Inti-Illimani - Viva Chile! (1973)

A sort of “nostalgic” post today, because this record was probably the first example of “world music” I heard in my life – well, I’d better say “non-european music”, “world music” is a label I can’t stand, but, you know, at the time this music seemed to really come from another world… So, this record means a lot to me, bringing me back memories of more innocent times, and games, and long journeys with no car stereos or mp3 players around, just the whole family & friends singing loudly el pueblo unido jamàs sera vencido while strolling through the Highlands of Scotland, well, things like that… But I must admit that, when listening to Viva Chile! today, I still find its music captivating and moving, and very well played. Long live the Sun God!

«This was not the first album to be released by the Chilean folk group Inti-Illimani [whose name means Sun God in the Aymaran Indian language], which had originally formed while its members were college students more than six years before Viva Chile! came out in 1973. But it was the first of the group's albums to emerge from a new life as exiles in Rome; so, literally, this spirited music of revolution and rebellion was recorded within a short stroll from the type of hearty lunchtime pasta that is more likely to inspire a siesta. The decisive summarization of thoughts that sometimes occurs as a preamble to dreamland is a nice way to describe the choice of both repertoire and final program sequence. Viva Chile! lays bare the musical roots of this ensemble, in large part a style of folk music from the Andes that has unfortunately become a trifle stereotyped due to overexposure. In the case of Inti-Illimani, the growth from this original starting point has been lush, extending into a challenging form of expression known as nuevo cancion, or new song. Rich emotions and musical surprises bloom almost constantly from these pieces. In combination with politics, as in "Venceremos" or "Cueca de la C.U.T.," it becomes a garden that any lover of protest songs will want to sit in and meditate. Sniffing along while the military industrial complex is overthrown is hardly the only sweet bouquet provided, however. From the very start of the album, intricate and terrifically mixed percussion breaks provide some of the finest moments. "Cueca de la C.U.T." is simply amazing, sounding like small drunken men have invaded the speaker box with wooden mallets. Instrumental pieces involving various combinations of stringed instruments such as guitar, tiple, and charango are also part of the program, a style that the group seems to have downplayed in later releases. "Ramis," "Tatati," and "Subida" are short and simple treats; "Longuita" utilizes a picking style that sounds like country & western, though it is uncertain what country. "Venceremos" is the big vocal hit, an anthem among anthems, and as is typical in the effective sequencing, it is sandwiched between two of the instrumentals…» (AMG)

Link in comments


Azuolas said...

Hi! Thanks for linking to me from your website - it increased traffic and makes it more fun to post things. I like your music as well.

J Thyme...kind said...

Love this group. Thank you.

Melopee said...

Merci pour toutes ces découvertes faites grâce à votre blog.

Sendspace n'héberge plus cet album. Pouvez vous l'uploaded de nouveau ?

Anonymous said...

Gracias por Inti-Illimani, y todo lo demas... (esta buena la foto de los gatos en la escalera)

Radu said...