Everything Is Possible! The Best Of Os Mutantes

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One person's psychedelia is another's tie-dyed pantaloon nightmare, but only a terminal grinch could dispute the mind-blowing properties of Brazil's legendary cosmic crusaders....

One person’s psychedelia is another’s tie-dyed pantaloon nightmare, but only a terminal grinch could dispute the mind-blowing properties of Brazil’s legendary cosmic crusaders. Culled from the trio’s five albums, with an emphasis on the superior first three, some of these 14 recordings still sound fantastical after 30 years, testimony to the perpetrators’ talent and restless spirit. Small wonder that the Mutantes confounded their compatriots at the time.

In crude terms, [a]Os Mutantes[/a] took Sgt Pepper and taught him how to bossa nova, samba and whatever other trad Brazilian rhythm was ripe for appropriation. They may have pissed off the cultural purists with their irreverent attitudes and electric guitars, but early Mutantes gems such as ‘A Minha Menina’ and ‘Bat Macumba’ heave with an incorruptible sense of fun, the ripely distorted guitars anticipating Super Furry Animals‘ lysergic-Latino crossover by three decades. The band’s biggest hit, ‘Ando Meio Desligado’ (‘I Feel A Little Spaced Out’), is considerably more conventional but still a sweet exclamation of dope love, while ‘Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour’‘s gently chaotic descending harmonies suggest Stereolab were among the first wave of Mutantes archivists.

The debt owed by latter-day heads to Arnaldo Baptista, Rita Lee and Sirgio Dias is clear, then. And though irritatingly non-chronological and inevitably incomplete, ‘Everything Is Possible!…’ represents a tantalising taster for those contemplating full-on Mutation.