Quarteto 1111

As with the contemporaneous one-off by Italy’s Gleemen, the 1970 long-player by Portugal’s Quarteto 1111 was a recent discovery that I initially a-listed due to its colorful cover art. Unlike Gleeman, however, Quarteto 1111 has stayed on top due to some wonderful music contained within. I’m inclined to say that this album betrays some strong national characteristics, but that may just be down to the vocals, which walk a thin line between spoken and sung. Musically, you get a mixture of fuzzy, Anglo-style popsike (“Uma Estrada para a Minha”), pieces that blur song form with sound collage (“A Fuga dos Grilos”), folky ditties with quirky accents on the melody (the whistle/organ jolts of “Pigmentação”), and a recurrent breeze of the Brazilian Tropicalia style.

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