Wednesday, April 30, 2008

4

Giuni Russo: Energie (CGD/Warner Music Italia, 1981)

First album as "Giuni Russo" by Palermitan singer Giuseppa Romeo, Energie was quite rare until the CD reprint in 2005 (to the point that Italian rapper CapaRezza has publicly asked to lend him a copy of it). Most of the songs are written by Italian most-reknown pop experimentator Franco Battiato and the arrengements feature some of his longtime collaborators such as Giusto Pio and Alberto Radius.
The album mixes tuneful, lighthearted pop with vocal experimentation based on Giuni's incredible range and timbre shifting ability. The CD edition contains three bonus tracks, among which is the hyper-hit "Un'estate al mare", with its chimeric lyrics.

Tracklist:
  1. Lettera al governatore della Libia
  2. Il sole di Austerlitz
  3. Crisi metropolitana
  4. Atmosfera
  5. L'addio
  6. Una vipera sarò
  7. L'attesa
  8. Tappeto volante
  9. Un'estate al mare
  10. Bing Bang Being
  11. Adeste fideles
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2

Matia Bazar: Tango (1983)

Retro-sounding synth-pop à l'Italienne. Belle Epoque melodies and fake operatic vocals are the key elements of an album which is always in balance between kitsch, pretentiousness and extreme refinedness.
Though "Vacanze romane" is by far the best and most emblematic song in the album, every track is extremely well-crafted and melodically indefectible: "Tango" is a unique album and surely a masterpiece.


Tracklist:
  1. Vacanze romane
  2. Palestina
  3. Elettrochoc
  4. Intellighenzia
  5. Il video sono io
  6. Scacco un po' matto
  7. Tango nel fango
  8. I bambini di poi
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Friday, April 25, 2008

0

The Rokes: I grandi successi originali (2000)

This is a double antology of the Aglo/Italian band The Rokes, who contended with Equipe 84 the status of most successful beat group.
The style is evidently influenced by The Byrds and The Kinks, but the group is noted mainly for the singer Shel Shapiro's accent. As usual for Italian bands of the Sixties, some songs are cover versions of English originals (eg. "Eccola di nuovo" covers "Here Comes My Baby" by Cat Stevens).
As a collection, "I grandi successi originali" captures the very finest moments in the band's carreer and it is an excellent display of the strong melodic quality of their music.


Tracklist:
CD #1
  1. Ascolta nel vento
  2. Bisogna saper perdere
  3. C'è una strana espressione nei tuoi occhi
  4. Cercate di abbracciare tutto il mondo come noi
  5. Il vento (When The Wind Arises)
  6. E' la pioggia che va
  7. Eccola di nuovo
  8. Eravamo amici
  9. Finché c'è musica mi tengo
  10. Grazie a te
  11. Che colpa abbiamo noi
  12. Io vivrò senza te
CD #2
  1. Spegni questa luce
  2. Ma che freddo fa
  3. Non c'è pace per me
  4. Piangi con me
  5. Regency Sue
  6. Ricordo quando ero bambino
  7. 28 giugno
  8. Lascia l'ultimo ballo per me
  9. Ripe Apples (Mature)
  10. Un'anima pura
  11. Il primo sintomo
  12. La mia città
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

1  

Luciano Basso: Voci (1975)

Luciano Basso's a Venetian keyboardist/composer and "Voci" is his first LP. It's quite original in its attempt to couple symph-prog magnitude and lyricism (think of Genesis) with a more academic approach. Though the sound has definitely aged and many Bach-inspired passages seem a bit cheesy nowadays, the result is very accomplished and it stands out as a unique fusion of the suggestive "Spaghetti prog" aesthetic and a more cosmic-rock attitude.

Tracklist:
  1. Preludio
  2. Prominade I
  3. Prominade II
  4. Voci
  5. Echo
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

1  

Calomito: Inaudito (2005)

Genoese band Calomito is one of the finest chamber-rock ensambles in Italy. Their style seems to owe much to such bands as Volapük, The Muffins, Samla Mammas Manna and the most breezy ones of the avant-prog scene.
Fender Rhodes, soprano sax and violin are the key elements of a warm, bobbish sound. Rhythm plays an important role: the jazzy drumming is edgy and kaleidoscopic, based on tempo shifts and stops in a very natural way. Guitar has often a secondary part, coming in just to reinforce the most dynamic moments, while double bass is a pivotal element with its round and dulcet sound.
A slight touch of electronica (d'n'b beats here and there) and recurrent trad-folk episodes complete the picture of an extremely enjoyable album which couples ambition, instrumental proficiency and levity.

Tracklist:
  1. Collante
  2. Nautilus
  3. Am Ha 'aretz
  4. Ebetus (Pvc Version)
  5. Dal buffo buio
  6. Rutz
  7. Nascosto
  8. Kaizer
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

1  

Confusional Quartet: omonimo (1980)

I know Devo used to play some sort of istrionic avant-proggish stuff before switching to their classic "wave" style, and I've always wondered how they sounded like. Well, I think they sounded pretty much as Confusional Quartet.
The style of this bizarre band from Bologna was dominated by e-piano, crunchy guitar and flamboyant synthetizers (wave sound, not the prog one). There was a strong jazzy feeling in it, but it was arranged in a demential/vintage way which still makes the music extremely funny.
Whismical, well-played, their only LP (hereby collected with their EP) stands out as one of the most emblematic traits-d'union between the prog and the post-punk eras.

Tracklist:
  1. Orinoco Blues
  2. Paranoia
  3. Flash
  4. XXX?
  5. Trallá Papppá
  6. Bologna Rock
  7. Pensions Elastica
  8. Guerra in Africa
  9. Nebdo Zip
  10. Beguine Sulla Luna
  11. Volare
  12. Swing
  13. Voulez-Vous De La Canne Au Sucre?
  14. Dlin Dlon Cow Boy
  15. Samba Paperino
  16. Plastic City Dinamic
  17. Cinzano
  18. 1Sigla
  19. 4Sigla
  20. 6Sigla
  21. Pronipoti
  22. Pubblicitá
  23. Cos'é?
  24. Moda Kermesse
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Monday, April 21, 2008

1  

Starfuckers: Sinistri (1994)

Despite their awful name, Starfuckers were one of the most interesting Italian bands of the nineties. Their music is deeply deconstructed: fragments are the only survivors of a Massimo Volume/King Crimson style which has sunken into an ocean of hushed oscillations. "Sinistri"'s one of the most silent albums I've ever heard, but it's not a quiet one: a throbbing tension roams into its absence of sound and makes it sound cynic and detached. The declamatory stance of the voice may be annoying for someone.
Their next and last album, "Infrantumi", is even more radical than "Sinistri". Let's go for the easier one first...



Tracklist:
  1. Derivazione/Attesa
  2. 251 . Infinito
  3. In primo luogo
  4. Mutilati
  5. Zentropia
  6. Ordine pubblico
  7. Macrofonie IA
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Sunday, April 20, 2008

3

Angelo Branduardi: Cogli la prima mela (1979)

"Cogli la prima mela" isn't Branduardi's best album, but is surely one of the most famous and I've been surprised to discover it's impossible to find on the blogosphere.
So here it is. The style is the one Branduardi's reknown for: medioeval dances, rhymes and ballads arranged in a refinate, pop fashion. The voice is emphatic and the music is meant to create a very evocative atmosphere, but it doesn't have the kitschy flavour of most of the forthcoming new age, gothic or neofolk stuff. Two songs are among the finest in his production: "Cogli la prima mela" and "Il signore di Baux", which are both of French provenance.
The album came out in 1979 and its sound partly reflects the pursy trend in non-punk pop music of that years.


Tracklist:
  1. Cogli la prima mela
  2. Sei tu il cielo
  3. La strega
  4. Donna ti voglio cantare
  5. La raccolta
  6. Colori
  7. Il signore di Baux
  8. Il gufo e il pavone
  9. Ninna nanna
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

0

Fonderia: omonimo (2002)

As the name suggests, Fonderia are basically a fusion group. But their approach is very open to influences: far away from being just a nostalgic revival of the Seventies, Fonderia's music incorporates world music, funky, hip-hop elements and brings together a very progressive formula. Their sound is clean, well-produced but deep and lively - unlike many jazz-rock groups, Fonderia can be delicate and entangling other than being fiery.
They focus a lot on atmospheres, and this album can fit as well in the background as in the foreground. "Dante, At Last" merges an English class about "La divina commedia" with a dark, psyched-out jam, creating a very evocative scenary.

More informations on Fonderia website.

Tracklist:
  1. Tevere
  2. Dubbio II
  3. Deep Blue
  4. Piazza Vittorio
  5. Dubarcord
  6. Afa II
  7. Ora legale
  8. Dante, At Last
  9. Aniene
  10. Statico
Download

Friday, April 18, 2008

0

Gramigna: Gran disordine sotto il cielo (1977)

This very rare album is the only one published by the R.I.O.-like octet Gramigna. The style is quite original, some sort of very melodic chamber-rock with a distinct Italian feeling which makes it airy and snappy. The important role of reeds and some askance instrumental lines could remind the first Henry Cow LP.
The lyrics are refinate, but playful; the verses are often perfect endecasyllabes. The first three tracks are very freely inspired by Alice Adventures in Wonderland. Most of the other songs draw part of their inspiration from popular folklore or childish attitudes, using it as a metaphore for social issues.

More informations can be found here.


Tracklist:
  1. Alice nel pozzo
  2. Alice e le regine
  3. Alice oltre lo specchio
  4. Piccole voci
  5. Ombre rosse
  6. Per il bene della patria
  7. È una notte
  8. Arrivano i barbari
  9. Tarantola
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

1  

Patrizio Fariselli Project: Lupi sintetici e strumenti a gas (2001)

Fariselli was Area's synthetizer hobgoblin and was reknown for his intricated, jazzy and percussive style delivering much from East-European music. "Lupi sintetici e strumenti a gas" ("Synthetic wolves and gas instruments") is his first album since the release of the radical "Antropofagia" in 1977.
The style is varied, always very technical, jazzy and clean-sounding. Area's political stance is replaced by an openly ironic attitude and interest in post-modern deconstruction. The vocals feature several contributions by jazz singer Angela Baggi, who keeps the balance between a soul-pop warmth and more experimental leanings.
There's still an important presence of the compound meters which have always been an Area trademark, but they are employed in a very subtle way, trying to make them sound perfectly natural and tuneful.

More informations about the album, Area and Patrizio Fariselli can be found on his personal website.


Tracklist:
  1. Pangea
  2. Lupi sintetici e strumenti a gas
  3. Risonanze
  4. I dadi di dio
  5. Signora dei viaggi
  6. Felice lichene
  7. Acufeni
  8. 7 Bells
  9. Refoli
  10. Luglio agosto settembre (nero)
  11. Non tira un filo d'aria
  12. [13] Ah!
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

11

Franti: Non classificato (1987)

For the first post on my newborn music blog, I chose the complete works edition of this atypical post-punk band from Turin. They formed in 1982 and published 3 LPs (one was a split), some tapes and 12'' between 1982 and 1986.
Their style was eclectic and mixed a raw hardcore punk attitude with jazz, folk, world music and progressive rock elements. Some of their songs are surprisingly close to the Canterbury-sounding Picchio dal pozzo or later Stormy Six, though the atmosphere is usually rather decadent. They could be compared to Dutch collective The Ex for their experimental, folk-oriented approach.
Most of the tracks are sung in Italian, with male and female vocals, but some other are in English.
The overall quality is definitely impressive.

More informations (in Italian) can be found here.


Tracklist:
Cd # 1
1. No future
2. Preachin' blues
3. Io nella notte
4. Only a new film
5. Le loro voci
6. Chiara realizzazione di Ryonen
7. Joey
8. Lasciateci sentire ora
9. Vento rosso
10. Solidi (strumentale)
11. The week song
12. 1984 / Gates of Eden
13. Questa è l'ora
14. Quesiti da sciogliere
15. Voghera
16. Prete, croce, sedia, morte
17. Io nella notte (live)
18. Gloria (live)
Cd # 2
19. Dopo ci penso
20. Vanni's variations
21. Solidi
22. La mia casa
23. Il battito del cuore
24. Acqua di luna
25. L'uomo sul balcone di Beckett
26. Every time
27. (ai Negazione)
28. Hollywood Army / Big Black Mothers
29. Micrò Micrò
30. Elena 5 e 9
31. Nel giorno secolo
32. À suivre
33. Nel salto dell'ascia sul legno
Cd #3
34. Non sarà
35. Fino a quando
36. Un sorriso nella voce
37. Ogni giorno
38. Buio in tasca
39. Senti
40. Femme fatale

Download (re-up):
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5