops" (1970) It is characterized by having Beautiful instrumental themes with an already defined style, with good harmonies of acoustic guitar and good traverse flute solos, with a classic touch, but more simple, that inspire peace and quiet, very delicious pieces like "barroquita" "la muerte del rey" "niebla", "patita", "atlántico" (especially the latter is one of the best).

The second number, the song "Los Momentos" is a very emblematic, known and essential piece of popular music in Chile, inflatable in school trips, street singing, and drunken evenings, but let us not be confused, we are not just talking about a popular song, but a very important song for its content, was composed by Eduardo Gatti and is, in fact, better known by Gatti than by Los Blops (as I said, the blops are a forgotten gem), I do not intend to translate all the songs, but usually it is necessary to translate a fragment, in that way, those who are unable to understand the song can, at least, understand the basic sense of it.

Tu silueta va caminando con el alma triste y dormida, ya la aurora no es nada nuevo pa' tus ojos grandes y pa' tu frente; ya el cielo y sus estrellas se quedaron mudos, lejanos y muertos pa' tu mente ajena.

Your silhouette go walking With the soul sad and slept, now the aurora is nothing new for your big eyes and your forehead; now the sky and its stars, they stayed silent, distant and dead for your taciturn mind.

This fragment tries to express how we go desensitizing, how we stopped to give value to the basic things, like simply to breathe or to admire the wonder of the sky and stars.

so emotional at this point, by sharing with you the meaning of this song,that is not so easy to continue with the review as usual, but i have to finish it, so I'll continue.

Sometimes, in the álbum can be easily seen the rock influence, for example in the song "Vértigo" with a passionate electric guitar solo, or the instrumental, "Santiago oscurece el pelo en el agua" where are highlighted the skills of Juan Contreras in the flute, which it is accompanied by electric and acoustic guitars.

"Maquinaria" (machinery) also presents rock elements, although they are closer of the end of the song, the melody is quite monotonous, the lyrics, are a metaphor of the dehumanization of human beings in modern life. However, it never reaches the intensity or significance of "Los momentos".

"Valle de los espejos", its another great song by Los Blops, and one of the best momets in the disc, a simple but wonderful melody, the music dialogues with the lyrics, that talks about the pass of the time and the life, the very blue sky, the clear air, the sun, wich watch us in silence, and the earth, wich slowly rotates, the music is very well achieved, the lyrics are well accompanied by a good rithm on acoustic guitar and soft drumming, keyboard and traverse flute, definitely one of the best songs of the album and of the band, excellent theme to close the disc and leave a pleasant and lasting feeling.

Well, the theme that usually is left for review at the end is often the least favorite one; "la mañana y el jardín" (the morning and the garden) composed and sung by bassist Juan Pablo Orrego, is the only number that I do not like of the album, its very hippie, but unlike "Valle de los espejos" o "Los Momentos", this song falls into kitschy and infantile.

This album isn't an amazing wonder of progressive rock, but it contains beautiful music that inspires peace and tranquility to those who listen it, besides having some historical value and being a cult album in Chilean music, it also contains some of the best themes of this band like "valle de los espejos" the emblematic "los momentos" and the beautiful instrumental "atlántico", This album will not appeal to most prog fans, but will appeal to that sensitive listener who wants to be thilled or simply enjoy beautiful music.

It's a shame what happened with this band, did not succeed in time, but if they had continued, perhaps they would have been as good as Congreso or even Los Jaivas, what is important is that they contributed, and although not being popular, undoubtedly his contruibution was important, transcendent, inspiring.

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 Blops by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Blops
Blops Prog Folk

Review by Concentration Moon

3 stars I had heard of the band several times, and finally decided to have a listen. I was disappointed, expecting a much better album. Don't get me wrong, it is good. However, it's neither a masterpiece nor a necessity.

The three tracks that stood out to me on the album are "Barroquita", "La Muerte Del Rey", and "La Mañana y El Jardin".

"Barroquita", an instrumental track, has a calming flute that in my opinion is played excellently, especially near the end of the track when it picks up tempo. The percussion and string accompaniments also add a nice effect. The piece really seems to capture the South American folk flavor.

"La Muerte Del Rey", "The Death of the King" in English, is another instrumental track that also seems to reflect upon traditional Chilean music.

"La Mañana y El Jardin", "The Morning and the Garden" in English, is a song that is not exactly folk, but more like something I would expect to hear at an outdoor concert if I were to visit Chile.

If you wish to listen to Chilean folk, I recommend that you check out Los Blops, though they are not mind-blowing.

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 Blops by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.41 | 14 ratings

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Blops
Blops Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

4 stars Los Blops’ first album is without a doubt the most engaging and interesting of their three official studio releases from the early seventies. Like so much acid folk of that era, these are compositions recorded in simply and earnestly by young university students (on only two-track recordings, I believe). Today many of these artists would be considered naïve and almost primitive, but of course for those of us who count ourselves fans that is precisely where their charms and appeal lie.

The opening “Barroquita” is also the first song the band composed together. Like most of the rest of the album this is an acoustic instrumental with a hauntingly familiar and sedate tone. The song highlights the exquisite blend of Western influences and native instrumentation that made the Blops and their Chilean countrymen El Congreso, Los Jaivas and Congregacion such powerful and regionally popular progressive folk voices at a difficult time in their homeland.

The instrumentals are the stars of this album; along with “Barroquita”, the songs “La Muerte del Rey”, “Patita” and “Atlantico” are solid, melodic and Latin-tinged folk delights that show a band of musicians who may still be developing their technical skills but are clearly in-synch as a single-minded collective. The intricate acoustic guitar fingering and simple piano set the tone for each, while the breathy flute and liberally-sprinkled percussion spice each up and give them contextual meaning.

Elsewhere the tracks with vocals such as “Los Momentos” and “Maquinaria” are decent enough, but their appeal is probably stronger with those of the same language families than to a broader prog folk audience. The band does manage to showcase the breadth of their musical influences on the ranging and moody “Santiago Oscurece El Pelo en El Agua” though, which undoubtedly included many British acid folk acts as well as psych masters of the day including Hendrix and the Doors (check out the ambitious electric guitar work on the second half of this tune as well as the spacey vocals and tempo of “Valle De Los Espejos”).

This is a band that never got the sort of recognition they deserved, unlike their more well-known and publicized Chilean counterparts like Los Jaivas and El Congreso. To bad, because this album, and to a slightly lesser extent their second one as well, have a definite place in the collections of any serious progressive folk fan. I’m torn between three and four stars so in the interest of this warm and uplifting spring day I’m going to err on the positive side and go with four stars. Well recommended to folks who appreciate South American modern folk, as well as acid folk fans of all stripes and persuasion.

peace

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 Locomotora by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 22 ratings

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Locomotora
Blops Prog Folk

Review by 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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 Blops (aka Del Volar De Las Palomas) by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.26 | 10 ratings

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Blops (aka Del Volar De Las Palomas)
Blops Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars The second Los Blops album is a bit more polished than their debut and not quite as angry as their third and final release seemed to be.

The Blops were probably the lesser known of the big three progressive folk bands to come out of Chile in the early seventies, along with El Congreso and Los Jaivas. Overall I’d say their music ranks just ever so slightly below both of those bands in terms of its dynamic appeal, but each of these bands has their strengths and weaknesses. Los Jaivas was probably the most commercially successful of the three having scored major label contracts with EMI and later Columbia, and with a few albums released even in North America. For me, Congreso is the more authentic Chilean folk band, with both instrumentation and arrangements that both remain true to their native roots, and expand on the sonic qualities of the music to take it quite a bit beyond mere folk songs.

Blops are not quite either, with pretty authentic-sounding compositions but little serious experimentation on their first albums, and their records today were nearly impossible to find in Chile or anywhere else until Shadoks Music reissued them all on a 3-CD boxed- set last year.

This second album is rather like the first, and both are comparable to Los Jaivas debut (which is also impossible to find today). All three suffer a bit from spotty production and what sounds like four-track mixing. All are quite staid compared to the bands’ later works. And none really reach too far beyond a rather traditional folk sound. Don’t get me wrong, traditional Chilean folk music is quite elaborated and expressive, but we’re talking about progressive music here and these three albums don’t quite rise to that level.

Like the other Chilean folk bands Los Blops employ native instruments like the charango, tarka, hand drums and acoustic percussion. There are also some strings I can’t quite place but which seem to be coming from a cello. Those are quite nice. But these songs for the most part come off as rather dated and not unlike the stuff your mother would have listened to on the radio back in the day, assuming your mother is South American.

The two tracks that stand out a bit are the post-Mersey/psych-sounding “la Rodandera” and the acoustic guitar/flute heavy “Pisándose la Cola”, which also features some well-coordinated male vocal harmonies. But that’s about it; the rest of the album is decent folk, but not really progressive and not really all that memorable.

I wouldn’t recommend trying to find an original release of this album unless you just like to spend way too much for average music. If you really want to get into the Blops, pick up the much more reasonably-priced reissue of all the studio albums in the 3- box set if you can find it. Somewhat recommended to fans of bands like Los Jaivas and Congreso, but unfortunately I have to say this is a two star album.

peace

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 Locomotora by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 22 ratings

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Locomotora
Blops Prog Folk

Review by pepefloyd

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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 Locomotora by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.44 | 22 ratings

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Locomotora
Blops Prog Folk

Review by 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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