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Wednesday 14 July 2010


Congregacion were a particularly hairy bunch of Chileans who released one album, "Viene", in 1972. They were led by one Antonio Smith, who within twelve months of its release had hopped over the border to Argentina after Pinochet toppled Allende (I may be maligning him but I'm guessing the General wasn't mad keen on hippies). Antonio carried on working in Argentina, releasing an album with the group Sol in 1974 and one in his own name the year after, which you can download from En Busca Del Tiempo Perdido. He apparently remains a legendary figure among the older and fartier variety of Chilean music fans.

"Viene" itself is a fairly typical folk-rock album of the early 1970s - very mellow (a bit too mellow at times), nice harmonies - with a bit of flute and percussion thrown in every now and then to remind you they are from Latin America. Maybe one for all you Fleet Foxes fans out there, he says in a pathetic attempt to appear "relevant".

"El Dulce Espiritu De La Soledad/ Ama La Muerte Hermano" - Congregacion

"Atrapados Por Un Pensamiento" - Congregacion

According to Babelfish the titles translate roughly as "The Sweet Spirit of Solitude/ Love of Brother Death" and "Caught by a Thought" respectively, but I am sure you can improve on that.

Now as it happens there was an English group with a virtually identical name knocking around at the same time. Here they are with their mega-hit from 1971.

PS Rather than wasting any more time here, get yourselves back over to En Busca Del Tiempo Perdido for some Bolivian psychedelia.

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