done by Francisco Torre, for "Psyche van het Folk", Radio Centraal, Antwerpen.
Q: : Was the historic, political, social movement confabulating against Los Blops more known and famous ?
E.G.: No I don´t think so. It was a period in which any Chilean group of any genre had the possibilities to perform their material. It was a moment where in the whole country, importing things from abroad was too expensive. If you look the rankings of any magazine of that time, of 24 songs 18 were Chilean. The times were different. Instead I would say that those days were better for groups that were more contingent with the process that Chile pass through, like Quilapayun or Inti Illimani [ these groups were political, in fact they were communist]. Our case was strange, because we were between two fires the communists find us good looking guys [ a depreciatory way to refer to them as they came of a good position / society / class] and the Right people found us long hairy guys
[a depreciatory way to refer to us as they were against what goes on in society].
Q: How was Locomotora born?
E.G.: It was a reaction to the whistles [ in Chile people whistle when they don´t like something ] that we received during our performance in the Viña del mar festival [ the most important song festival of Chile and perhaps from Latin America]. It was a necessity of ours, it was a way that we could get out all the impotence and anger we have inside. The system made life impossible from every side.
Q: Did you have any progressive references ?
E.G: Yes we have our references. I heard Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Soft Machine . I once had the possibility to see Soft Machine in Santiago where they were the only groups that ever came here. When I saw them I said to myself "Yes it is possible to make it alive". Other progressive groups for me were Pink Floyd and afterwards the Mahavishnu Orchestra. But the band that really moved me was not progressive, it was The Rolling Stones, much more even than the Beatles.
Q: How was the creative process of Locomotora born ?
E.G: We were very atypical. People said that we were hippies because we lived in a community but we were in fact very very disciplined, and we worked 8 hours daily. We woke up at 8 in the morning took a cold shower, we did exercises of meditation then went to the gymnasium and then rehearsal for eight hours. The songs appeared as we rehearsed. It was a collective work, nobody brought material. Of improvisation came all the themes.
Q: What about after Locomotora?
E.G: The group dissolved. We went to Buenos Aires to record the album because we had a manager who was Argentinean. The group had financial problems and it was very hard to make a living and also it was a hard time in Chile, so we didn't know what was going to happen. But the direct reason of our break up was economic in July of 1973 [ the military took the power in September of that year].
Q: and 1978?
E.G: We rejoined in 1978 as a trio, Juan Pablo Orrego (guitars), Jaime Labarca (percussion) and I (: Eduardo Gatti). Two guitars and percussion. We went to Ecuador, Mexico and Canada to show our material some new some old but it was impossible to perform "Locomotora" in those time we were acoustic. This period lasted until the beginning of 1980.
Q: And nowadays ?
E.G: Now we are preparing something. Of the original members Pedro Greene (drums), Juan Pablo Orrego (guitars) and I (*Eduardo Gatti, el.guitar), beside Juan Pablo Lecaros ( bass) and Daniel Pollak (keyboards). It's a mixture between Blops and La Marraqueta [Chilean group of jazz fusion of whom are three of new Blops member] but without mixing styles. This have given me the opportunity to play again electric guitar because we are going to play
Locomotora stuff . We are remaking and improving old themes and the new things come afterwards I think in 2004 there will be new songs, this year we are going to play old material live. That is where we will see if the thing is working out or not.
A group who made various records. I still have to check other items to get a better idea of them. These are original Folk songs and some small instrumentals. Lots of nice vocal harmonies (the group contains of 7 persons that all sing),with folk arrangements. The instrumentals are with Spanish guitar, Andes flute,..
Beside the 1976 LP there are also included some tracks include from the follow ups.
"Of the little I know what happened after 73 is that many groups didn't keep working, and others for their luck found them selves abroad and they kept that way -exiled- likeQuilapayún(who never came back, they are still in France) and Inti Illimani. It is a pity that Victor Jarawas killed by militars during the first days when they took the power. The left musicians continue doing music after a while in silence I'm not sure but in 1976 or 1977 there are albums of Illapu( but when they started to say too much they were exiled) and also there albums ofCongreso in 1975 and 1977 who attacked very poetical the military government. There is a large list of other musician exiled, Angel Parra, Ortiga,Patricio Manns, and sure more that I don't know.
In the 80's a new wave came that was called "Canto nuevo" it was like an urban folk and very against the militar power. In those days, there still was repression but it was less than in the beginning, less enough to have a movement of protest. " F.T.
Congreso's releases will be played in another radio show. I still miss a few essential albums. Also from Illapu I don't posess anything yet. There will come another radioshow as soon that is settled.
"In 1979 Los Blops makes the music for a documentary about the north of Chile (Iquique) without publication. The producer having the rights of the music makes a tape called "Blops". The A side is the music from the documentary (its was recorded in studio) and the B side is a selection of the first lp (Dicap - DLP 04) and the single from 1971 (Dicap JJS 105). The tape was edited in 1980 or 1981 in
handmade art and hand printed copies.
The A side themes are:
01 Zapatitos floreados
02 Huacas del Sol y de la Luna
04 El loco
Still in 1979 Los Blops makes a tv (canal 13) presentation with 3 video clips: "Sambaye", "Viaje definitivo" and "El loco". In 1980 Barbara Schumy (vocals) joins, but in 1981 the band disgreged"
1. BMG CHILE Los Blops (August 1970)****° (click picture to see bigger)
A beautiful acid (/psych) folk item (The instrumental tracks of the album can be compared to Ithaca and Agincourt), with acoustic finger picking guitars, flute, and sometimes with the addition of xylophone or piano, voice(s). Soft delicate pastoral music. Most tracks are instrumental.
Eduardo Gati : "Valle de los Espejos" 4 min 23 (more audio here)
Historical background (based upon the information provided by the booklet) :
Los Blops was formed by Pedro Greene, Julio Villalobos, Eduardo Gatti, Andrés and Juan Pablo Orrego. The group was still full of energy after a successful rock tour in the summer of 1970, at that time covering ? the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doors, Animals, Cream, Kinks, Bob Dylan.
Pedro left the group to study in the U.S.A. and also Andrés retired. Juan Contreras, flute and keyboards, and Sergio Bezard, drummer and percussionist would replace them. With this new conformation they begin to do some tryouts during the winter of same year 70, in the enclosure of 'Cyclotron' at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Chile, where they studied Biology. Eduardo had an amplifier ' Marsha!l' of '62, with wheels. During the rests, one mounted on amplifying and was pushed by the others high speed by the runners of the Cyclotron. Those were days of infinite innocence and energies. Here the Blops discovered that they could compose, fix and interpret their own music. It was there were they composed their first song, "Barroquita" -, by Juan Pablo. The composition acted like magic and in a catalyst way. When one person came with an idea the rest worked on it from the very early morning, in eminence of the exit of the sun which was put in every song of Los Blops. One influence were electric instruments, usually heard to have been played in pop and rock before, but also folkore highly influenced by the studies of classic guitar of Julio. Both influences were mixed in an original and pioneering form. Impulsively, the group enters in a race of Composition in the Conservatory of the University of Chile. After a semester, very impulsively again the group let the results loose to the teachers. With the hospitality of the Parra family, they rehearsed for a while in the house that was inhabited by Violeta Parra before. His spirit accompanied them. Visits of Victor Jarra, that settled to share music, with improvisations, talk and laughter... caused much enthusiasm and creativity. Frequent changes of test places. In the house of Claudia Eppelin, they rehearsed the song "Vértigo", from Julio Villalobos, and listen hallucinated to "Axis bold as love", of Jimi Hendrix; and in the house of Paula and Julio, they rehearsed "Atlántico" and "Niebla" of Eduardo; they also rehearsed in the house of Carmen Silva, who's garden literally brought forth "La Mañana y el Jardín / the Morning and the Garden", of Juan Pablo. Sadness, loves, confusions and intuitions were also main inspirations. Nature was strained spontaneously in them, as well as the struggle between natural and the "Maquinaria / machinery"... The adjustments of the songs were collective, communitarian... Juan Contreras coloured and enriched the subjects with his flutes and keyboards. Sergio Bezard took the trouble to give the music a basic rythm, creative and different with each track. Their first formal performance happened in the "Marconi" theater - today "Providence" -, and it was produced by Alfredo Saint-Jean. This concert was is recorded by channel 7...
After that The Blops began to have a high demand of presentations and concerts. Cultural Centres, television, festivals... This first disc is recorded and mixed in twelve hours, in only two tracks, monotonic, in August of 197O, in the studio "Splendid",in the Monjitas street, close to the flank of the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas of Santiago.
2. BMG Chile Los Blops : Del Volar de las Palomas (July 1971)
A bit more soft (progressive) song orientated acid folkrock, with some more instruments being used..
Tr.2, "Pintando Azul el Mar" 4 min
Tr.4, "Manchulfela" 4 min
Tr.5, "Especialmente asi no mas" 4 min
Tr.6, "El Proclive Necesario" 4 min 16
Historical perspective based upon the information from the booklet :
The intense developed musical work for the accomplishment of the first disc were the foundations to the continuity and complexity of the second album. They were at a stage searching for more maturity. This time all the tracks are sung - except for "El Proclive necesario / Inclined Necessary". The aspiration of their further development was to cultivate a more centered conscience, with their feet to the ground, more objective, and simultaneously, more cosmic. The group approaches the Aplicadá Institute of Psychology, directed by Héctor Fernandez, to participate in various group therapies, to work with a variety of over 40 different people - a diversity of professionals, politicians, artists and musicians of all the ages with a goal for a spiritual adventure, in Gurdjieff style. The Aricá Institute is lead by Bolivian teacher Oscar Ichazo. They had to practice a stage of much discipline, strict schedules, complex and beautiful spiritual exercises that demanded the maximum to body and soul. Oscar showed the participants the frightened ignorant abyss of the uprooting of our culture, showed serenity of meditation techniques for optimal fysical functioning, including demanding corporal exercises derived from an African system, the importance of humour and the celebration of everything and all the things and music. They decided to live in community: the "Manchufela" blooms, in Av. Ossa together with Simón Bolivar. Rules of operation and coexistence settled down. Within this community there were many tasks that had to be fulfilled between the tests and exercises, from purchasing to cleaning jobs. The mornings were celebrated, which can be heard in "Qué Lindas son las Mañanas / How pretty are the mornings", the opening track of the album. The seeking of a loving and caring natural alchemy can be heard in "Campos Verdes / Green Fields", "Tarde / Late", and in "Esencialmente Asi No Más / The essence is no more". Once again the nature and our necessity to return to the unity that is connected with her arise in abundance can be heard in "El Rio Dónde Va / Where the Rio goes" and in "Pintando Azul el Mar / Painting Blue the Sea", songs of Julio, sung with poetry and humour, or in a tragicomic idea to reverse human history to feel back the inextricable inserts in the recycling of nature in "Rodandera".
Another introspection, both painful and joyful, marks "Pisándose la Cola / Stepping on the Tail", "Manchufela" and "Del Volar de las Palomas / the fly of the doves". Around all these tracks Juan Contreras build some flute arrangements, typical for Los Blops, and completed it with keyboards. Sergio Bezard did put the basic rhythm on it. At this stage, having only fundamentally acoustic tracks of songs, the continuation was interrupted by two events. The performance of the Blops in the Festival of Vine of 1972, and the later the leaving of the group by Julio Villalobos, virtuous guitarist 1973.
Blops performed in Vine in the summer of 1972, in totally adverse circumstances generated by the political situation. It turned into a disaster. The result was that the subtlety of the worked songs was interrupted and booed in even implacable form at least twice a the day during three days. Which also contributed to this was the fact that the Blops appeared as they were, that is to say, with daily clothes, without disguises, devices nor artifices. The group thought that good music should be transparent. The brutal aggression meant a complete break with the music style that Blops had developed until that moment and that was registered in its two first discs.
In steep form the group leaves the acoustic guitars, the songs and the letters, and enters a chaotic stage of total revolt, during which Blops submitted in an almost suicidal form to the scene only to improvise, starting off absolutely of zero every time, with unpredictable, sometimes sublime results, sometimes inferior, and before the total disagreement, or even fury, of those who they had contracted to us and that they wanted to hear "the classics". Later, already without Julio Villalobos, Blops will return to the earlier concept to develop, this time only with electrical instruments, instrumental tracks with an aggressive, progressive rock style, which will lead to the third disc -"Locomotora "-, also published by BMG..
The second album "Del Volar de las Palomas / The flight of Doves", like the first album of Los Blops, was recorded and mixed in little than 12 hours, on a two track channel, monophonic, July of 1971. It was produced by "Peña de los Parra". Just like what happened to the first album of the Blops, the tape ' master' of "Del Volar de las Palomas" disappears mysteriously and for always after the coup from September 1973. It is for this reason that this album has been rescued from a vinyl disc, and remastered from it to obtain the best possible sound of a recording that to begin with has been made in the most precarious conditions that the technology of the time in Chile allowed.
The album was recorded in the 'Sello Peña' from the Parra family. Shortly after recording the album will they participate withVíctor Jara's "El Derecho de Vivir en Paz", on of the first discs in the Chilean 'Nueva Canción' style.
Warner Music ChileVictor Jarra : El Derecho de vivir en Paz (CHI,1971)**°'
A very beautiful voice, very nice guitar, and various very beautiful songs, very varied in style (sometimes in traditional styles). It's been said this is Nuevo canto. Some of these songs have very good instrumentation because of the cooperation of Celso Garrido-Lecca, Angel Parra, Patricio Castillo, Inti-Illimani, Los Blops (& Angel Araos).
Tr.3, "La Partida" 4 min
Tr.4, «El Nino yuntero» 4 min
Tr.9, «El Alma Ilena de Banderas» 4 min 12
3. BMG Chile Los Blops : Locomotora (March 1973)*****
A sudden change in style. Still delicately played, but very progressive rock with jazzy touches. First track is progressive Rock with Tull like flutes. The second track is similar. "Locomotora" has an experimental rock start, then continues with a nice '70's prog rock that is the most progressive track from Chile from those days. Last track has very beautiful organ combined with freaky progressive rock.
Historical background details based upon the information from the booklet :
The monumental fiasco Los Blops experienced at the Vine Festival of 1972 gave rise to an abrupt reaction on behalf of the group. It was something like "if they do not want subtle songs, poetic and loving, then try this : "Locomotive" ". The group even momentarily changed their name into "Paraffin". The acoustic guitars were still there, at least for the performances, with an openness for the electric and the progressive thing. Julio Villalobos had already left the group by this time, and he was replaced by the classic pianist Juan Vile Carlos, who made a significant contribution in keyboards. With this, Los Blops, after an anarchical stage of pure improvisation, returned now to another serious tryout - in the 'Manchufelá de Peñalolén'(?), this time with a serious composition and adjustment of elaborated instrumental tracks with a more aggressive, progressive, quite unclassifiable style which once again was absolutely pioneering for Chile. Under the name of Paraffin, they returned to the public in February of 1973, and performed at the mythical festival "Los Caminos que se Abren / ways being opened", next to Los Jaivas and the 'Chilean Polen' from Peru and other groups. The delivery of Paraffin/Los Blops was total, overwhelming, and left a memory difficult to erase, for many until today. The group played only seven tracks, among them five of them were recorded on the album... In Chile nobody wanted to record this new repertoire. Their 'manager' at those moments, was Jose (Pepe) Romeu, an urban Argentinean and a profound shaman of high caliber, had lived before with the group in the community in the "Manchufela", and later in Peñalolén during last the three years. He managed to organize a trip to Argentina to perform in the Olympia Theater of Buenos Aires which lead to a recording for RCA. The group never know how Pepe, who sadly left them in 1975, had obtained that opportunity. Pepe only obtained 14 hours in the magnificent studios of the RCA in Buenos Aires... so they only had these 14 precious hours to record and to mix. The group chose the five finished tracks.
One track came from the same Pepe Romeu ("Allegro ma non Troppo"), one of Juan Contreras ("Sandokan"), one of Juan Vile Carlos ("Pirómano/ Pyromaniacal"), one of Eduardo Gatti ("Tartaleta de Frutillas"), and finally "Locomotora/ Locomotive" the collective creation -; everything was recorded in one take. They incorporated effects for the flute of Juan. Juan Carlos used a keyboard that was available in the studio. A friend of Pepe lend a sequence of synthesiser for the beginning and end of "Locomotive"... The Blops returned to Chile after giving a concert in Rosario, with the master tape in their hands they found IRT being interested in distributing the disc, for which they delivered them the master tapes... But after the 11 from September this tape was lost. Later Eduardo visited IRT again and after looking in all the corners, he found tape at the bottom of a waste basket! Believe it or not ..this is what happened ! With much good faith, Eduardo returned the master tape to the artistic director of the company. The disc finally was published, only 500 copies,that quickly were sold out... but the master tape was lost again, this time for ever. So all three albums did "accidentily" lost their master tapes. The album, like the first and the previous, have been rescued from a vinyl disc and remastered to obtain the optimal sound that this technique allows.
Additional information :
- In 1974 Eduardo Gatti, Juan Pablo Orrego and Juan Carlos Fernandez (from Kissing spell / Embrujo) made some records with material that play the Blops like "Sambaye" and make a presentation in tv (canal 9).
- In 1978 los blops is reformed, with Eduardo Gatti (guitars and electric guitars), Juan Pablo Orrego (bass and guitar) and Jaime Labarca (percusion). They make a single "Los momentos / la Francisca" (1978)" Francisco Muñoz (cover further down)
4. Another recording exists : Los Blops alive 1979 from which comes :
* Bootleg Los Blobs alive 1979 (CHI,1979)** (10 tracks)
Very rare recording. Good quality. Mostly original folk songs, some sparsely arranged with second electric guitar. Tr.9, is with second female voice.
Tr.1, "Valsecito" 3 min
Tr.5, "El Sol está en todo » 4 min
Tr.9, «Sambaye» 5 min
Tr.10, "Vijaje Definitive" 3 min 15 90
* Bootleg Los Blobs live 1978-1980 ** (3 tracks) :
A less good quality recording. Folk guitar & duo voices.
MORE BRIEF BIOGRAPHY LOS BLOPS, by Fransisco Torre :
Los Blops started their life in January of 1970 when Eduardo Gatti, vocals and guitars, Julio Villalobos guitars, Pedro Greene, drums, Andres Orrego, keyboards and Juan Pablo Orrego, bass performing covers (of the Beatles, rolling stones, Animals, Cream, Kinks) in a local in Isla Negra [bal house in the central cost of Chile where Neruda has one of his houses]. After that there were changes in the band. Two new members came in, Sergio Bezard, drums and Juan Contreras, flute and keyboards. The line up of the first two LP's was set up.
Between July and August they created the songs for their first LP wich was recorded in 12 hours in two monophonic tracks and it was produced by DICAP ( discoteca del cantar popular de las Juventudes comunistas [ this label was of communist youth, that is the reason that afterwards the tapes disappeared afterwards, because the military destroyed all tapes]. They did their first concert in the Marconi theatre, showing their own material. This was recorded by television. In their first LP is included a song that became a hymn that generations would continue to sing, "Los momentos", a song that was added to the LP because there was some space left that was needed to be filled.
Eduardo Gatti had earlier played in The Apparition and later had a successful solo career.
In 1978, he and Orrego reformed Los Blops recording a single: Los Momentos / La Francisca,but they split again in 1980. The group did not edit any official album in 1978, they had new songs but never went to a studio to record them (some of those are going to be record in the future when Los Blops do another album). But there exists a bootleg of a performance they did in Iquique (in the north city of Chile). Eduardo told Fransisco Torre when he showed him the alive record he owned, that he didn't know it and of what he knew the only alive record of that era, was Iquique's one. But he also told him that the record he owns, has better sound that the one of Iquique (PS. It's this record that has been used for the radioshow). The other concert that is taped is one of 2001 (or 2000 I'm not sure) when they did an only recital to commemorate the appearing in CD of theirs three lost albums. But he told that there is no intention to edit this recording and keep that performance as an historical thing.
I found in some discography also the title "Colorado" (1978. I believe this must be the bootleg live recording I mentioned before.
EMIEduardo Gatti : De Momentos, Viajes y Navegantes (CHI,1995) *
Song oriented music with acoustic guitar and sparse accompaniment. You have to know Spanish to appreciate the complete album.