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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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Buy BLOPS Music


BlopsBlops
Box set · Limited Edition
Shadoks Music 2006
Audio CD$48.25
$35.69 (used)
Blops 3LP boxsetBlops 3LP boxset
Shadoks Music
Vinyl$169.99
$159.99 (used)
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PENA DE LOS PARRA
Vinyl$400.00 (used)
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BLOPS discography


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

3.50 | 12 ratings
Blops
1970
2.39 | 9 ratings
Del Volar de las Palomas
1971
3.33 | 19 ratings
Locomotora
1973

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

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BLOPS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Blops by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.50 | 12 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
3.50 | 12 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
3.33 | 19 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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 Del Volar de las Palomas by BLOPS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.39 | 9 ratings

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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
3.33 | 19 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
3.33 | 19 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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