notaro chenaux

Marconi Notaro’s No Sub Reino Dos Metazoários (Time-Lag) follows on the heels of recent reissues of Satwa’s self titled disk and Lula Côrtes and Zé Ramalho’s Paebiru, two remarkable recordings produced by a small group of psychedelically minded free-folkers in Recife in North Eastern Brazil, during the height of the dictatorship years of the early 1970s. Partly recorded at the Rosemblit Studio, which was swept away by an ocean flood in 1975, taking with it master tapes of the group’s recordings, Marconi Notaro’s disk takes up where Satwa left off, in a cloud of cannabis smoke, acoustic guitars and regional folk sounds. Where Satwa was wordless (to avoid censorship) and acoustic, No Sub Reino Dos Metazoários is built around Notaro’s songs and singing, presumably flying beneath the radar of the government. There are drums from the local samba school, free-form freak outs involving matches, water, night birds and music boxes, Satwa’s Lula Côrtes and Paebiru’s Zé Ramalho accompanying on various string instruments, and electric guitars adding some gloriously sludgy rock touches. These recordings should be news to anyone only familiar with the Tropicalia sounds of Veloso, Gil et al which sound highly mannered by comparison. The necessarily lo-fi sound on the disk sounds very contemporary – and Notaro’s voice is a beguiling mixture of rawness, sophistication and honesty. These are Notaro’s only recordings – he later went on to publish seven books of poetry, before dying in 2000, and is given a touching eulogy by Côrtes in the disks sleevenotes. Still to come from this almost forgotten time and place are 1976’s Flaviola e o Bando Do Sol and Côrtes’ Rosa de Sangue (1980), which Time-Lag also plans to reissue: all are both unlikely and essential.

Originally published in The Wire, 2006.

Speak Your Mind