Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4

Underground Life: Filosofia dell'aria (1987, Target/Emi)

A voluptuos new wave record, blending glam-pop transformism and slight dark/decadent atmospheres together with rock riffs and edges and some out of fashion keyboard weavings and other mid-70s arrangement techniques. The songs are refinate and complex, both from a melodic and lyrical point of view, but most of all the sound is very rich and lush: sparkling guitar jingle-jangle, pounding basslines and rubbery drumming - both with a distinct rock groove, and then mellifluous saxophone lines, harmonica, violin, jigsaw new wave interlocks and omnipresent prog/pop triumphant keyboard circles.
The album might remind anything from XTC to Litfiba, Battiato, Ultravox or cheesy mainstream Italian pop, but actually has a very unique charm.

Underground Life were a band from Monza, Milano. They formed in 1979 and disbanded in the early Nineties. "Filosofia dell'aria" is produced by the well-known guitarist Alberto Radius (of Lucio Battisti/Formula Tre fame), who plays in the record and is most probably the main responsible of the 70s nuances of the record.

Tracklist:
  1. Uccidiamo il lavoro di massa
  2. Belfagor
  3. Lady Von Masoch
  4. Il battito
  5. L'iperbole/Architettura
  6. La rivolta degli infanti
  7. Albe atomiche
  8. In inverno
Download (128 kbps)


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Thursday, April 2, 2009

11

Jovanotti: Lorenzo 1997 - L'albero (Soleluna/Mercury, 1997)

The songwriting of "L'albero" isn't elaborate, classy or witty. The structures are simple, the chords are suitable for beach strumming and the vocal lines are gawky and tone-deaf.
But a few things must be recognized. The easy-going singing, halfway between pop and hip-hop; the words, plain, frugal and optimistically third-worldist; the warm timbres of the music: everything contributes to make the album wonderfully cosy, optimistic and unpretentious.
And the arrangements, they're almost a miracle. Acoustic funky, jazzy intermissions, African music elements (choirs, rhythms and that ungraspable sense of levity) give rise to a "wooden", airy sound which is able to explore impervious hexatonic territories without losing a bit of groove.

Lorenzo Cherubini A.K.A. Jovanotti was the first to bring hip-hop to the mainstream in Italy, in the late 80s. "L'albero" is his ninth album, and one of the most succesul of his career.


Tracklist:
  1. Intro
  2. Bella
  3. La linea d'ombra
  4. Questa è la mia casa
  5. Umano
  6. Il muratore
  7. Canzone piccola
  8. Il re
  9. Per la vita che verrà
  10. L'albero
  11. Occhio non vede cuore non duole
  12. Ueikap
  13. Luna di città d'agosto
  14. Il fiore del 2000
  15. Big bang (parte 1 - parole)
  16. Big bang (parte 2 - pensieri)
  17. La ritmica
  18. Il tamburo
  19. La pace
Download (192 kbps)


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2

Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)

A fizzy musical cocktail: funky/house, hip-hop, old classical vinyls, a bit of minimalism and some soda water. These nineteen non-stop tracks are a breezy journey to the reign of bubbles and kitschy synthetizers. With extreme nonchalance the shiny beats of the album shift from cybernetic breakbeats to playful glitch recombinations, from lounge sambas to watery space-minimalist soundscapes; always keeping adventurous, groovy and bright.

Jolly Music are a DJ duo from Rome, previously known as MAT-101. "Jolly Bar" is their only album, and received very good reviews from the international press. One of the two, Mario Pierro, is having a very good critical response too with his solo project Raiders of the Lost Arp.

Many thanks to my friend Federico Romagnoli for suggesting me to listen to this album.


Tracklist:
  1. Intro
  2. Piano
  3. Disco disco
  4. Jollyo
  5. Les figalles
  6. With Love
  7. Talco Uno
  8. Dragon
  9. Crazy Simon
  10. Talco Due
  11. Kfun
  12. Crociera
  13. La dolce vita
  14. Daddy
  15. Tape Jam
  16. Borotalco
  17. Reversi
  18. Anicafill
  19. Angel
Download (~192 kbps)


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