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Paêbirú

cover.jpg

Figure 1: The only guy that matters. Fuck Zé Ramalho.

Paêbirú is an album by Brazilian musician(s) Lula Côrtes and Zé Ramalho (the latter of which did literally nothing on the album). Apparently, most of the original copies of the album were lost in a flood1 (as is very common in third-world South America) and an authentic copy costs around $2,500.

Thankfully, the fraud hack Zé Ramalho himself considers his work on the album negligible, so we can spare him some slack.

So, why listen to the album? It’s one of the most magnificent pieces of psychedelia on Earth. The artists got the idea of the album from folk shrines in Brazil, and the legendary four elements or some shit like that. It’s not the regular psychedelia album—it’s not “oh I got high on LSD in my garage and I strummed my guitar with a delay pedal”. It’s the embodiment of spiritualism and nature itself, and the history isn’t the only thing that proves it—the sound does as well.

With the opening track, Trilha de Sume - Pt 1, we get a full glimpse into the sound signature of Paêbirú—it’s full of Spanish guitar, flute, strange as hell kazoo-like instruments, and entrancing vocals. This track is probably one of the most psychedelic of the album, combining all those instruments with the vocals into a coherent, trance-like track.

The second track, Culto a Terra, is a track to break things up for—what I think is—the best track on the album. Culto a Terra sounds like something straight out of the jungle—rhythmic beats, a ton of drums, loud, strange chanting by several people, and an electric guitar to break things up.

Now, Bailado das Muscarias is likely the embodiment of nature. It’s my favorite track of the album, and not for no reason. It starts quite erratically, with jazz-like piano, but as it calms down, we’re presented with a beautiful piano melody and an accompanying flute. We’re immediately drawn into the song by the guitar strumming reminding us of a peaceful (but wild) teenage campfire party. The flute really does its part here—it makes the song sound extremely barbaric and primitive. As we listen further, another guitar creates a melody alongside the flute, giving the song a very optimistic feeling.

For me, Bailado das Muscarias is the embodiment of the phrase “everything is going to be alright”. It’s filled with natural melodies, natural instruments, natural harmonies, natural everything. It feels like being in a rural town ballad concert, with all the traditional outfits, dancing, campfires, and smiling—and at the same time the song feels like being one with nature, laying somewhere in a field, looking at the trees flowing in the wind, at the clouds slowly moving through the sky. It’s really great.

From then on, the tracks are great, but not special like the ones I have described beforehand. Harpa dos Ares is another instrumental, with a lot of natural sounds of birds, wind, and animals. The other tracks are more jazzy, and not much to my liking—other than Nas Paredes da Pedra Encantanda, which is an extremely wild rock ballad, and is where Zé Ramalho really shines.

Rating: A++

Also, Lula Côrtes is a hobocore master and has chad as hell hair and beard.

Footnotes:

Author: zd

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