Saturday, November 12, 2011

7

The Group: The Feed-back (RCA, 1970)

Just as the first "krautrock" lp's were coming out in Germany, in Italy we had a surprisingly similar counterpart: this album. It consists of three long instrumental tracks, somewhere in between psych-rock, avantgarde jazz and funky jams.
The sound is definitely experimental and ostentatiously "underground". None of the instruments involved tries to be reassuring: the guitar is scratchy, the trumpet sounds choked, piano and keyboards are always dissonant and a background of "proto-industrial" noises is present all along the record. The music, anyway, is thrilling. The drum patterns, in particular, are extraordinary: regular, tight, groovy, and incredibly close to the "motorik" beat of Can and Neu!.

"The Group" was not a band of young beatniks. As a matter of fact, it's just a pseudonym for Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, a project of renown soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone along with other important experimental musicians. The rock-focused attitude of the record is quite surprising for  such a team of classically-trained men already in their forties!

Tracklist:
  1. The Feed-back
  2. Quasar
  3. Kumalo
Credits:
  • Franco Evangelisti: keyboard, percussion
  • Ennio Morricone: trumpet
  • Mario Bertoncini: piano, percussion
  • Walter Branchi: double bass
  • Bruno Battisti D'Amario: guitar
  • Egisto Macchi: percussion
  • Renzo Restuccia: drums
  • John Heineman: trombone, piano, cello
Download (224 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Ennio Morricone: Crime and Dissonance (Ipecac, 2005)
La 1919: Jouer, Spielen, To Play (Materiali sonori, 1994)

Friday, October 28, 2011

0

Rondò veneziano: La Serenissima (Baby Records/BMG, 1981)

Rondò veneziano and their fake disco/baroque music mixture aren't usually much regarded among music fans. They're too prog for non-progsters, not prog enough for progsters, too disco or too classical for rock lovers and too few for disco or classical lovers, and so on. But most of all, they're considered just too kitsch for anyone - whatever one's tastes might be.

I don't want to deny this. Rondò veneziano are definitely kitsch: a perfectly conceived form of extreme kitsch. And that's precisely why they deserve your esteem.
Here's their second album and most famous one. The tracks "La serenissima", "Sinfonia per un addio", "Arlecchino" can't be new to your ears if you happened to watch Italian television in the Eighties or Nineties. If you did not... Well, the kind of music involved here is easily explained.
Take Vivaldi, Albinoni or any other notable Venetian composer of the baroque era, make it a bit more sugary, add some drums and bass guitar with a mild disco-music touch, and there you are.
At times the music - entirely instrumental, of course - sounds as cheesy as Il guardiano del faro (which is quite of an appropriate comparison, after all), but the most lively tracks, with all their counterpoints and strings and winds and canons, are something and no cheesiness can obscure that.

Rondò veneziano are a chamber orchestra lead by maestro Gian Piero Reverberi, one of the foremost arrangers of Italian pop music during the Sixties and Seventies. He worked with Gino Paoli, Le Orme, Fabrizio De André, Lucio Battisti, Luigi Tenco, and many more. The group started in 1979 and is still active and touring.

Tracklist:
  1. La Serenissima
  2. Rialto
  3. Canal Grande
  4. Aria di festa
  5. Sinfonia per un addio
  6. Arlecchino
  7. Regata dei Dogi
  8. Notturno in gondola
  9. Capriccio veneziano
  10. Magico incontro
Download (192 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Giusto Pio: Legione straniera (EMI, 1982)
Luciano Basso: Voci (1975)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

0

Mat-101: Goodbye, Mum!

Since the early Nineties, Rome has had a florid techno scene, quite renown abroad. Producers Francesco Pierro and Francesco De Bellis are among the foremost representatives of the "second generation" of Roman techno artists, and their excellent release as Jolly Music was already posted on this blog some time ago.

Here's something a bit older instead: the first album of the duo (which back then was actually a trio, comprising fellow producer Emiliano Tortora), which came out in 1999 for their own label Balance Records, under the moniker Mat-101.
It's basically videogame-sounding IDM. Abstract, Detroit-style techno music combined with 8-bit stuff and England's most melodic post-rave experimentations. Despite the coldness of the elements and the overal creepiness of the atmospheres, the tunes are incredibly fanciful and jocose. Sometimes, they even recall some stripped-down version of Daft Punk's OuLiPo-like attitude.
Rhythm obviously plays a fundamental role, and is perhaps the most peculiar aspect of the album. Instead of treading the usual mechanical beat of techno music, it flirts with the most convulsive twists by Aphex Twin and the likes. Without sounding that alienating, though.

"Goodbye Mum!" is one of the most original Italian electronic albums. You will like it.

Tracklist:
  1. Intro
  2. Level One
  3. Arcade
  4. Crash Hero
  5. English
  6. Danni morali e fisici
  7. Zilof
  8. Spzz
  9. Gabber Doze
  10. 10
  11. Goblin 101
  12. Mennen
  13. Tecnologia casuale
  14. Frakken
  15. Phreese
Download  (192 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Monomorph: Alternative Fluid (Disturbance, 1994)
Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)

Friday, October 21, 2011

0

Squarcicatrici: s/t (Wallace, 2009)

It's been quite a while since the last post on this blog, and I can't guarantee I will update it frequently after this new post, but I hope I'll be able to. Anyway: I'm back.

Today's album is the debut record of a very odd chamber/jazzcore/world/whateverelse ensemble, lead by the omnipresent musical factotum Jacopo Andreini (L'Enfance Rouge, Vialka, Ronin, Ovo, Roy Paci, Cerberus Shoal, and many more).
The tracks are quite diverse, both in influences and styles. They range from "jazzified" versions of folkloric traditions (from the Balkans, or from Latin America) to unforseen chamber/electro/hip-hop experiments, and even reckless hommages to classical music ("Gorecky"). Even languages keep on shifting. Rhythm and interplay are excellent, strings as harsh sandpaper, and despite the studied roughness of the mix, the overall result is quite refined.

Fans of The Ex and the likes will surely love it, but I bet the album would sound original, daring and irresistable for many more. Remeber checking out Jacopo Andreini's "Bossa Storta" project if you liked this one, and follow the blog http://afoforomusicclub.blogspot.com for more information and associated artists.

Tracklist:
  1. Afrotellacci
  2. Macedone
  3. Sans races
  4. Mbizo
  5. Pilhar Fraqueza
  6. J'ai faim, Jessie!
  7. Izgubljen sambetta
  8. Garota
  9. Afrocina
  10. Gorecky
  11. Afoforo
  12. Invischiata
  13. Izgubeljen sam (Vuneny mix)
Credits:
  • Jacopo Andreini: guitar, bendir, drums, alto and baritone sax, voice;
  • Andrea Caprara: tenor sax; 
  • Matteo Bennici: cello, bass, voice;
  • Enrico Antonello: trumpet;
  • Erwan Naour: voice;
  • Thollem McDonas: piano;
  • Samuele Venturin: bass, accordion;
  • Piero Spitilli: contrabass;
  • Simone Tecla: drums;
  • Andrea Belfi: drums;
  • Valentino Receputi: violin;
  • Uliva Velo: violin;
  • Martina Chiaraugi: viola
Download (320 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Zu: Igneo (Wide Records, 2002)
L'enfance rouge: Trapani - Halq al Waady (Wallace, 2008)


Friday, June 10, 2011

4

Il golpe va in radio!

Conoscete Blah Blah Blah - Ondarock on Air, la trasmissione condotta per la webradio Okmusic.com dai miei colleghi ondarockiani Marco Bercella e Davide Sechi ogni lunedì sera?

No? Recuperatevi i podcast del ciclo "Italia Fuori", allora: quattro puntate dedicate agli outsider della musica italiana, con speciale attenzione agli anni Ottanta e alle donzelle:
1 puntata (14 marzo)
2 puntata (21 marzo)
3 puntata, "Italia(ne) fuori" (4 aprile)
4 puntata (16 maggio)

Lunedì 13 giugno sarò ospite in studio per la quinta puntata, "Prog non prog". Nessuna anticipazione, ma aspettatevi una carrellata di chicche provenienti dal Golpe - o che prima o poi ci finiranno!
Sarà l'occasione ideale per risentire un po' di cose, scoprirne di nuove o in generale farsi un'idea di quanta musica strabiliante ci sia ancora da riscoprire attorno al ben noto "progressive italiano" degli anni Settanta (che è poi il senso del titolo).

Seguiteci in diretta dalle 21.00 sul sito www.okmusic.com, e scrivete in tempo reale i vostri commenti nella pagina Facebook della trasmissione (dove, peraltro, trovate anche i link a tutte le altre puntate già andate in onda).
Chi se la perdesse, potrà recuperarla in replica alle 16.00 di martedì 14 giugno.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1  

Giampiero Riggio: Watschenbaum/Hold (Woolshop Productions, 2010)

Folktronica + post-rock. A bit out of time, you could object. But Giampiero Riggio, from Palermo, doesn't care at all and crafts a good (and double!) debut album fusing these two "old" genres.

As you might expect, the music sounds both expansive and shy, warm and a bit detached. Acoustic timbres (guitar, cello, piano, accordion, tinkles&clinkles) are coupled with desolate electronic elements, pauses, reverbs. The sound is way more involving than the hushed vocals and intimistic approach would suggest: the music's lulling, and ravishing.

The two cds are quite different. "Hold" reflects a more luminous spirit, and the atmosphere is more playful. "Watschenbaum", on the contrary, is more empied-out, and dominated by a melancholic mood.

Both of them, though, encompass the same apparent references: múm, Bon Iver, Tunng on the indie-folk side, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and acolytes on the post-rock one.

The tracks are surely more ambience-oriented than focused on melody: this may be a slight defect for the album, but is easily hidden by the pleasantness of the music.

"Hold/Watschenbaum" came out in late 2010 with just one-hundred copies, on the new-born Sicilian label Woolshop Productions. Full streaming is available on their website, and a "physical" copy is just 7 €!


Tracklist:
CD 1, "Watschenbaum":
  1. Waatschn'bamm
  2. Muttermilch
  3. Die Geschichte Vom Stausee
  4. A Slow Chant From A Tree
  5. Dear Friends (For Gaël)
  6. Awaken In The Park
  7. I'm light
  8. Muttermilch 2 
  9. Turtle Enlightenment
  10. Separation XI (Haunted) 
  11. Stausee
CD 2, "Hold":
  1. We Were Once So Tight
  2. Protect
  3. Face To
  4. Black-Paper Butterflies (For Stefano)
  5. It Felt
  6. Light From Your Mouth
  7. Boundaries
  8. Mit Aller Macht
  9. Moths Invasion
  10. Universum (For Frank)
  11. Liste
Credits:
  • Violin: Claudio Cataldi
  • Everything else: Giampiero Riggio
Download (160 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
VV.AA..: Let's Talk about Muertepop (Muertepop, 2007)
Airportman: Letters (Lizard records, 2008)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

0

Alia musica: self-titled (Music Collection/Jurg Grand, 1979)

Medioeval, sacred, Spanish music. What's "traditional" about it, and most of all, why does it get posted on this blog?

Let's take a look at Alia musica's line-up. Among the thirteen musicians involved, nine at least are Italian, and one is Mauro Pagani, who plays rebec and vieille and produced the album.
The band revived old Galician cantigas with traditional instruments. The main figures accredited for the compositions are Alfonso le Sabio (King of Castille and León, 1221-1284) and Martim Codax (c. 1230).

The songs are among the few ones of their era whose music survived in some form of "sheet notation", even if very approximative (no duration, no rhythm, just the main melodic line). Alia musica's mission was to "reinvent" the music in a philological way, instead of playing it with the usual "Christian" approach.

The instruments used don't seem to belong properly to the Spanish-medioeval repertoire, but they should probably be some sort of "modern counterparts" of analogous ancient instruments.

The lp came along with a detailed booklet, but I couldn't manage to get it (or a scan of it), so I have no more detailed information about the project or the recording. To know more about the compositions and their history, you can consult Wikipedia [1] [2] or medieval.org [1] [2].

I can add just that the music is deeply fascinating and I strongly suggest that you listen to it.

Tracklist:
  1. Cantiga 1: Des oge mais quer' eu trobar (Alfonso le Sabio)
  2. Cantiga 245: O que en coita de morte mui grand' ou en prijon for (Alfonso le Sabio)
  3. Cantiga 137: Sempr' acha Santa Maria razon verdadeira (Alfonso le Sabio)
  4. Cantiga 6: Quantas sabedes amar (Martim Codax)
  5. Conductus: Cedit frigus (anonymous manuscrit from the Monastery of Ripoli)
  6. Cantiga 20: Virga de Jesse (Alfonso le Sabio)
  7. Cantiga 424: Pois que dos Reys Nostro Sennor (Alfonso le Sabio)
  8. Cantiga 4: Ay Deus (Martim Codax)
  9. Cantiga 77: Da que Deus mamou o leite do seu peito (Alfonso le Sabio)
  10. Cantiga 35: O que a Santa Maria der algo ou prometer (Alfonso le Sabio)
  11. Cantiga 100: Santa Maria, Strela do Dia (Alfonso le Sabio)
Credits:
  • Brigitte Lesne: voice, tambourine
  • Gérard Lesne: voice, chains
  • Piergiorgio Lazzaretto: voice, bendir
  • Riccardo Grazioli: hurdy-gurdy, vielle, cittern
  • Silvio Malgarini: symphonia, hurdy-gurdy, saz, cittern, voice
  • Robert Batto: 'ud
  • Francis Biggi: 'ud, bell, cymbals
  • Alexandre Regis: zarb, nakers, bendir
  • Febo Guizzi: tambourine, cymbals, chains, rattles, voice
  • Giuliano Prada: bagpipe, recorders, horn, handbell, voice
  • Mauro Palmas: launeddas
  • Mauro Pagani: rebec, vielle
  • Fabio Soragna: santur, pandeiro, darbukka, voice
Note: The album was recorded live in open air, at Carimate Castle, Como. It came out as a limited edition in very few copies, but in an interview, Mauro Pagani mentions a Philips edition of the album; and medieval.org even lists the lp as a "Dischi Ricordi" publication. Maybe they are reprints, but I don't know.

Download (vinyl rip, 224 kbps, from prognotfrog)


Similar music on the blog:
Zeit: Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo (Materiali sonori, 1979)
La lionetta: Il gioco del diavolo (Shirak, 1981)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5

Astrolabio: Spirit folet (Prince, 1978)

It took me some time to get it ok, but here's what I promised some weeks ago: a traditional folk album from the Eighties. And it's extraordinary.

Oh, well, I'm not really sure it's from the Eighties. You see, very few information is available about this record. Until today, I didn't even have its cover. A problem one must face when dealing with traditional folk music on the web is the extraneousness of that world with p2p and file sharing in general: folk music enthusiasts have a strong commitment to buying records and aren't used to vinyl/cd ripping and sharing (not even information sharing, at least on the internet).
I've been lucky to find the mp3s and I have to thank rym user dimi13 for providing me with some scans of the original lp. I still don't know if the album actually came out in 1980 as all of the (very few) data on the internet indicate, but let's suppose it did.

Let's try to describe the music. It's Piedmontese folk with evident celtic influences. It's very proficiently played and the instrumentation is rich (accordion, guitar, cello, mandolin, harp, bagpipes, bombard, different kind of flutes).
A subtle veil of melancholy is the most peculiar trait of the nine tracks composing the album. Some of you may remind Malvasia's self-titled lp I posted some years ago: though quite far on a plainly geographical (and, hence, musical) point of view, I find "Spirit Folet" bears some striking similarities with it when talking about mood.

In both the albums, great musical refinement is coupled with a captivating nostalgic allure, which casts a shadow even on the most solar episodes. It seems like the reprise of centuries-old traditions is no longer a way to revive them in the present - as it was for many artists in the Seventies, but rather becomes a metaphor for everything that's come to an end.
Both for Malvasia and Astrolabio, this can be read as the rising awareness that the intellectual and social climate of the Seventies was almost entirely gone, with its culture, political involvement, and utopias.

Edit: a reader told me the album is a private production and was recorded in 1978. I hope the information is correct (why shouldn't it?).

Tracklist:
  1. Spirit folet/Pifferata palazzo di città/Conta (B. Costa/traditional/traditional)
  2. L'umbra gaia (T. Parisi)

  3. La bella all'armata (traditional)
  4. Al gril e la furmia (Maria Masoni-Astrolabio)
  5. La giostra di Martina (B. Costa)
  6. La prova (traditional)
  7. Mazurka e breton vals (traditional)
  8. La cirese e la funtan-a (Galli-Parisi-Brondetta)
  9. La mort (B. Costa)
Credits:
  • Giuliana Galli: vocals, percussion
  • Lorenzo Brondetta: hornpipe, schalmein, flaut, flutes
  • Beppe Costa: hurdy-gurdy, harp, guitar
  • Tullio Parisi: accordion, mandolin, vocals
  • Marco Robino: cello
  • Beppe Turletti: accordion (track 5)
Download (128 kbps, vinyl rip)


Similar music on the blog:
Malvasia: omonimo (Fonit Centra, 1979)
La lionetta: Il gioco del diavolo (Shirak, 1981)

Monday, April 11, 2011

3

Agricantus: Tuareg (Compagnia Nuove Indye, 1996)

Conceived in Sicily, recorded partly in the Mali Desert, sung by a Swiss singer in a variety of languages (from French and German to Tamachek or Lingala): "Tuareg" is the emblem of world music, and one of the greatest masterpieces in the genre. It's not just a fusion of Mediterranean musical heritage, Touareg traditions and techno-trance structures of the flourishing "rave culture" of the mid-Nineties. And the point's not that the range of influences of is much richer (trip-hop, dub, dream-pop, ambient, drum'n'bass...), nor the charming voice and technique of singer Rosie Wiederkehr (somehow reminding of Cocteau Twin's Elizabeth Fraser), but rather the stunning beauty of the music the album contains. The atmospheres it creates are unique and deeply enthralling: they sound ancient and futuristic, luminous and mysterious, warm and solemn at the same time. I won't venture in further descriptions: luckily, the music doesn't need any explanation to disclose its magic.

Agricantus were a band from Palermo, founded in 1979 as a traditional folk ensemble. During the Nineties, they got more and more intrested to foreign musical traditions and electronic music. The entrance of Swiss singer Rosie Wiederkehr greatly enriched their formula, letting them focus on multi-language lyrics and phonetic experimentation. "Tuareg" is their second long-playing and brought them many critical prizes, such as Premio Tenco, Premio Augusto Daolio, and Premio Italiano della Musica.

Tracklist:
  1. Ummiri
  2. Hala hala
  3. Ljuljuten (Tin-Zawatine)
  4. Com'u ventu
  5. Carizzi r'amuri (Es Souk)
  6. Azalai
  7. Tuareg
  8. Disiu
  9. Caruvana 'i sali
  10. U coni coni
  11. Dune
Download (128 kbps)

I couldn't find any reliable credits for this album. The line-up of the band was, in any case:
  • Tonj Acquaviva: drums and percussion
  • Mario Crispi: winds and keyboards, vocals
  • Giuseppe Panzeca: guitar and mandolins
  • Mario Rivera: bass and vocals
  • Rosie Wiederkher: vocals and keyboards
Former Picchio dal pozzo member Aldo De Scalzi should have been involved in the recording, producing or composing process in some way (but I have no exact information).


Similar music on the blog:
Calicanto: Venexia (Compagnia Nuove Indye, 1997)
Militia: Elvengamello (Materiali Sonori, 1997)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

8

Help with re-ups

Ok, I'd say sharebee.com is definitively KO. This poses at least two huge problems: how can I re-upload all of the about two-hundred .rar files I published in these three years, and where shall I put them in order to avoid any further mess of the same kind in the future.
I have no answers to the two questions above, so I ask you for advice. Essentially, I'm looking for: 1) a stable file-hosting site (no multi-uploads) that doesn't delete unclicked files too soon and - possibly - shows some basic stats that let me see how many people downloaded each item; 2) people who have some of the albums I posted in the past (because they got them from this blog, or just own them for any other reason) and would contribute to the enterprise of re-estabilishing the downloads.
As for now, I suppose it would be great enough if we could make some sort of "census" of the albums each one has on his HD and could re-upload. In the meantime, if any of you has some idea about suitable hosting sites...

Thanks in advance,
wago

--

Ok, a quanto pare sharebee è definitivamente morto. Si pongono dunque due grossi problemi: come faccio a ri-uppare tutti i circa duecento file .rar postati qua sopra da tre anni a questa parte, e dove posso metterli senza rischiare di incappare nello stesso guaio anche in futuro.
Non ho risposte per le due domande sopra, dunque chiedo a voi. Per farla breve, ciò che cerco è: 1) un sito di file hosting che sia stabile (no multiupload, per carità), non cancelli i file troppo presto e - possibilmente - mostri qualche statistica essenziale che mi faccia capire quanta gente scarica le singole cose che posto; 2) qualcuno che abbia alcuni, anche pochissimi, degli album che ho condiviso in passato e potrebbe contribuire nel suo piccolo all'impresa di ripristino di tutti quanti i download.
Ora come ora, suppongo sarebbe già abbastanza riuscire a fare una sorta di "censimento" di chi ha cosa, per poi organizzarsi. E se nel frattempo qualcuno ha idee su possibili host...

Grazie in anticipo,
wago
0

Nakaira: Onde sonore dal Mediterraneo (self-produced, 2003)

"Mediterranean culture" is an invention. The musical traditions of the people are perhaps more different than they're similar, and though they've always been quite interconnected, they don't share any common origin or grammar.
Even if it is just a fantasy, though, the concept does have its appeal and, starting from the Seventies, many bands begun to explore the idea, making it more and more real as their music evolved and got richer. Born in 1999 and hailing from Sicily - the center of the Mediterranean Sea - Nakaira embody a very mature stage of this "new" panMediterranean musical folklore. Their repertoire doesn't just encompass Balkan tunes (Greece, Bulgaria) and an even more Southern/Arabic style (Sicily), but also touches more "Northern" sounds: Eastern-European klezmer, and Asturian/Breton celtic dances.

How do they manage to combine all of these traditions without sounding too confused and "touristic"? First of all, they don't mix them to the point that they're not recognizable anymore. Every track can be placed in a specific cultural heritage and is played with its musical values very clear in mind. At the same time, though, any song is slightly influenced by the traits of the other ones, and shares its instrumentation with them so that the sound's feeling is uniform despite the great geographic and musical variety. Their timbric palette is almost entirely acoustic (electric bass being the sole exception on this album) and extremely rich (look at the credits!); the most unique feature of the resulting style is its amazing levity: you would never expect it from such a wrapping sonic cocoon!

"Onde sonore dal Mediterraneo" is Nakaira's second full-length release: originally self-produced, it was re-recorded and reprinted in 2006 with the cooperation of Alfa Music and RAI Trade. The cover displayed here is the one of this second edition, but the tracklist lacks the additional tunes that were integrated into it (I couldn't find them).

Tracklist:
  1. Gibli
  2. Voria
  3. Diserti
  4. Muiñeira de Tormaleo
  5. Breton gavottes
  6. Krata ghia to telos
  7. Klezmedley
  8. Antelia
  9. Dimitroula
  10. Sema keimonos
  11. Flavia's Air + El garrotin
Credits:
  • Antonio Curiale: violin, viola, oud, castanets
  • Franco Barbanera: clarinets, Galician bagpipes, whistles, bombards
  • Mario Gulisano: darbouka, snare & frame drums, dzarb, bendhir, cymbals, voice
  • Nektarios Galanis: Greek bouzouki, oud, voice, violin, mandolin, guitar, percussion
  • Angelo Liotta: Irish bouzouki, bodhràn
  • Gianpiero Cannata: cass, voice, cittern
Download (128 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Ritmia: Forse il mare (New Tone, 1986)
Zeit: Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo (Materiali sonori, 1979)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1  

Gai Saber: Angels, pastres, miracles (Felmay, 2010)

I'm experimenting something this time. This post and the next four ones will have a common theme: the traditional music world. With this small "cycle", I'll try to explore some of the different sides and evolutions of our traditional folk music along the last fifty years. I obviously hope you'll appreciate the venture and discover some good music in the process.

The first suggestion is the last release by Occitan band Gai Saber. It's a very rich and skippy album, which merges old-fashioned Christams Carols (all sung in Langue d'Oc!) and "new" sounds influenced by drum'n'bass, dub and "patchanka" music. I know what you're thinking about: that late-Nineties plague of generally left-wing bands which threw some second-hand "traditional" element in a slapdash way into their reggae-infused "combat rock". You'll be probably relieved by the fact that "Angels, pastres, miracles" has nothing to do with that kind of music. It's some sort of new approach to the field and the extraordinary difference is revealed by two simple elements: the richness of the sound (which encompasses hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, flutes, and electronica besides other acoustic instruments) and its extreme elegance. It's folk music played by folk musicians: that's the point. I'm sure you won't fail to get impressed by its stunning beauty.

"Angels, pastres, miracles" is the fifth album by Gai Saber. All of the other ones are very good, but I specially recommend their masterpiece "Electro Ch'oc" if you like this record.

Here's the review of "Angels, pastres, miracles" I wrote for the website Ondarock.it (in Italian).

Tracklist:
  1. Patres de Largentiera
  2. Lou premier miracle
  3. La camba me fai mau
  4. Micoulau Nostre Patre
  5. Venes venes
  6. San Jauze eme Mario
  7. Anuech quand lou gau cantavo
  8. Lou viage di Tres Rei
  9. Rapataplan
  10. La Caterineta
  11. Pastre de la campagno
Credits:
  • Chiara Bosonetto, Rosella Pellerino, Eugenia, Costanza, Antonio Rapa: vocals
  • Elena Giordanengo: harp, galobet, vocals
  • Maurizia Giordanengo: accordion
  • Alex Rapa: acoustic guitar, digital programming, vocals, mandolin
  • Simone Lombardo: hurdy-gurdy, hornpipes, flutes
  • Lorenzo Arese: drums
  • Giorgio Boffa: double-bass
  • Massimo Baudino: backing vocals
  • Eugenia Rapa: violin
Download (~200 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Calicanto: Venexia (Compagnia Nuove Indye, 1997)
Sinenomine: Spartenza (Incipit Records, 2009)

Friday, March 18, 2011

0

Enrico Rava: Pupa o crisalide (Vista, 1975)

Enrico Rava's the one musician who's almost unanimously credited abroad to have invented Italian Jazz. As a matter of fact, he was the one who first got some important international recognization back in the early Seventies, and brought the attention of foreign jazz listeners to our rising Italian scene.

"Pupa o crisalide" isn't his most acclaimed record, but it's my favourite one. It's a good summary of the first phase of his solo career, and it contains tracks recorded with three different ensembles: an all-Italian line-up for the opener and closer - recorded in Rome, an Argentinian octet for the B-side of the lp - recorded in Buenos Aires, and finally an impressive American septet (just two names: Jack DeJohnette, John Abercrombie) for the A-side, recorded in New York.
The musical style clearly reflects the composite nature of the album. The first half is funkier, edgier and more fiery, evidently influenced by the jazz-rock/fusion tendencies that were spreading during those years. The second one is more placid and skippy, and elegantly incorporates some latin/samba elements in the alchemy.
The two halves are held together by the timbric similarity of the line-ups (which feature almost the same elements), and by Enrico Rava's renown trumpet style. Often compared to Miles Davis and Kenny Wheeler, his technique envisages rarefied notes, full of ambience, and erratic melodic lines which surprisingly do not undermine the "presence" of his trumpet sound. On the contrary, Rava's trumpet charisma seems to emerge right from this amazing equilibrium of detachedness and red-bloodedness.

Check out "Quotation Marks" too if you like this record.

Tracklist:
  1. Pupa o crisalide
  2. C.T.'s Dance
  3. Tsakwe
  4. El Samba Graciela
  5. Revisione del processo n. 6
  6. Lingua franca
  7. Giromondo (per piccoli feddayn, terzi bimbi e altri mutanti)
Credits:
Tracks 1, 7:
  • Giovanni Tommaso (bass)
  • Bruno Biriaco (drums)
  • Michele Ascolese (guitar)
  • Mandrake (percussion)
  • Franco D'Andrea (piano)
  • Tommaso Vittorini (tenor saxophone)
Tracks 2, 3:
  • Herb Bushler (bass)
  • Jack DeJohnette (drums)
  • John Abercrombie (electric guitar)
  • Ray Armando, Warren Smith (percussion)
  • David Horowitz (piano, electric piano, synthesizer)
Tracks 4, 5, 6:
  • Rodolfo Mederos (bandeon)
  • "El Negro" Gonzales (double bass)
  • Nestor Astarita (drums)
  • Ricardo Lew (electric guitar)
  • "El Chino" Rossi (percussion)
  • Finito Ginbert (tenor saxophone, flute)
  • Matias Pizzarro (piano)
All tracks:
  • Enrico Rava (composer,  trumpet)
Download (192 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Tanit: omonimo (Classico, 1992)
Spirale: omonimo (King, 1974)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

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Kind of Cthulhu: Wadjĭwĭng' (Azteco, 1987)

"Obscure"'s the best term to describe this record. It's obscure in a musical sense, for its sound and atmospheres, and in a documentary sense: to be short, almost no information about it can be found on the web.
Let's focus on music first. Wadjĭwĭng' is a quite surprising "progressive" blossom of mid-Eighthies industrial music experimentation. While the mood and approach decidedly reflect the taste for decadence, vagueness and approximation which is a defining trait of some industrial music circles, the musical form and the sound of the tracks are much closer to early-Seventies "dark" psychedelia (long instrumental tracks and digressions, organ, choirs...) and, most amazingly, to full-fledged progressive music. There are sombre, percussive sections reminding of Magma and eerie keyboard ostinatos not far from Goblin stuff. Then chamber-music sketches (Julverne? Maybe even Aksak Maboul), exoteric folk allures (Comus!), airy flute passages and soft openings which even seem to hint at the dreamiest episodes of Italian progressive (Pierrot Lunaire?).
Many comparisons can be traced, but none seems to grasp the essence and singularity of this album, basically a fish out of water, a progressive album made with strictly post-punk sounds, recording techniques, instrumental skills, and mentality. In some sense, is an utterly imprecise work; on the other hand, though, this clumsiness's necessary for its uniqueness and charm.

The few data that are known about the album help to guess its context, but don't enframe it exactly. Kind of Cthulhu was a project based in Parma and signed to the short-lived label Azteco Records, active between 1983 and 1988 and linked to the band T.A.C. (Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata) and its related post-industrial community. Two records were published under the evidently Lovecrafian moniker Kind of Cthulhu: an ep in 1986, and this lp. All of the two featured contributions by T.A.C. founder Simon Balestrazzi (later of Kirlian Camera) and credit a steady core of musicians, which were most probably the members of the band: Andrea Ascenso, Antonio ("Franz"?) Menozzi, Marco Cattabiani, Mario Mascitelli.

Tracklist:
  1. Liutelio
  2. Overload
  3. What's This Kind of Cthulhu?
  4. A Believer
  5. Red Wine
  6. Wadjĭwĭng'
  7. Next Spring
  8. Thrust of Love
  9. Misk Cjezscjesz
Credits:
  • Marco Cattabiani: bass, keyboards, harmonica, vocals, effects 
  • Patrizia Mattioli: clarinet
  • Andrea Azzali: double bass
  • Mario Mascitelli: drums, percussion, bass, vocals, indian flute
  • Franz Menozzi: guitar, flute, keyboards, percussion, vocals
  • Andrea Ascenso: lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion, bass, drums
  • Massimo Colonna: saxophone
  • Paola Sartori: violin
  • Patrizia Mattioli, Simon Balestrazzi: vocals
  • Ivano Bizzi: Engineer
Any additional information about the band and the record is welcome, of course!

Download  (320 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata: omonimo (Azteco, 1983)
Goblin: The Goblin Collection, 1975-1989 (DRG, 1995)

Friday, March 11, 2011

0

Three Second Kiss: Everyday-Everyman (Wide Records, 1998)

Good ol' noise-rock, in the mid-Nineties style heralded by Steve Albini's Shellac. Which means sharp edges, raw and rattling guitar slashes, disassembled/reassembled grooves. In a word: math-rock.
Engineered by Chicago-punk veteran Iain Burgess (the man behind Big Black's "Atomizer"), "Everyday-Everyman" has a memorably corrosive sound: the guitars emit a rasping, wrecked jingle-jangle, the drums are dry and convulsive, and the bass is as metallic as rust, as thundering as a roar. Two opposites define the album: a psychotic obsession for hyper-cerebral intrication and aseptic structures, and a feeling of total clumsiness and lack of precision.
The compositions aren't that important after all: all they have to do is provide the sound a constant stream of harsh and contorted guitar riffs, uneven stop'n'go dynamics and metronomic bass patterns. They serve quite well for the purpose, and that's all about them.

Three Second Kiss are a guitar-bass-drums "power trio" from Bologna. They're among the most celebrated artists of the Italian math-rock scene, which is quite renown abroad. This is their second lp out of four, and it features the guest appearance on vocals of Uzeda's singer Giovanna Cacciola (for the very short track "Pipeline").

Tracklist:
  1. Operation Dragon
  2. Everyday-Everyman
  3. Wolf
  4. Pipeline
  5. I Cried, You Didn't Listen!
  6. Rope
  7. The First Fire
  8. Speak, It's So Dark
Download (192 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Uzeda: Different Section Wires (Touch and Go, 1998)
Taras Bul'ba: Incisione (Wallace, 2005)

Monday, March 7, 2011

0

Andrea Sartori: Il tagliacode (Persona, 2007)

Stravinskian techno. Doesn't sound very zippy, huh?! But you'll change your mind after just a few notes, if you happen to listen to "Il tagliacode". The album's one of those jazzy, abstract, broken-beat-based acoustic/electronic hybrids which often go under the name "intelligent dance music"; unlike most of the music in the genre, though, crebrality's not the first trait emerging from its complexity. On the contrary, the main impression is lightness - which doesn't mean silliness: the music still sounds very classy, even "aristocratic", and the evident complexity of its rhythms clearly cuts out any connection with italo-disco's flippancy; instead of trampling the listener with mind-blowing rhythm discharges, though, the tracks catch him in carefully-built tech-house grooves, abstract-yet-airy lounge tunes mixing live instrumentation, glitchy exotica/soundtrack suggestions and acid electro basslines. It almost sounds like a 21st Century reworking of the old "library music" concept. You could imagine the result as some sort of Amon Tobin/Akufen meeting point, but much less ostentatiously "intellectual" than both. The best thing you can do's anyway checking out a couple of tracks ("Uova di gatto" and "Vodkatronic" for instance).

Andrea Sartori was born in Bologna in 1978. He graduated in Informatics and started making electronic music about the 90s, under the name Deepalso. Later, he met fellow Italian techno artist Touane, who introduced him to the guys of Berlin-based label Persona. "Il tagliacode"'s his only album up to now, and features eleven electronic tunes based on some manipulations of jazz-music reharsals recorded in Foligno.



Tracklist:
  1. Supertele
  2. Uova di gatto
  3. Santa Chimera
  4. Il tagliacode
  5. Rompicapo
  6. Ehi amigo, serve un'autoradio
  7. Horror vacui
  8. Oltre il profondo
  9. Prima le signore
  10. Vodkatronic
  11. Outro
Download (~160 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Touane: Figura (Persona, 2008)
Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

3

Aucan: Black Rainbow (La Tempesta, 2011)

Let's try something new. As you probably noticed, posts in this blog follow a strict cycle by decade: one album from the 00s, then one from the 90s, then one from the 80s... Until today, the 10s were totally ignored.
Including the current decade in the post cycle is quite a challenge for me for at least three reasons. The most trivial one is that as for now "the 10s" means just two years, so the choice is quite limited; this gets even worse since my policy for the blog is to post only music I really enjoy, and my tastes are quite difficult (and this was the second reason). Finally, there are already some excellent mp3-blogs following Italian latest releases (eg, The Breakfast Jumpers), and they're much richer, better-timed and more read than mine: what can I add? Well, I don't know. Probably nothing. But I'll experiment the same, and see if people like it or not. I'll monitor the downloads, and if they're ok... then I'll just keep on posting new albums alongside old ones.

Just another quick boring note before getting to today's album: have you noticed the fist icon in the left column of the blog? It links to Il Golpe e l'Uva Facebook profile. Subscribing will keep you informed of new posts, provide you some tasty links and videos that don't get published on the blog, and offer a good way to keep in touch, specially if you speak Italian - since the profile is in Italian.

And now, let's launch the new decade with a much hyped release...

I don't know of any Italian artist flirting with UK's dubstep tendencies. Or at least that was true before Aucan started incorporating halftimes in their music and make it sound more and more electronic.
"Black Rainbow" doesn't sound Italian at all. This is the most striking thing about it: it seems to come from London, Bristol or some place like that. It's some sort of eerie, metropolitan trip-hop hijacked into an electro-rock route. It features the same evil broken beats of Milanese or Caspa, deprived of the mud and made dry, massive and abstract. It's like Lightning Bolt goes to the club, with just a slight vocal hint at Portishead or Burial to content discerning palates.
Materpiece? Definitely no, but hey - it's damn good anyway.

Aucan are a trio from Brescia. Their first album came out in 2009 and was welcomed as the Italian response to Battles (it wasn't very good in my opinion, but neither Battles were, after all). 2010 saw them publishing an ep which marked their departure from math-rock, promptly confirmed this January by the release of their second album.

Tracklist:
  1. Blurred (feat. Angela Kinczly)
  2. Heartless
  3. Red Minoga (Short Edit)
  4. Sound Pressure Level
  5. Storm
  6. Embarque
  7. Save Yourself
  8. Underwater Music
  9. In a Land
  10. Away!
  11. Black Rainbow
Download (320 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Dusty Kid: A Raver's Diary (Boxer Recordings, 2009)
Touane: Figura (Persona, 2008)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2

Mauro Pagani: Self-Titled (Ascolto, 1978)

The late Seventies are one of the most overlooked periods in the history of Italian rock music. Just while our mediocre "punk" scene was slowly mutating into a florid post-punk milieu, the last remnants of the progressive era were evolving into something new and really unique. Some artists would undertake a "new wave" metamorphosis (think of Franco Battiato), some would hybridate with disco music (Goblin's Claudio Simonetti for example), some would delve into the fascinating musical traditions of the Mediterranean, getting closer and closer to the musical resarch of the "Canzonieri" movement.
P.F.M.'s Mauro Pagani's one of the key figures for this latter trend. After quitting P.F.M. in 1976, he ventured in a dense series of projects aimed at a new fusion of jazz-rock, ancient and traditional folk music, avantgarde experimentation. His first solo lp is perhaps the most mature fruit of his new interests and vision. The recording of the album involved three of the most proficient units around at the time in those fields: Area, P.F.M. and Canzoniere del Lazio, which cooperated in many tracks. It also features guest appearances of outstanding musicians such as former Musicanova singer Teresa De Sio and the amazing acoustic trad-folk guitarist Luca Balbo.

The music is outstanding and extremely varied. A mix of Middle-Eastern flavours, Southern Italian melodies, Sardinian dances; all coupled with refinate arrangements blending chamber music, jazz-rock and captivating avantgarde dilatations in a surprisingly light style.
To make it short: this is one of the best Italian albums ever published. Get it.


Tracklist:

  1. Europa minor
  2. Argiento
  3. Violer d'amores
  4. La città aromatica
  5. L'albero di canto (Parte 1)
  6. Choron
  7. Il blu comincia davvero
  8. L'albero di canto (Parte 2)
Credits:
  • Mauro Pagani: violin, viola, mandolin, bouzouki, flute, composer, arranger (all tracks except 7)
  • Mario Arcari: oboe (tracks 1, 2)
  • Luca Balbo: guitar (track 7)
  • Walter Calloni: percussion (tracks 1, 6)
  • Teresa De Sio: vocals (track 2)
  • Roberto Colombo: polymoog (track 4)
  • Area:
    Demetrio Stratos: vocals (tracks 5, 8)
    Patrizio Fariselli: piano (tracks 1, 5)
    Giulio Capiozzo: drums (tracks 1,5)
    Ares Tavolazzi: bass, double bass (track 5)
  • P.F.M.:
    Franz Di Cioccio: drums (track 4)
    Patrick Djivas: bass (track 4)
    Franco Mussida: guitar (track 4)
  • Canzoniere del Lazio:
    Giorgio Vivaldi: percussion, talking drum (tracks 1, 6)
    Pasquale Minieri: percussion (track 1)
  • Allan Goldberg: engineer (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 8)
  • Carlo Martenet: engineer (tracks 4, 7)
  • Marco Inzadi: engineer (track 6)
  • Piero Bravin: mix (tracks 4, 7)
Download (224 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:

Premiata Forneria Marconi: Passpartù (Zoo Records, 1978)
Area: Maledetti (Cramps, 1976)

Monday, February 21, 2011

0

Hipnosis: Self-Titled [Memory Records, 1984]

Disco-music for starship parties: an imaginative but suitable description for the music of Hipnosis's first and only album. Its all-electronic style merges Moroder-like disco beats with highly melodic synthesizer lines, much nearer to the ones of "progressive electronic" artists as Vangelis or J.M. Jarre than to the usual soul-music colours of disco music (two tracks, "Pulstar" and "Oxygene", are actually Vangelis/J.M. Jarre covers). No vocals are present, but the music's always very catchy and much more focused on melody and on creating an optimistic sci-fi ambience than on the driving force of rhythm, which serves mostly as a background.

Hipnosis was a short-lived project started in Parma in the early Eighties by producer Stefano Cundari. In 1982 Kirlian Camera's leader and keyboardist Angelo Bergamini joined the band; as far as I know, though, he left the band before the release of their album. Most Hipnosis releases are concentrated around 1983/1984, but in 1987 a cover of Automat track "Droid" was released. In 1992 a lp featuring almost the same tracks of the first album came out under the name "Hypnosis", but the band was composed by different musicians and had no relationship with the original project .


Tracklist:

  1. Inesi
  2. Windland
  3. Argonauts
  4. Pulstar
  5. Borhaz
  6. Astrodance
  7. Space Crusaders
  8. Oxygene
  9. Theme for New Years
Download (192 kbps):
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Similar music on the blog:
Automat: Automat (EMI, 1978)
Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

0

Technogod: Hemo Glow Ball (Contempo, 1992)

Hip-hop, techno, industrial: "Hemo Glow Ball" is a crucible of genres. Samples, mechanical beats, acid electronic basslines and distorted guitars are the key components of Technogod's sound alchemy. They serve as a background for angry rapped lyrics (dealing apparently with socio-economical themes) but they are evidently the most important elements of their formula, entirely based on the chemical reactions within them.
Everything from jazz to funk to world music can be traced in the sound, but the atmosphere is firmly dominated by an inhuman, alienating mood which links directly to the band's industrial-music filiation. Some more guitar-laden tracks may parallel with the crossover style of Rage Against the Machine or Asian Dub Foundation, but the album is very varied and quite difficult to compare to anything else (maybe just Foetus or Young Gods would suit). The language chosen for the lyrics is English, but the pronounciation is surprisingly good notwithstanding a slight drawl.

Technogod are Gelo Degli Esposti, George Koulermos and Maurizio Liguori, from Bologna. This is their first Lp, after the Ep "Cola Wars". This is the only record of theirs I successfully managed to get, and I'd be very glad if anyone could provide me any of the others. Thanks in advance (and good listening!).


Tracklist:

  1. Cola Wars
  2. The Flow
  3. Fatwa
  4. Pueblocide
  5. Policy of Containment
  6. Introxigen
  7. Never Be the Same
  8. Mission
  9. Nuclear Prayer
  10. Thankful
  11. Trauma Remote
  12. G.L.A.D. (Part 2)
  13. Pueblocide (Federal Mix)
  14. Mañana
Download (192 kbps)


Similar music on the blog:
Deca: Claustrophobia (Labyrinth Records, 1989)
Monomorph: Alternative Fluid (Disturbance, 1994)