In Brazil in the late 60’s Os Mutantes were crafting some strange experimental pop and psychedelic music, equally inspired by John Cage and the Beatles. Loosely tied to the Tropicalia movement alongside the likes of Caetano Veloso, Tom Ze, and Gilberto Gil, this three piece were crafting music like no one else, drawing upon pop elements but skewing them in a unique, imaginative and experimental way. Everything Is Possible is a retrospective best of collection from David Byrne’s world music label, showcasing some of the more interesting and humourous moments from the bands earlier years. What’s immediately apparent is the band’s inspiring ability to craft surprisingly emotive melodic weirdness. It also showcases not only their experimental nature with tape manipulations and various odd techniques and arrangements, but also the astounding diversity in their output. Everything from abstract psychedelic pop, to progressive rock, tropicallia, bossa nova, and these interesting amalgamations somewhere in between. Some of the arrangements are downright peculiar, yet they’re pulled it with off with such aplomb that it’s impossible not to marvel at their audacity. Even when the arrangements are relatively straight laced, they always seem to be doing something decidedly odd in the background, whether it’s the backwards wah pedal in Dia 36 or the voice box in desculpe babe, their yen for experiments only served to make their music more enticing. In their hands music was something to be molded and shaped however they saw fit. This is music that refuses to place conventional limitations around itself, aside from the desire to operate in a musical off kilter pop arena. This is volume 1 in a series called World Psychedelic Classics and listening to it retrospectively, despite being removed from the context, particularly the political situation at the time in Brazil which was fraught with danger for artists, the arrangements are so peculiar and innovative that it’s impossible not to be seduced by this strange and beautiful oddity.
BoB Baker Fish