Friday, November 4, 2016

Recordando O Vale Das Macas - 1977 - As Crianças Da Nova Floresta

Recordando O Vale Das Macas 
As Crianças Da Nova Floresta

01. Ranchos, Filhos e Mulher (3:08)
02. Besteira (4:05)
03. Olhar de um Louco (3:53)
04. Raio de Sol (6:08)
05. As Crianças da Nova Floresta (18:10)

Bonus Track (1982)
06. Sorriso de Verão (3:00)
07. Flores na Estrada (2:34)

Total Time: 41:04

Fernando Pacheco: electric & acoustic guitars
Miltom Bernardes: drums (1-5), percussion (1-5), vocals (1-5)
L. Gotti: drums (6,7), percussion (6,7)
Eliseu Filho (Lee): keyboards, violin
Ronaldo Mesquita (Gui): bass

Fernando Motta: acoustic guitar (5,6)
Domingos Mariotti: flute, digital horn
Fernando Ramos: keyboards

RECORDANDO O VALE DAS MAÇÃS (translated: Remembering The Valley Of Apples - RVM for short) is a very good example of mellow Brazilian instrumental symphonic prog-rock. Besides the standard guitar / dual keyboards / bass / drums lineup, the sound includes violin, flute and digital horn. Their music mixes in very good proportions the calm symphonic passages of a South American flavored CAMEL with Brazilian Folk (MPB), some North American Country reminiscences, a lot of good taste textures and even some baroque and renaissance sparkles.

With only one exceptional album recorded in 1977: "As crianças da nova floresta" is a very nice South American heavy, melodic classical progressive album from the 70's. This is very well balanced between great, GILMOUR-like guitar, flute everywhere, double keyboards, and classical guitar. Here the influence of CAMEL and generally of light symphonic/light Canterbury is evident. The arrangements are always very tastefully done, musically involved, and consistently interesting. "1977-1982" is the re-issue of this album with two bonus tracks. Recommended if you appreciate bands such as the South American "O TERÇO", "OS MUTANTES", "SAGRADO CORAÇÃO DA TERRA, PABLO EL ENTERRADOR and the classic CAMEL.

 Latin America in general, and Brazil in particular, sported its own back to the earth young folks back in the early 1970s. The vicissitudes of communal life and the music industry being what they were and are, their ideas often were not committed to vinyl until later in the decade or beyond, at which point their sunny optimism was swallowed whole by the prevalent cynicism of the time. One must be careful to judge the whole of the effort independent of its time while still acknowledging the conditions that inspired the artists on their quest. RECORDANDO O VALE DAS MACAS (Memory of Apple Valley) only produced one album in their day, to which several later tracks were added on the CD reissue currently under discussion. It's assuredly a trip back to an era long past, but with timeless virtues to be appreciated in any era - acoustic instrumentation and occasional flourishes, sprightly melodies, and gentle harmonies.
The centerpiece here is "As Crianças da Nova Floresta" which closed the original album, and might be of greatest interest to readers here. However, while it is often brilliant, it is also a bit too much of a collage rather than a suite or an epic, and accentuates how the group was first and foremost a more simple folk/country act with progressive touches. The flutes of guest Domingos Mariotti are worth highlighting, as are the jointly shared vocals, which are lovely in both genders. While linguistically apart, this work recalls the Argentinian 1970s group MAGMA in its deceptive gentility.

The band's strength lay in the less brocaded material, especially the stunning "Besteira", apparently rescued from a trash bin after a moment of frustration. Its twists and turns, flutes, fiddles, and arresting chorus come closest to capturing the coda to a generation. I even hear some Eastern European rhythms. It is the only cut that fully works for me, although everything but the rather disinterested "Olhar De Um Louco" is worth hearing, and the flourishes of a Brazilian country music style in the album opener and the closing bonus track work well. Keyboards generally represent background accompaniment but are clearly informed by the progressive rock of the day.

Recommended for prog folk fans and gentle Latin tinged world music fans, Recordando is a thankfully resurrected memory worth retaining, even if it might not be as essential as your daily apple.