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Prog Folk • Chile

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Congregacion biography
A weird sort of hippy religious community that had to escape from Chile (along with many Chilean artiste including LOS JAIVAS) and head to Argentina where they were barely tolerated (the local regime didn't have much to envy from the Pinochet years). The community developed a local folk that could lead to a LOS JAIVAS-type folk rock (but without the Andean/Amerindian influences) and had sometimes special arrangements (two cellos in the band), but had a very religious/esoteric preoccupation lyric-wise, although they didn't appear to be a sort of sect like the mid-70's US group called THE TREES (not the UK group of the early 70's) that worshipped anything they could lay their hands upon. They had managed to record a single in 72, that apparently had its share of success, but their sole album was recorded in Argentina in 74 well after the Pinochet coup forced them to flee. Apparently they slowly faded away. If you happen to have more information about their post-album career, please contact me.

Why this artist must be listed in :
Excellent Chilean prog folk

Viene.... (74)

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3.09 | 14 ratings

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 Viene.... by CONGREGACION album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.09 | 14 ratings

Congregacion Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Sole album recorded in their refugee land Argentina, Congregacion's Viene.. came with a nice planet Earth shot as artwork, but the quartet (sometimes quintet was joined by quite a few musical guests including countrymen Los Jaivas Parra brothers

From the opening Reach To Your Brother with its beautiful flute soon overrun by a delicate violin and Arrebol with its birds chirping away throughout the track, or the excellent but so quiet Mentes of the windy (the effects are a little amateur) Synthesis Of Existence are very beautiful, but couldn't be slower unless being sold in a pharmacy as a soporific pill. The following 2-parts Dulce Espiritu/Muerte Hermano is a bit more interesting. The album is filled with interesting (but rarely arresting) moods that make the album enjoyable if you're in the particular mood for it. The second part of the album sees Los Javais' Eduardo Parra appearing on Pensamiento (a superb track where the guitars dazzle you), before brother Gabriel and Amerindian Julio join up to and intervene on the album closer Cuantos Que No Tienen Y Merecen, which happens to be the most commercial and constructed track from the album and complete with a dramatic ending.

The Cd re-issue holds as a bonus the single from 72, which doesn't change much from the album (although coming after the album's strong ending, it might have been wise to start with these two), just bringing in a bit more length, but if I hadn't told you, you wouldn't know they were from other sessions. Essential, certainly not. Interesting, yes, but make sure you drink a double expresso to keep you up, before settling down for this kind of album. It's probably easier to return to a good Jaivas or Congreso album, than Congregacion's sole.

Thanks to Sean Trane for the artist addition.

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