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Artist: CONGREGACION
Title: Viene
Format: LP
Label: Aroma Vinyl
Country: Chile
Price: $24.00
"Congregación was perhaps the most legendary of the many excellent bands of the Chilean musical scene of the early 1970s. In spite of not having been a popular band like Los Jaivas, Los Blops and Congreso, they deserve their position of privilege in the history of Chilean rock. The group was from Valparaíso and led by musician and poet, mystic and ecologist Antonio Smith. They wrote lyrics with a significant political, philosophical and religious content, which were a real "celebration of life." Musically, they crafted ballads in an Andean style with ethnic atmospheres: you could say they made a kind of psychedelic folk with progressive  leanings. The music of Congregación has an evocative sense of open space, using natural sounds and acoustic textures to foreground Smiths soaring melodies. The results are incredibly beautiful. Like another album, Bulents �??Benimle Oynar Misin,�?� it has just the perfect balance plaintively sorrowful acid/folk and gently arranged pop (those Beatles-esque harmonics are impossible to overlook). They recorded just one LP and a single (both in 1972); due to the Chilean "coup detat" of 1973, the band were forced to put an end to their musical career. Antonio Smith settled in Argentina, where he recorded an LP in 1974 with musicians from Los Jaivas, Illapu and Matías Pizarro called "Sol de Chile" (Chilean Sun); as a solo artist he also recorded  two other LPs: "Ven seamos más" (Come and lets be more of us) in 1974, and "Somos el mundo" (We are the world) in 1975. But its the music of Congregación which has lasted the longest, and made the greatest impact on listeners worldwide. In the last  decades, the music of "Congregación" has conquered people around the world, even though the original LP is a very, very rare collectors piece. This limited edition of 500 copies is an exact replica of the original gatefold release, with notes and lyrics on the LP inner sleeve. A highly recommended album that is surely one of the pinnacles of dreamy psychedelia." - Aroma Vinyl.
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Artist: CONGREGACION
Title: S/T
Format: CD
Label: Lion Productions
Country: USA
Price: $17.00
"Congregación was the most legendary of the many excellent bands of the early 1970s Chilean music scene -- one could easily say that for many people, this album has had the impact of a religious experience. There is good reason for that: Congregacións music has a highly evocative sense of space, using natural sounds, native Andean instruments, and acoustic textures to foreground ecologist and mystic Antonio Smiths soaring melodies and deeply felt, philosophical lyrics. The results make this one of those perfect albums that works just as well on a Sunday morning as it does late at night. If things had worked out differently for Smith and Congregación, this album might be as well-known (and well-loved) as comparable albums -- comparable masterpieces -- Milton Nascimentos Clube de Esquina, and Joyce and Nelson Angelos eponymous album. Unfortunately, Smiths lyrics earned him the enmity of the Chilean military dictatorship; he was forced to flee the country and Viene... (IRT, 1972) proved to be the bands only release. Still, were lucky to have this album, with its perfect sequence of gentle, undulating, heavily-textured arrangements supporting Smiths plaintive, intimate and searching vocals. The result is an atmosphere of peace and enlightenment, with deep and introspective moments of great quality; incredibly beautiful. Congregación band member Carlos Vittini gave some insight into Smiths charismatic mysticism: I still get excited about how a musician has a great place in capturing the sensibility of the people. I knew the immense creative capacity of Antonio. From the sound of a bird, he speaks, capturing in passing the chirp of a chincol (sparrow) singing in a square, where these memories were made -- from this he created a song. A highly recommended album, surely one of the pinnacles of dreamy psychedelia, despite its relative obscurity and undeniable rarity. Our deluxe, mini-LP gatefold jacket edition comes with a bi-lingual 32-page booklet, which explores the story of Congregación in the context of the rich Chilean rock music scene." -Lion.

Artist: CONGREGACION
Title: Viene...
Format: CD
Label: Revista
Country: Chile
Price: $17.00

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