I’ve been waiting for just the right moment to shine a light on this album. Like many of the best Brazilian records I own, I heard about this one first from Joel Oliveira Stones, who posted a picture of the unfolded cover last year. As you’ll see below, the cover unfolds into an egg shape, with the yellow vinyl serving as the yolk of the egg. I’d never seen such a beautifully designed album and knew that I had to have it. The album is rare and expensive (at least for me), but it’s more than justifiable when you see these pictures and hear the music.
I know very little about Marinho Castellar aside from the fact that he died in 1990 at the age of 33. This album appears to have been produced entirely by Castellar and his family (using that term very loosely). As visually striking as the packaging is, the music is just as engaging. While it is somewhat stylistically similar to what I regard as one of the most beautiful Brazilian records of all-time from Nelson Angelo and Joyce Moreno, it also has a sound entirely all it’s own. Castellar employs what seems to be a large ensemble, sometimes as many as 11 players, with singing duties shared by a angelic sounding woman named Simara. In addition to the musicians, Castellar and company add a variety of other sounds, from what sounds like splashing water to some things I still haven’t been quite able to identify. In addition to the amazing music and cover, the album includes a 24 page booklet that is just as idiosyncratic. I’m sure any single document has made me want to learn Portuguese more than this booklet. I feel like the keys to the universe are contained within it. More than anything I’m just happy to share this with you.