“An undeniably beautiful gem from the early-70s Chilean underground, Congregacion's only album Viene is a rarely heard masterpiece, full of delicate atmospherics and dreamy textures.
Congregacion were a group spearheaded by the apparently mythical figure of Antonio Smith, whose progressive and hopeful lyrics (their significant political, philosophical and religious content made them a real "celebration of life"), earned him the enmity of the Chilean military dictatorship; he was forced to flee the country and Viene (plus a rare single), proved to be Congregacion's only releases. Musically, they crafted ballads in an Andean style with ethnic atmospheres—one could say they made a kind ofpsychedelic folk with progressive leanings.
Had things worked out differently, this album might be held in as high regard as comparable masterpieces like say, Milton Nascimento's Clube de Esquina, for example, although Congregacion is far more in a psychedelic vein. The music of Congregacion has an evocative sense of open space, using natural sounds and acoustic textures to foreground Smith's soaring melodies. The results are incredibly beautiful. Like another album, Bulent's Benimle Oynar Misin, it has just the perfect balance plaintively sorrowful acid/folk and gently arranged pop (those Beatles-esque harmonics are impossible to overlook). This is a highly recommended album that is surely one of the pinnacles of Latin American folk/psych