Galicia produced some fascinating prog-folk records in the late 70s. I was only vaguely familiar with the folk sounds of my home region until around 2010 or 2011, when I discovered Emilio Cao, along with other great albums such as Doa’s Son Da Estrela Oscura (1979) ou Milladoiro’s Galicia de Maleoc (1979). All of these amazing records were released on the Abrente label, which was founded by Nonito Pereira. Nonito was a key figure of the music business in my home town, and he is the father of my good friend Nonito Jr.
Sonically, Emilio Cao’s Fonte Do Araño is like the Galician answer to Alan Stivell’s Renaissance of the Celtic Harp. Looks like Emilio Cao might have been Stivell’s protégé – he even wrote the liner notes for this record. I’m not a big fan of the ‘Celtic music’ concept but, if you had to categorise this stuff, what other words would you use? I hear landscape music. Nature music. A sound that’s deeply connected to a very particular place, time and identity.
This music emanates from the depths of the Galician mountains, valleys and seascapes. It helped me rediscover and reconnect with the place where I grew up. It sounds and feels like home.
The original record, with its beautiful gatefold sleeve, went out of circulation for years. In 2016 Nonito Pereira Jr. reissued the album that his father originally released in 1977. It’s worth owning this gem on vinyl.