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14 Jan 2017

Materia Gris "Ohperra Vida De Beto" 1972 Argentina Prog Psych

Materia Gris  "Ohperra Vida De Beto" 1972 very rare Argentina Prog Psych

Rock Opera with Progressive flavor and Hard Rock outbursts, which starts excellently, but as the tunes or parts go by, it becomes a bit weak, losing progressively its songwriting quality, in my opinion.
The story turns around a Mr. so-and-so Beto, his life, from his birth (even before his birth), passing by his school days, and finally reaching his adult age, apparently Beto is a bit strange, maybe bipolar or deformed, couldn't say since the lyrics tend to be elliptical and figurative, perhaps "Ohperra vida de Beto" tried to be some of those Anglo Rock Operas about disgraced beings, like "Tommy" for instance (Ohperra would be a pun on 'Opera' I guess, meaning as well 'Oh bitch life of Beto'), although Materia Gris don't reach the level, not because of the musical quality per se, but because of the rather ho-hum songwriting that inundates the core of the album.
Anyway "Tommy" is not precisely the most inspired work one can imagine, to be honest.
The end with "Luz en la vida / Conclusión" brings the energy and enthusiasm back, but it's a bit late, and "Ohperra vida de Beto" stays like a pariah drifter in the 70s' Argie Rock, by the anonymous Materia Gris, who a while later disappeared from the surface.
Very consistent, concept style prog, with mostly hard rock mat'l, featuring psych influences and all-Spanish lyrics. A wonderful album! Beautiful melodies and arrangments. ...........

Argentinina band MATERIA GRIS was formed in 1970, consisting of Julio Presas (guitars, bass, percussion, vocals), Eduardo Rapetti (guitars, vocals), Omar Constanzo (bass, vocals) and Carlos Riganti (drums, percussion). Their sole release, "Ohperra vida de Beto", was one of the first concept albums released in Argentina...............

 Materia Gris were formed in 1970 in Argentina, originally playing a rather Beatles-esque Psych Pop, featuring Julio Presas and Eduardo Rapetti on guitars, Omar Constanzo on bass and Carlos Riganti on drums.After a single on the Music Hall label, their style changed towards a more rockin' sound and in 1972 they released what was considered to be the first Rock Opera in Argentinian Rock, the title was ''Ohperra vida de Beto''.It came out on Harvest and features Litto Nebbia on piano, while all members contributed on vocals.
They had evolved actually into a Hard/Psychedelic Rock band at the time, but the choice of a concept work with multiple variations, as presented in the 16 tightly connected pieces, helped them spread a style with strong progressive leanings.The album works nicely even if it had been recorded with just a couple of titles, so consider it as two side-long tracks, where sharp guitars and acoustic parts combine along with some strings and piano.The most powerful parts are a bit reminiscent of the Italian school, bands like OSAGE TRIBE or CAPITOLO 6 for example, but there are also certain moments in here with discreet jazzy and Classical vibes.Of course the album is loaded with a heavy lyrical content, which makes the instrumental parts a bit of a desire, but the dual guitars displayed offer some excellent moments with mascular rhythms, tempo changes, melodic solos and frenetic twists, all showered with a psychedelic touch.Maybe some stronger doses of piano or keyboards could have made this sound less raw and more convincing, but the band manages to overcome any tendencies towards monotony with the presence of electroacoustic interplays and the endless variety on moods and climates.Some parts of the album sound a bit fragmented and others are too straightforward, but overall this was a pretty nice effort on extended and dynamic Rock music.

It was a shame that this effort went unnoticed back in early-70's and reputedly the band was working on a second album called ''Pandemonium'' at the time of its demise.Riganti went on to play with Alas and collaborated with several great Argentinian Rock musicians like Carlos Cutaia and Raul Porchetto, while in 1979 he moved to Spain.Costanzo joined Naranja Mecánica in mid-70's and Presas worked on his own album ''Amaneciendo en la cruz del sur'', released in 1978.

Tight Psychedelic Rock with hard deliveries on guitar and plenty of progressive elements, produced over a concept work.Rather overlooked, but certainly apps79 ........

Ohperra vida de Beto (a game of words between "Opera" and "oh, perra!" -how bitchin´!- "life of Beto"). This sort of rock opera dealt with the life of a guy named Beto from his birth to his adulthood in the style of S.F.Sorrow by The Pretty Things.It was a very good effort, with a progressive melodic soft-psycho sound and great guitar work. Omar Constanzo wrote the lyrics and Julio Presas composed the music. Side A -called Sweet Opera- was more calm, and side B -Bitter Opera- more intense, although the whole disc was rich in styles
Extremaly Hard to find on Harvest lbl !!!!!!!!!............

Julio Presas, a musician (guitarist), author and composer, began his professional life in 1968. As a sound technician and arranger, I did not take much time to become an artistic producer. He recorded for HARVEST EMI with his ensemble "Materia Gris" the album "Oh, Perro vida de Beto"; First Composed Rock Opera nationwide.
Throughout its trajectory Presas recorded in many Studies, among which by the years 74 began in "Oedipus", there it was able to work along with Charly Garci'a, Leon Gieco, L.A. Spinetta, David Lebón, Carlos Cutaia, Alejandro Lerner, Patricia Sosa, Sandro, among others.
Simultaneously, he recorded in the "Panda", "El Cielito", "El Pie", "ION", "Phonales" Studios and later in "Circo Beat" to different artists such as Gustavo Cerati, Miguel Botafogo, Pappo, Javier Martínez, Daniel Melero, La Torre, Black Amaya with the Robertones.
In 1977, he recorded the music of the documentary for the newspaper "The Capital of Rosario" whose main motive was to have similarity to the music composed by Georgio Moroder, for the film "The Midnight Express" that was known by the public at the end Of 1978. By which Presas initiates legal actions against this author.
Seven years later, he published in the CBS Company an LP with his group "La Ley".
Throughout his career, Presas was artistic producer of the CD "Tierra Bendita", "Not for all the gold of the World" of the Rancheros; Work done for Sony Music.
In 1990, it traveled to the United States to carry out a production together with David Lebon, titled "Nuevas Mañanas", in which participated Pedro Aznar.
He also made live recordings of "Memphis La Blusera", "Los Perros", "Human Color", "Javier Martínez" ...
He also composed curtains for TV, one of which corresponded to the automobile program "Car to the View", which remained for 10 years in the air.
In 1995, next to Rino Rafanelli formed a group called "The Shelter Warnes" that frequently made their presentations in the Roxy.
Later, with Antonio García López and Beto Topini, Presas formed a trio called "Ferrockina", which participated in the Festival of 30 years of National Rock.
Later came "Just for Faith" (2004) and "Misunderstandings" (2013).
For his authorial career, he recently received an award from the Argentine Society of Authors and Composers.
He currently provides comprehensive sound services in his own recording studio and in third-party studios to artists of various musical genres. He also faces a new project by Julio Presas Trio, with the solid base of Tony García López and Beto Topini.

Line-up / Musicians
- Julio Presas / guitars, bass, percussion, vocals
- Eduardo Rapetti / guitars, vocals
- Omar Constanzo / bass, vocals
- Carlos Riganti / drums, percussion

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Precimiento (2:47)
2. Nacimiento (3:02)
3. Canción de Cuna (0:48)
4. Crecimiento (2:51)
5. ¡Es Alumno! (1:04)
6. Compañero de Banco (2:51)
7. Un Largo Tiempo (4:08)
8. ¡Alguien Llega! (0:44)
9. La Angustia (3:49)
10. El Te Ayudará (1:15)
11. ¿Forma o Esencia? (3:29)
12. La Teoría Positiva (3:50)
13. ¡Soy Tu Vida! (2:51)
14. Reflexión (4:51)
15. Luz en la Vida (0:18)
16. Conclusión (3:08)

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