Part of our ongoing Cinema Sounds series, Paul Gonter brings us “Trem Fantasma” from Os Mutantes’s 1968 self-titled debut album.
The Artist: Brazilian psychedelic rockers Os Mutantes
The Influence: politically charged horror films
The Result: a joyfull theme song for a damned generation
Brazilian psychedelic sensation Os Mutantes has been creating a unique brand of music since the late 1960s. They accomplish this by combining elements of early psych acts like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix with traditional musical forms like bossa nova and samba (this pastiche is quite evident in their song “Bat Macumba”).
Around the same time that Os Mutantes became active, a new movement in Brazilian cinema was also forming. Mouth of Garbage cinema came from the underbelly of Sao Paulo and combined elements of French Nouvelle Vogue with early gore and B-movies. Jose Mojica Marins, aka Coffin Joe, was one of the forerunners of the movement, putting out strange flicks like This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (1967) and Awakening of the Beast (1970).
Both Os Mutnates and Marins are representative of the emergent youth culture in Brazil that opposed the military controlled government at the time. With a bad translation from Google, here are some lyrics from “Trem Fantasma,” that give a nod of kinship between the two:
“The Coffin Joe / Brings the animals of creation / To the gate and / Ended the session / Four cruises / Buy old scared / He and his girlfriend / She thinks nothing / He thinks in secret”
Os Mutantes is available for purchase on iTunes.