Uncharted history of obscure Paraguayan collective unearthed to create context for their cult classic.
For years, "Pops De Vanguardia" has been cherished by aficionados as the only offering from the Wenger brothers, who studied under Stockhausen yet applied his method to rock rather than modern symphonies, but it was always known that Jörn and Dirk recorded much more music, and their 1971 LP featured pieces laid down in a certain period. The rest remained well-preserved, though, and “Pop Espontáneo” – “Spontaneous Pop”: the name the siblings gave to their oeuvre – finally uncovers the numbers that preceded the album and the tracks that followed, spanning 1969-1975, an era when the vein the South American duo mined made a quantum leap leaving them behind for ever. Undeservedly so.
This collection arranges cuts from various years in a logical flow but allows each one to shine on its own, especially with humor oozing out of “Six Feet Over The Rainbow” – out of titles if not music per se – and sounds coming from all over the universe. “Altered Termites In My Room” – cosmic sonics spurred with Latino groove – must best embody the band’s tactic, but “Night Dreamer” filters synthesizers’ thrill through bossa-spiced percussion as impressively, to attain spaced-out luminosity and let guitar paint acid-kissed vignettes over the melodious ripples which will be tempered with woodwind, while “Instrumental Nocturno” will pile layers of prog intent to create a nice jive.
Innocent, if raga-tinctured, “I Will Wait For You” and “The Mom Kiss First” reveal the origins of the band’s style, yet the handclaps-enhanced chant “Take Me Higher” rides a sharper riff, whereas “Wanna Change This World” has its bass-spanked tribal sensibility laid out in a carnival manner, and the sexed-up “Change Your Mind About Me” eyes a disco ball. Playfully sinister “I Find You In The Night” and “Save My Soul” might be purely psychedelic, the former’s muscularity given an Iggy sleaze and the latter’s valiant parping reined in with noble brass – unlike the pulsating “Loveseller” that gets ahead of the group’s time by edging into a “Tainted Love” territory, and “Searching For A Figure” does the same by anticipating AOR.
If the ensemble continued and waited for the world to catch up with them, they could have been huge; as it is, the brothers should be perceived as prophets now.