180g Vinyl LP (+ Obi) José Mauro's 'A Viagem Das Horas' 1976 classic is finally set for reissue with three previously unheard tracks.
For years it was believed that José Mauro was dead. Rumours on blogs and comment sections circulated that the mysterious Brazilian genius had either been killed in a road accident, or been 'disappeared' by Brazil's military junta in the 1970s. But following Far Out's 2016 reissue of José Mauro's debut album Obnoxius, the label heard word that José Mauro is in fact alive and well, living a quiet life on the outskirts of Rio.
"My body pushed me away from music, health became a stumbling block for me. If I had the strength to carry on with composing, I would have... always focused on achieving a sense of beauty, a sense of wonder." - José Mauro
After years of trying to track him down (with many twists and turns along the way), Far Out Recordings is overjoyed to finally present, with the blessing of the man himself, the long-awaited release of José Mauro's forgotten masterpiece A Viagem Das Horas, featuring three previously unreleased and unheard tracks from the original studio sessions.
Recorded in 1970 at Odeon studios in Rio de Janeiro: the same time and place as all the music he ever recorded, José Mauro's A Viagem Das Horas wasn't released until six years later, when label owner and producer Roberto Quartin licensed the tracks to fellow Brazilian label Tapecar, who curiously released the album with several tracks already released on Obnoxius. Finally, over half a century on, A Viagem Das Horas will be released with three never before heard tracks, "Rua Dois", "Moenda'' and "Variação Sobre Um Antigo Tema", as Mauro and Quartin had originally intended.
"Finding our place in a country under a brutal dictatorship, and not believing in either civil war or fascism, we were part of a generation in transit, searching for another option." - Ana Maria Bahiana
Conceived under the gloom of Brazil's military authoritarianism, from which many artists had either fled or been exiled, José Mauro and his songwriting partner Ana Maria Bahiana, combined their shared interest in Candomblé - a syncretism of traditional West African religions and Roman Catholicism - with MPB, psychedelic folk and orchestral music. Expressing a spiritual response to the world they found themselves in, the result was a sacrosanct, post-tropical music of pure transcendence. "Finding our place in a country under a brutal dictatorship, and not believing in either civil war or fascism, we were part of a generation in transit, searching for another option."
This sense of searching and longing is present throughout the music, and the 'Viagem' (Journey) is a deeply profound one. With apparitional vocals and propulsive, open-tuning acoustic guitar, and Lindolfo Gaya's spine-tingling orchestrations soaring overhead, the music has the power to inspire in the listener an almost trance-like state of ecstasy.
Understanding Mauro's musical vision, Quartin pulled together the best team available. For an independent label at that time in Brazil, the quality of the recording and production is exceptional. Having already recorded some of the great Brazilian albums of the sixties with Deodato, Baden Powell, Quarteto Em Cy and Moacir Santos, all of whom he saw success with on his Forma Label, Quartin's friendships with some of the best musicians in Rio, as well as his access to the top studios, engineers and state of the art recording techniques, gave Mauro's idiosyncratic compositions a dazzling clarity and intimacy.