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Album Review

In 1970, Os Mutantes re-recorded in English a full LP's worth of their best songs, apparently hoping to crack the American and European market. (Brazilian expats Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil would make the same move, for political reasons, one year later.) If ever, the late flowering of the psychedelic era was the perfect time for a Mutantes breakthrough, considering the trio's zany songwriting sense and even more anarchic production methods. And though the album never saw release until the next century — Western audiences proved far more understanding of Sergio Mendes' easy-pop version of Brazilian music forms anyway — Tecnicolor acquired a new lease on life when it was finally reissued in 2000. By no means did Mutantes commercialize their sound. The tape-music experimentation and freak-out guitar lines are, if anything, farther out than the first few Mutantes LPs. Though a few of the tracks — "Panis Et Circenses" especially — lose much of their cache with the addition of English lyrics, for the most part these versions equal or even better the originals.


Formed: 1965 in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Genre: Brazilian

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s, '10s

Though rarely heard outside their Brazilian homeland (especially during the first phase of their career), Os Mutantes were one of the most dynamic, talented, radical bands of the psychedelic era -- quite an accomplishment during a period in which most rock bands spent quality time exploring the outer limits of pop music. A trio of brash musical experimentalists, the group fiddled with distortion, feedback, musique concrète, and studio tricks of all kinds to create a lighthearted, playful version...
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Tecnicolor, Os Mutantes
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