José Mauro’s masterpiece Obnoxius is a deep cut of Brazilian psych and melancholia that’s long been sought out in collector’s circles. Bolstered by mystery and an imposed mythic status due to the artist’s untimely death and/or disappearance shortly after the recording, the album itself was shelved until years after it was recorded. The record has loose ties to some of the other top tier Brazilian songwriters (Marcos Valle, Caetano Veloso, João Gilberto) but one listen through the singularly lush Obnoxius reveals the artist had his own way of capturing the heartstung glow of sadness that transcended those influences. The record is swimming in orchestration, subtly saturated voices and just a twinge of psychedelia.
Mauro emerged as one of the voices of dissent in Brazil during the military leadership of the ’60s, and his protest songs no doubt drew the ear of the government, adding another layer of mystery to his story. Unlike many of his peers, Mauro chose to stay in Brazil rather than emigrate during the time of artistic oppression in his country, and details remain scant as to whether a car crash did him in or he met more sinister ends. However tragic his personal details, this album stands as a promise of what might have been and what he left behind. Far-Out have put the long lost masterpiece back into circulation for those who don’t have the means to stumble onto a pricey original.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.