So what do we know about Tim Maia? We know he is dead, that he died in 1998, that he was a Brazilian singer song writer who did not age as well as he might (his head in particular changed shape in a very non flattering way as his twilight years approached). We also know that in 1975 he recorded the album Racional. At this time Tim was a member of the Universe in Descenchant cult.
Quite what the Universe in Descenchant were into I do not know but from the above sleeve I will assume it was awesome. Sadly with the exception of one song, everything on this record is sung in Brazilian... I mean Portuguese, and that one English sung number doesn't give us much insight into the inner workings of said cult, it's more like a Motown love song, a mid 1970's Motown love song. I should and one day will ask somebody with an understanding of Portuguese to fill me in on this, it might be some amazing key to celestial enlightenment, a precursor to the orange clad and Nike wearing Heaven's Gate crew. Quite whether Tim was ever going to man up and put the purple cloth over his dead face with 37 others awaiting a new life courtesy of the Halle Bopp comet I do not know but the cover certainly hints at that kind of business.
The whole thing reminds me of a debate that raged in the Times last week, on news that Scientology was losing it's charity status in Australia at the same time as getting a lambasting from a group of high profile former followers. On the comments page somebody wrote something about the only difference (monetary gains aside) between Catholicism and Scientology was that one was an load of old rubbish and the other was a load of new rubbish. Given that neither religion has any factual of scientific basis, they should I suppose be given equal standing and that being the case maybe the San Diego Heaven's Gate click also deserve a re-appraisal.
Musically this is very tight, communication issues aside the instrumentation is clean, with the occasional break and drum heavy track to liven things up. Unfortunately it is if anything too accomplished, too linear. I had expected just a hint of insanity to ooze from the sleeve and onto the record player, an occasional dog like barking or similar. An out of tune guitar or instrument they might have invented for the occasion would have helped fulfill the sleeves promise, backwards tape loops, ghostly voices, that's kind of what I was expecting - Still, not to say this isn't a very enjoyable album and also not to say there is anything wrong with bridging the musical generation gap at all, it's just that I could quite easily imagine my mum saying something along the lines of 'This is nice, who is it?'