Manduka :: S/T (1972)

No church key needed to unlock this set’s charms–Manduka’s 1972 self-titled debut, aka Brazil 1500, reissued via Italy’s Eating Standing Records. Born Alexandre Manuel Thiago de Mello, the singer-songwriter cut the lp at age 20 while exiled in Chile, having fled the military dictatorship of his native Brazil. An organic affair employing minimal production, the record is buoyed by Manduka’s sympathetic vocal, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment by vocalist Soledad Bravo. Abetted by light flutes, harmonica and congas, as a piece, Manduka excels in its low-key blend of provincial folk, tastefully draped in the ubiquitous psychedelia of the zeitgeist.

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