Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Nada: L'amore è fortissimo e il corpo no (Storie di note, 2001)

There's a current which spawned through the Italian Nineties, corrupted most of their music and still drenches many contemporary productions with its fetishism for decadence and corporality. I'm talking about the "alternative rock" trend encompassing anything from Afterhours to Marlene Kuntz, such plagues as Giorgio Canali, Cesare Basile, and other of their fellow sulkers.
One of the very few good good outcomes of that scourge is Nada's "L'amore è fortissimo e il corpo no". It's not an orthodox representative of the trend, but it's a very good album indeed, and the influence of straighter "alternative" styles is evident. Basically, it's a singer/songwriter work, with very mature and raw lyrics depicting problematic lives and destitute conditions. More than narrating or describing, the songs "furnish" the space with sounds and scattered images, making you perceive the very mood of the situations.
Nada's voice is stark and livid, but shows an adultness which completely sets it apart from the "poser" attitude of the stereotypical late-Nineties "loser". The sound mixes sombre jazz/blues atmospheres, acoustic timbres, and hints at some trip-hop solutions. Someway, it reminds of the extraordinary ambience of Serge Gainsbourg's "L'histoire de Melodie Nelson". There are many harsher "rock" grafts though, right with the alternation of coarse sounds and effected "psychedelic" passages which is typical of Italian alternative rock. A couple of tracks are a bit brighter nevertheless, and even feature some reggae influences or musical box sounds.

Nada Malanima was born in 1953 in the province of Livorno (Tuscany). She debuted when she was just sixteen, and crossed four decades with a high-quality career marked by important artistic partnerships (Piero Ciampi, Paolo Conte, Goblin, Avion Travel...). During the Nineties she approached to songwriting, and "L'amore è fortissimo e il corpo no" is her third album as an author.

  1. Gesù
  2. Giulia
  3. Meraviglioso
  4. L'amore è fortissimo
  5. In generale
  6. Grazie
  7. La musica antica
  8. Suonano alla porta
  9. Questa donna
Download (192 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
La Crus: omonimo (1995)

Fiorella Mannoia: Certe piccole voci (Harpo, 1999)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Eugenio Finardi: Sugo (Cramps, 1976)

An album reflecting the mood of its time, the strong political involvement of Italian music in the mid-Seventies. The opening track is one of the best known symbols of the era, "Musica ribelle", celebrating the unstoppable urge of rock music, dragging away the youth from their comfortable passivity and making them part of the "rebellion". Despite the strong connection with the social climate of the period, the song is direct, heartfelt and lacks any rhetorics: for these reasons, it hasn't aged at all, and is still as intense and striking as it was at the time.
The rest of the album is much less topical in its themes - and much more evidently naïve in the rhymes, but is musically very good nontheless. The band who played on the record was composed of top-notch musicians from the Milanese progressive scene: Area's Patrizio Fariselli, Paolo Tofani, Ares Tavolazzi, (soon to be) PFM's Lucio Fabbri and the well-known Cramps Records sessionmen Hugh Bullen, Walter Calloni, Alberto Camerini. "Quasar" is an all-instrumental track clearly reminding of Area, but the album's most remarkable for its fusion of jazz-rock with American folk-rock models (a pretty unusual fact, since it was the UK which inspired most of the musicians back in those days). Finardi's passion for American music has its biographic roots: Finardi's mother is American and he was raised in an American school in Milan. His excellent English pronounciation can be noticed in "La C.I.A.", an intriguing and quite "early" raggae/rock experiment.

Here's an interesting documentary/interview about "Musica ribelle" (in Italian).

  1. Musica ribelle
  2. La radio
  3. Quasar
  4. Soldi
  5. Ninnananna
  6. Sulla strada
  7. Voglio
  8. Oggi ho imparato a volare
  9. La C.I.A.
  10. La paura del domani
Download (160 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Alberto Camerini: Cenerentola e il pane quotidiano (Cramps, 1976)
Area: Maledetti (Cramps, 1976)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


VV.AA.: Ref. 907 (Italian Records, 1981)

An early compilation witnessing the earliness and originality of Italian minimal-synth scene. Published by the quintessential new wave label Italian Records, it features a selection of three songs for each of five bands: Eurotunes, Ipnotico Tango, Metal Vox, Absurdo, Kerosene.
Almost no information about the bands can be found on the internet, but Eurotunes have a Myspace page and it says they were based in Rome. The overall sound of the record, anyway, isn't that far in spirit from the one of the mostly Bolognese bands heralded by Italian Records: Gaznevada, Stupid Set, Hi-fi bros, Confusional Quartet. It is, basically, de-evoluted rock based on primitive-sounding synthetizers, with very repetitive beats and skeletal riffing held by the sawtooth register of the keyboards. As for the aforementioned Italian Records bands, the prominent references seem to be the contemporary scene of the American North-East, with two subtler yet distinct influences coming from the alienating synth-pop sounds of Sheffield and post-industrial England, and perhaps more evidently from the New York no wave/mutant disco circuit - the latter fact making many tracks remind of the extraordinary "Great Complotto" scene of Pordenone.
The defining trait differentiating the five bands of Ref. 907 from their labelmates is essentially the darkness and illness of their sound. Though it has almost nothing in common with the growing "darkwave" trend of those years (no abyss and woe, at all) the music shows a taste for bleak and morbid atmospheres, combined with schizoid/spastic vocals and discomforting instrumental intermissions.
The bands are quite different one from the other, but I'll let you discover yourself their particularities. I'll just say everytime I listen to this compilation I have different opinions on what's my favourite!

  1. Eurotunes: European's Progress
  2. Eurotunes: I Got the Beak
  3. Eurotunes: Osaki Motion
  4. Ipnotico Tango: Ipnotico Tango
  5. Ipnotico Tango: Spasmodico Rango
  6. Ipnotico Tango: Erotico Mango
  7. Metal Vox: Future World
  8. Metal Vox: T.V. Hero
  9. Metal Vox: Infinity
  10. Absurdo: O'vel
  11. Absurdo: Audio Output
  12. Abdurdo: Sex in Ball
  13. Kerosene: Meccano
  14. Kerosene: Jazz Rock
  15. Kerosene: Stivali
Download (256 kbps)
The compilation was already posted on Mutant Sounds, but some tracks were missing.

Similar music on the blog:
Gaznevada: Sick Soundtrack (Italian Records, 1980)
Confusional Quartet: omonimo (1980)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Sui blog di musica italiana / About Italian music blogs

(Per una volta, scrivo anche in italiano)

Come avrete forse notato, ho aggiunto nella barra a lato uno spazio che mostra gli ultimi post di altri blog riguardanti la musica italiana. Questo mi dà l'occasione per una piccola riflessione/riassunto.
Quando ho dato il via a questo download-blog, nell'aprile 2008, ce n'erano pochissimi dedicati espressamente alla musica nostrana. Che io ricordi, gli unici ad avermi anticipato sono stati Italian folk music, Orrore a 33 giri, 7'' from the underground e l'indimenticabile Anni di piombo, anni di pailettes, purtroppo "morto" presto. Erano tutti abbastanza settoriali, quindi avevo gioco facile a pubblicare album che non fossero già reperibili nella blogsfera.

Sono passati solo due anni e mezzo, ma il panorama è cambiato radicalmente; e in meglio, per una volta. Oggi come oggi, conto dieci blog attivi dedicati esplicitamente alla musica italiana - e sono sicuro di essermene perso qualcuno. La maggior parte si occupa di periodi specifici, o manifesta una netta predilezione per alcuni generi (anche il mio, alla fine della fiera, non è che uno specchio dei miei gusti); messi tutti insieme, però, coprono uno spettro veramente ampio di settori. I blog sono aggiornati con frequenza, ma la cosa più sorprendente è la capacità che hanno di portare alla luce continuamente dischi rari e dimenticati. Io passo un bel po' di tempo a spulciare liste su internet, o cartelle di file in share sul p2p, per scoprire nuovi (vecchi) dischi italiani, ma puntualmente quando faccio una visita a uno di questi blog mi imbatto in cose di cui ignoravo totalmente l'esistenza - e mi domando: "Ma questo dove diavolo l'ha trovato!?". Il fatto è che ognuno ha i suoi canali preferenziali: blog come The Breakfast Jumpers o Indieitalia (da poco chiuso, ma non per questo dimenticato) hanno sviluppato contatti con molti artisti indipendenti e netlabel attuali; altri blog sfruttano la loro amicizia diretta con artisti del passato, o saccheggiano le fiere del vinile in cerca di rarità da "rippare", o consultano enormi archivi personali di fanzine... Questa varietà e costanza nelle scoperte è la cosa che più mi entusiasma della situazione attuale.
Un piccolo aneddoto la dice lunga sulla "rivoluzione" accaduta nell'ultimo paio d'anni. Non sono mai stato un gran collezionista di musica "fisica" (cd, vinili, cassette o che altro) e la grandissima parte delle cose pubblicate sul mio blog viene dal p2p. Uno dei pochissimi album che ho "rippato" personalmente è stato l'omonimo dei La Crus: non riuscivo a trovarlo in rete in nessun modo, e ho finito per comprarlo, appositamente per lo scopo. Ora, tra blog e p2p, trovarlo è decisamente più facile. Ma, soprattutto, i dischi che proprio non riesco a trovare in alcun modo sono ben più rari e sconosciuti!

Ogni tanto, mi viene il timore di aver pressoché esaurito le scorte riguardo a questo o quell'altro periodo, e temo di dover ripiegare su dischi di seconda scelta o iniziare a ripetermi assai di più con generi e artisti. Poi però mi faccio un giro sugli altri blog e vedo che traboccano di cose stuzzicanti di cui non so niente di niente. Così mi convinco che ce n'è ancora quanta se ne vuole di musica da riscoprire, e mi ributto nella ricerca...
Temo però che difficilmente mi passerà la convinzione che i nostri anni novanta musicali siano stati un'era rozza e oscura :P

ps. Fate caso a Ondarock! A breve arriverà un ampio speciale sui blog più legati alla nostra attuale scena indie!

As you may notice, I've added to the blog sidebar a dynamic box summarizing the latest posts of other great blogs dealing with Italian music. This suggests a small reflection & recapitulation.
When I started this download blog, back in april 2008, there were really very few expressely focused on the rediscovery of Italian music. The only ones to precede mine were, for what I can recall Italian folk music, Orrore a 33 giri, 7'' from the underground and the extraordinary, but short-lived, Anni di piombo, anni di pailettes. All of them were pretty sectorial, so it was very easy for me to share music which wasn't available yet on the blogsphere.

Just two years and a half have passed, but the landscape has radically changed; and, for one time, for the better. Today, I can count ten active download blogs strictly dedicated to Italian music - and I'm sure I'm missing some. Most of them deal with specific periods, or show a strong predilection for some genres (mine too, after all, is definitely a mirror of my tastes), but considered in the complex they cover a very broad part of Italy's buried treasure-rooms. They have a consistent post rate, but the most amazing thing is their ability to bring to light without cess really rare and obscure records. I spend a considerable amount of time skimming lists on the internet, or shared folders on the p2p network, to discover new (old) Italian stuff, but everytime I visit one of these blogs I find something I was totally unaware of, and I ask myself: "Where the hell did they find this!?". The fact is that each one has its own channels: blogs like The Breakfast Jumpers or the recently-closed (but unforgotten) Indieitalia got in touch with many contemporary independent artists and netlabels; other blogs exploit their direct acquaintancy with artists from the past, or plunder vinyl fairs in search of rarities to rip, or consult their old fanzine archives... This variety and continuity of discoveries is the one thing that makes me enthusiastic about the current situation.
There's a small anecdote which tells much about the revolution occurred in just a few years. I've never been a very fond collector of "physical" records (cds, vinyls, cassettes, or whatever), and almost all the albums posted on my blog come from the p2p. One of the very few ones I ripped personally was the self-titled release by La Crus: I had to buy the cd for the purpose, because I could not find it on the internet in any way. Today, thanks to the other blogs and the diffusion on the p2p, finding that record is much easier. And the albums I unsuccsfully struggle to find are much rarer.

Sometimes, I think I've almost "run out of gas" with some periods, and I fear I have to fall back on tier 2 records, or get more repetitive with artists and genres. But then I turn to some other blogs, and I see they have plenty of thrilling stuff I don't know about. That convinces me there's still a lot to discover, and spurs me to go on searching...
But I'm afraid I'll always think that the Nineties were a terrible "dark age" for Italian music, despite all :P

ps. Stay tuned on Ondarock! A comprehensive survey on the blogs most linked to our contemporary "indie" scene is coming soon!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Roberto Mazza: Scoprire le orme (ADN, 1991)

Charming and fluctuating. You could call it new age, you could call it world music, but the most fitting description for "Scoprire le orme" is unearthly. It's just oboe, bardic harp and synthetizers, all played by the composer, Roberto Mazza. The textrures are vaguely inspired by different folkloric traditions, specially the one of the Hebrides islands, in the north of Scotland. There is no recognizable "traditional" feeling, though, as every element is reimagined and transfigured: the resulting atmosphere is oblique and irreal, calm but always veined with disquiet. The unusual scales explored by Mazza and the circularity of the patterns, furthermore, give the music a really "esoteric" touch. I have to admit I don't know any other similar music (but I'll try to suggest something anyway, not too dissimilar I hope).

I couldn't find much information  about Roberto Mazza. The notes on the booklet of the cassette explain he was born in 1953 not far from Milan. He played the woodwinds in the experimental band Telaio Magnetico (alongside Franco Battiato, Lino "Capra" Vaccina, Juri Camisasca) during the Seventies, and then started touring with harpist Vincenzo Zitello. He got passionate with the rediscovery of the celtic harp and almost forgotten indoeuropean musical traditions. This is his first solo work, as far as I know, followed by "Cyprea" some years afterwards.

  1. Vulcani blu
  2. First Song
  3. Stanze parallele
  4. Ebridi
  5. Acrostici indolenti
  6. Altari della luna
  7. Visioni del sentiero azzurro
  8. Esperidi
  9. Mahoraga
  10. Artigli arguti
  11. Koan
  12. Le lunghe ore luminose
Download (240 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Militia: Elvengamello (Materiali Sonori, 1997)
Nicola Alesini, Pier Luigi Andreoni: Marco Polo (Materiali sonori, 1996)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Dusty Kid: A Raver's Diary (Boxer Recordings, 2009)

Remember Robert Miles and his mega-hit "Children"? Though pretty different in style, "A Raver's Diary" kinda reminds of its atmospheres. Dreamy, trippy, and blissful. The sounds are quite close too: crystalline, spacy and glazed with reverb. The rhythmic background is based on techno rather than house, however, and this accounts for the remarkable differences between Miles's so-called "progressive" schemes and the more abstract touch of Dusty Kid. Instead of relying on hyper-catchy lines, the music lures with subtle layerings of minimal elements: very essential percussions, wavering melodies, and some very dark bass figures. Combined in very rich and dynamic structures, these elements enrapture without any need of gross kickdrum clichés. The tracks are everchaning sonic voyages which always keep a distinct dance focus, and show an impressive talent for nontrivial tension climaxes. Many a time the groove kicks in the middle of some celestial minimalist drift, when you would never expect it to start, and the ecstatic atmosphere it creates won't cease to surprise even after many listenings.

Dusty Kid is Paolo Alberto Lodde, from Cagliari (Sardinia). He was 26 when the album - his first one - came out for the renown German label Boxer Recordings.

  1. Here Comes the Techno
  2. The Underground Persistence
  3. Lynchesque
  4. Klin
  5. Cowboys
  6. Moto Perpetuo
  7. The Fugue
  8. Pluk
  9. America
  10. Agaphes
  11. Nemur (Walls of Guitars)
Download (320 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Touane: Figura (Persona, 2008)
Monomorph: Alternative Fluid (Disturbance, 1994)

Friday, November 5, 2010


Giorgio Laneve: Accenti (Divergo, 1978)

Just like writer Gianni Rodari revolutionized children's literature between the Sixties and the Seventies, during the latter of these decades many songwriters impressed a definite shift in the style of children's music. Their songs were much closer than usual to children's kind of imagination and irony, and in the same time tried to explain much more complex concepts. War and peace, ecology, solitude, the way children are really born: these are some of the themes dealt by Giorgio Laneve's "Accenti". As many other works in the field, it's a very rare record, and definitely a poorly celebrated one.
It should be known much more, though. It's light and breezy, both musically and lyrically. Words and rhymes are esasy to understand, perfect for children, but totally lack the silly moralism and dogmatism which was typical of the genre just some years before. The vocals are sung by both Laneve and children from the vocal group "Le mele verdi", in tender call-and-response dynamics. The music is rich and skippy, mostly based on very clean chamber-music arrangements strengthened by unpretentious drums and bass figures; many a song, however, feature delightful funky accents - often quite ingenuous, but somehow perfectly fitting with the spirit of the songs.

Electronic engineer Giorgio Laneve debuted as a singer/songwriter in 1970, with a quite rhetoric style inspired by the likes of Fabrizio De André. After a few other lps, he entered the realm of children's music and published "Accenti" for Ricky Gianco's "Divergo" label.

  1. Accenti
  2. Girandola
  3. Amedeo Wolfango
  4. Gi-O-Erre-Gio
  5. Le formiche
  6. Augurissimi
  7. Bernardo l'eremita
  8. Rocky Boom
  9. L'uovo
  10. I venti
  11. C'era una volta
Download (224 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Musica per bambini: Nascondino coll'assassino (La mia cantina, 1998)
Angelo Branduardi: Cogli la prima mela (1979)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Cudù: Delivery (Materiali sonori, 1988)

Decadence can be lush, even without much overabundance. "Waterplay" is voluptuous, and layered, but its sound is essentially barren. The tracks float in some uninhabited ambient/jazz sea, secretly braced by the most diverse post-punk currents. Where they emerge, they draw the music close to no wave, or A Certain Ratio's punk/funk. Most of the times, though, it's the sonic imprint of Tuxedomoon, Brian Eno and David Torn that dominates.
Rarefied - yet omnipresent - synthetizers and sudden free-jazz zigzags: these are the antipodal souls the album masterly conciliates, never sacrificing atmosphere to obliqueness or vice versa.
And the cover version of The Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" is simply prodigious.

Cudù are a band from the Florence area. This is their second album, after the MiniLP "Neck".
The album was first posted on the blog Pinzillacchere musicali, which made it available on the net for the very first time after a long time of unobtainability.

  1. I Saw
  2. Delivery
  3. España
  4. The Whistling of Time
  5. The Bright Side of the Moon
  6. Sweet Jane
  7. Apocalypse Blues
  8. No Result
Download (192 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Nicola Alesini, Pier Luigi Andreoni: Marco Polo (Materiali sonori, 1996)
Minox: Lazare (Industrie Discografiche Lacerba, 1986)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Bandabardò: Iniziali bì-bì (BMG Ricordi, 1998)

There's a whole musical universe linked to secondary school leftfield culture, the one acquainted with student strikes, keffiyeh and Che Guevara t-shirts. The sound - roughly a merger of Mano Negra's patchanka and Gang's combat-folk - is a mixture of ska, reggae, world&traditional music, gipsy fascinations, cantautori political involvement (though much more utopian than focused on class struggle) and slightly sugary poptimism.

Florentine band Bandabardò is easily the best of the lot. Their style is light and skippy, strictly acoustic and braced by excellent musical skills. The guitar ranges from gipsy swing to straight upbeat strumming, while the double-bass/drums combo is at ease both with jaunty and more relaxed rhythms.
But that would be nothing, if the songs weren't as galvanizing. "Hamelin Song", "Cuore a metà", "L'estate paziente", "Beppeanna" and many other have hyper-catchy melodies and refrains, which don't look cheap beside a cover of Lucio Battisti's "Una giornata uggiosa". The lead singer's voice is personal and persuading, and perfectly contributes with its timbre and multiple languages to the trampy allure that emanates from the lyrics.
These last are both a great point and a black mark in the matter of the music. They're usually very light and well-written - very far from the usual languid rhetoricism of the genre though absolutely in line with its off-the-shelf "One Hundred Years of Solitude" obsession. A couple of songs nevertheless ooze with a sex mania which frankly spoils most of the lyrical construction. Bandabardò's devoted public won't probably care about that anyhow, and will just consider the abundance of unnecessary explicit references a "very leftfield" way to celebrate passion without falling into mainstream lovesong clichés.

  1. Hamelin Song
  2. Cuore a metà
  3. Disegnata
  4. Una giornata uggiosa
  5. L'estate paziente
  6. Mélo
  7. Ubriaco canta amore
  8. Beppeanna
  9. Juste le temps
  10. Lo sciopero del sole
  11. Bandabardò live (Brigitte Bardot)
  12. Il circo mangione
  13. Ewa
  14. Sans papiers (iniziali S.P.)
  15. Stai calmo rocco
  16. Quello che parlava alla luna
Download (192 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Gang: Le radici e le ali (1991)
Mariposa: Pròffiti Now (2005)

Friday, September 17, 2010


Loredana Berté: Bandaberté (GCD, 1979)

Reggae was quite of a novelty for Italian musicians, back in 1979. "Bandaberté" was one of the first pop albums to explicity flirt with that style, and surely one of the most accomplished ones. The sound is very definite and professional, well-aware of the funkiest jazz-fusion and disco music, and definitely makes the difference in making the music elegant and groovy. Loredana Bertè's coarse voice, in fact, isn't elegant at all, but undubitably gives the songs a magnetic charisma: the very spontaneous interpretations are perfect to balance the cold politeness of the arrangements.
Though upbeat rhythms are central in the album, many styles surface in the songs. There are jaunty acoustic episodes ("Colombo", "Dedicato"), and liquid synth riffs ("Robin Hood", "Agguato a Casablanca"), but most of all a bunch of memorable songs, such as the evergreen "...E la luna bussò" or the fervent Battisti cover "Macchina del tempo".

"Bandaberté" is the fourth album by calabrese singer Loredana Berté, sister of Mia Martini. The songs are written by Il volo's Mario Lavezzi (who produced the album) and such renown artists as Ivan Graziani, Lucio Battisti, Ivano Fossati.

  1. ...E la luna bussò
  2. Robin Hood
  3. Peccati trasparenti
  4. Colombo
  5. Prendi fra le mani la testa
  6. Folle città
  7. Agguato a Casablanca
  8. Dedicato
  9. Macchina del tempo
Download (128 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Ivan Graziani: Agnese Dolce Agnese (Numero Uno, 1979)

Donatella Rettore: Kamikaze Rock'n'Roll Suicide (Ariston, 1982)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Giusto Pio: Legione straniera (EMI, 1982)

I hope you'll get used to the publishing of some Battiato-related stuff every now and then in the blog's "Eighties" corner. I personally believe his school is one of the greatest moments to ever bless Italian pop music. As for today, let's concentrate on the second solo album by Giusto Pio, 1926-born violin teacher and longtime collaborator of Battiato's.

As a matter of fact, "Legione straniera" is a two-hands work by Pio and Battiato. Pio's compositional style relies mostly on his violin, and embodies an ideal trait-d'union between baroque music and postmodern minimalism. Elegance, repetition, and regularity are the key aspects of the albums, where schematic violin themes fluctuate over Battiato's straight beats, evocating sometimes an outworld placidity, other times more nervous and metropolitan ambiences.
The album collects many extra-European suggestions, but never actually sounds like world music. And despite the strong electronic architecture, the prevailing air is a noble fin de siècle mood.

  1. Aria di un tempo
  2. Celestial tibet
  3. Cristina's Day
  4. Eritrea's
  5. Giardino segreto
  6. Legione straniera
  7. Ostinato
  8. Totem
Download (128 kbs):
 Deposit Files
Warning: the audio quality is quite bad

Similar music on the blog:
Franco Battiato: Giubbe Rosse (EMI, 1989)
Francesco Messina: Medio Occidente (Casablanca Records, 1983)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Bluvertigo: Zero - ovvero la famosa nevicata dell'85 (Mescal, 1999)

A reprise of synth-pop's most dandiesque facet sharply bucked the dominating post-grunge trend of the late Nineties. Nevertheless Bluvertigo got some remarkable success by reviving the decadent sound of Depeche Mode, Berlin-era David Bowie, Japan. As a matter of fact, their aestheticism was the reverse of the medal of the "loser" mitology pervading the indie-rock ethos - another side of those years' omnipresent spleen.
Musically speaking, the album "Zero" is the most mature and varied in Bluvertigo's discography. The obvious art-rock influences reside on very solid synth-funk architectures, and the harmonic framework of the compositions is unusually clever for pop music in general. Dissonances and extra-rock chords are often used to cast an unquiet shadow on the atmospheres, and backing vocals tend to follow quite unpredictable orbits. Besides that, the music shows an unsuspected passion for rhythm inlays (quite close to Discipline-era King Crimson), and many tracks drift on a daring techno/industrial direction without abdicating to their popsong scheme.
The music conveys a sense of dissociation, but the lyrics go even further. As usual for Bluvertigo, the focus is on the feebleness of the sane/insane, reason/unconscious boundaries. The songs juxtapose partially unrelated flashes, in a style much debtor of Franco Battiato's, and definitely evocate a psychoanalytic setting. Some refrains unfortunately trivialize the overall result, but many tracks are perfect and striking.

Bluvertigo are a band from Monza, close to Milan, lead by charismatic singer/multi-instrumentist/composer Morgan (Marco Castoldi). "Zero" is their third and last studio album, featuring guest appearences by Mauro Pagani and Franco Battiato.

  1. Versozero
  2. Zero
  3. La crisi
  4. sono=sono
  5. La comprensione
  6. Finché saprai spiegarti
  7. Sovrappensiero
  8. Forse
  9. Autofraintendimento
  10. Lo psicopatico
  11. Always Crashing in the Same Car
  12. Saxs Interlude
  13. Porno Muzik
  14. Niente x scontato
  15. Numero
  16. Punto di non arrivo
Donwload (160 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Franco Battiato: Giubbe Rosse (EMI, 1989)

Central Unit: Central Unit + Loving Machinery (M.P. Records, 2003)

Monday, September 6, 2010


VV.AA..: Let's Talk about Muertepop (Muertepop, 2007)

The post-rock, indietronic, ambient, glitch, electroacoustic scenes have often met during the last decade, giving birth to a fertile ground for musical contamination. An idea of this quite poorly known territory is well sketched by this much varied compilation. The most evident defining trait of the music is the strong predominance of instrumental and electronic components: lush or barbed, layered or pointillist, most of tracks don't even feature vocals or acoustic instruments. Atmosphere overarches melody and rhythm in the constructions, and timbre acts a primary role in setting the mood of the music. The latter is mostly bleak, cold, melancholic - most of the textures are loosely structured and rarefied, or I'd better say emptied-out - but sometimes lit up by sugary ambiences loaded with hope and lyricism. There's an overall experimental tendency animating the music, though the boundary between experimentation and mannerism is often quite faded.
The tracks aren't all equally good obviously, but the variety and the representativeness of the compilation definitely makes it an interesting and pleasurable listening.

"Let's Talk about Muertepop" is the first release by young-born netlabel Muertepop, active mostly with indietronic music. The compilation features a wide inventory of artists, including quite prominent names such as Port-Royal, Ioioi, My Awesome Mixtape. It's available for free download on their website.

  1. Port-Royal - Internet Love
  2. Etere - Dans les boulevards (Ohz remix)
  3. Leben - Molly Has Been Cured
  4. Mark Hamn - Akoustik Pool
  5. My Awesome Mixtape - Ode to Poetry
  6. Ioioi - Bright Future
  7. Cocoon - Neural
  8. Fever Asylum - Tomorrow You Will Listen to
  9. Livi(d)o - Qualcosa nella mia mente
  10. Guitar to Abdicate - A New Place
  11. Let's Drive to Alaska! - As We Sleep
  12. Rikieffe - Mosca ceca
  13. Overtuner - Broken Melody
  14. Monowatt - Brainwave #0
  15. Urkuma&Strinqulu - Lundulu
  16. Smart Drug - Rosina
  17. Scientist&Cynic - The quite gnome (removed)
  18. Le supersquillo - Go way John (removed) 
  19. Falter Bramnk - Big Pink
  20. Gilvia - Gls3
n.b. Tracks 17 and 18 have been removed on the label's website. If you have them please do contact me.
Download (192 kbps)

Similar music on the blog:
Tanake: 3ree (Fratto9/ Ebria, 2007)

Port-Royal: Flares (Resonant, 2005)

Monday, August 23, 2010


Premiata Forneria Marconi: Passpartù (Zoo Records, 1978)

P.F.M. are the giants of Italian prog-rock. Despite their celebrity, their records always showed some consistent flaws: the lack of a gifted singer; the poorness of the lyrics; the substantial unoriginality of their musical themes. "Passpartù" isn't generally regarded as their peak, but unquestionably solves two of the three problems above.
Though the singer - Bernardo Lanzetti from Acqua Fragile - doesn't have a versatile voice, the lyrics are brilliant and imaginative: they are a work by singer/songwriter Gianfranco Manfredi, who privileged levity above his usual causticity for the occasion. What's more, the music makes a resolved step towards the incorporation of folkloric material: the resulting sound is a hybrid of jazz-rock fusion in the vein of Weather Report and Mediterranean suggestions which remind of Area (compound meters in profusion!) but show a very personal acoustic edge.
Everything converges to a surprisingly breezy album, where the instrumental skill of the musicians doesn't suffocate the pop appeal of the music, but weaves smart woofs which enhance it with class and moderation .

"Passpartù" ninth studio release from P.F.M., and the second without their well-known violinist Mauro Pagani.  Many tracks feature Roberto Colombo on keyboards - later a key producer of Italian new wave.

  1. Viene il santo
  2. Svita la vita
  3. Se fossi cosa
  4. Le trame blu
  5. Passpartù
  6. I cavalieri del tavolo cubico
  7. Su una mosca e sui dolci
  8. Fantalità
Download (128 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Gianfranco Manfredi: Zombie di tutto il mondo unitevi (Ultima spiaggia, 1977)
Alberto Fortis: omonimo (1979)

Deca: Claustrophobia (Labyrinth Records, 1989)

"Soundtracks for imaginary films". The expression is much abused, but rarely fits as much as in this case. "Claustrophobia" is a deeply atmospheric record, polarized in a gloomy cyberpunk direction which easily recalls of Gary Numan's most disquieting soundscapes. But the darkness here goes further, entering the realms  of industrial music: though the sonic palette is quite different, Kirlian Camera's evocative halo is often behind the corner.
Don't think of some dull minimal-wave record, anyway. This synth-only music always shows an admirable sonic care, much far from the stereotypical amateurish sound of the Italian 80s underground. There's a strong attention to melody and timbre, and many solutions remind of progressive artists such as Goblin or J.M. Jarre: not the kind of influence usually found in post-punk stuff. Moreover, the programming work on percussions is impressively layered: the repetive metallic patterns of the synthetizers create a hypnotic rhythmic jungle which hides secret melodies right in the beats.
Some tracks feature vocals, quite unkempt as a matter of fact. They sound as if they were the usual awfully-pronounced English of Italian darkwave, but they are just meaningless syllabes - a fake idiom the author baptised "tecnoi".

Deca's is a project of Federico De Caroli's, started in the early Eighties. "Claustrophobia" is his third album, marking the depart from a Cosmic Couriers-style composition towards a darker and more personal sound. He went on along this direction, publishing many other works and attracting a small but devoted cult following.  He's still active today.


  1. Inframorte
  2. Carnal Flowers
  3. Timewarp
  4. Private Panic
  5. Cathedral of Nightmares
  6. Liquid Animals
  7. Claustrophobia
  8. Metamorphosis
Download (192 kbps)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


La 1919: Jouer, Spielen, To Play (Materiali sonori, 1994)

Let's be sincere: free-improv stuff is usually very chaotic and/or very monotonous. It takes a fan to be fully appreciated. "Jouer, Spielen, To Play" is a bit different. Though entirely ad-libbed, it has very strong structures and dynamics. The reason is probably that its solid rhythm modules are laid by two giants of the avant-prog community: Henry Cow's Chris Cutler and This Heat's Charles Hayward.
The music, indeed, is very much in the spirit of such bands as Massacre or This Heat themselves. Kraut-rock beats (with a jazzier edge), rickety and terribly obliquous guitar lines, and that elusive air of stagnation and rot. Here, the ground-laying drums are supported by La. 1919 - Luciano Margorani (guitar, bass, loops) and Piero Chianura (sampler, synthetizer) - plus guitarist Roberto Zorzi. The tracks are much varied and definitely unmissable for every avant-prog lover.

La 1919, from Milan, published quite a lot of stuff under different names. This should be their fourth album.


  1. Hanno seppellito l'uomo sbagliato
  2. Sheffield Wednesday
  3. Fate fagotto!
  4. Storie del dormiveglia
  5. Qua qua qua... Singing Ducks
  6. Donne Kamikaze
  7. Un mondo invisibile
  8. Red Wire
  9. The Drumming Talk
Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Art Fleury: I luoghi del potere (Italian Records, 1980)
Tomografia Assiale Computerizzata: omonimo (Azteco, 1983)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Amari: Apotheke (OnDaNomala, 2002)

The indie-hop vogue hearlded elsewhere by the AntIcon label has never really caught on here in Italy. "Apotheke", a very early and paradigmatic of the tendency, seems anyway to indicate that the style would fit perfectly with our panorama.
Later works by Amari would lean in a more electropop direction, but here hip-hop is still the main course. A quirky kind of hip-hop, for sure: you get the beats, the scratches and the rap flow, but nothing sounds like the usual "posse" aesthetics of Italian hip-hop.

The musical background is full of fluffy electro sounds and acoustic guitars, in a perfect "indie" fashion, and lacks any aggressiveness. The voices - uncombactive and intriguingly arranged in half-sung vocal harmonies - are the ones of spoilt kids from the middle-class bourgeoisie, lazy university students with all eases and no will to remonstrate against anything.
And the lyrics, they wallow in their everyday uselessness: personal relations rifracted through fragmented metaphors just for the sake of sounding a bit cryptic.

Everything should point to a horribly pretentious and poor album, but for some miracle it's not like that. The songs are light, delicate and tuneful; the music and lyrics pleasantly mix genres and registers: hip-hop and indie-pop, youth slang and (wannabe) cultured terms.
So thumbs up for Amari - this time, at least. Starting from the following "Gamera", the band would become more and more annoying...


  1. Camogli
  2. Pianetarock
  3. Megamedio
  4. Apotheke
  5. Letter to Kafey
  6. Ottakring
  7. Folkgalore
  8. Berlino è silenziosa
  9. Whale Grotto
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Fare soldi: Sappiamo dove abiti (Riotmaker, 2008)
Artemoltobuffa: L'aria misteriosa (Aiuola, 2007)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Moggi: Tra scienza e fantascienza (Omicron, 1976)

A peculiar record, bridging bebop mannerism and electronic experimentation. Synthetizer arabesques rise over exquisite double-bass grooves and jazzy drumming. Their use is much varied: from soundtrack-like melodic themes, to minimal-tinged stagnations and proto-techno burbles. The compositions are elegant, lucid, but pleasantly devoid of the bombast of much prog-rock of those years. On the contrary, the tracks are absorbed in a gassy fluctuation, slighthly futuristic, a bit Satiesque, but most of all very light and unpretentious. The imaginative work on percussions is unfortunately spoiled by the bad audio quality.

"Moggi" is an alter ego of composer Piero Umilani's. Born in 1926, he began his career in the field of film soundtracks in the late 50s. In 1964, he founded the Omicron label to publish his quite experimental "sound library" works. They were collections of instrumental tracks, thought as repertoires of possible soundtracks for TV commercials, radio backgrounds and so on. The creation of Sound Work Shop recording studio in 1968 gave a strong push to his production, and he soon began publishing something like ten albums a year. Their dominant style was much varied: for "Tra scienza e fantascienza", the inspiration was evidently sci-fi.


  1. Cowboy spaziale
  2. Officina stellare
  3. Danza galattica
  4. Saltarello marziano
  5. Jingle N°1
  6. Automa
  7. Tarantellaccia
  8. Bric brac
  9. Soundmaker Blues
  10. Gadget
  11. Soft Key
  12. Happy Accompainment
  13. Futuristic Jam N°1
  14. Futuristic Jam N°2
  15. Killer Robot
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Francesco Messina: Medio Occidente (Casablanca Records, 1983)

The heritage of the Cosmic Couriers, the new technologies and the beggings of synth-pop, minimalism... And the Mediterranean: the fascination for the Middle-Eastern tradition and philosophy. "Medio occidente" is on the frontier of these musical worlds, which are surprisingly close one another.
The mood reminds of a starker Vangelis, of Philip Glass, or Franco Battiato's most "ethnic" works. The latter is not a coincidence: Francesco Messina is a longtime acquantaince and collaborator of Battiato's. Most of the tracks are hypnotic instrumental wanderings, suspended in an ecstatic calm. The hushed timbres are disposed with a somehow architectural aesthetics, and the synthetic beats obey to a strictly functional logic. There's a veil of melancholy and decadence over them though, and the few tracks with vocal parts emphasize the sensation. The overall ambience is dusty and soaked with helplessness. Some retro-fashioned vocal intrusions (opera singing, craking radio excerpts) project a sense of nostalgia for the old times, probably the colonial era when Europe extended over all of the Mediterranean...

Francesco Messina was born in 1951 in Sicily, but moved to Milan tu study design. There he became involved with Franco Battiato's artistic entourage. This is his second solo album, after a lot of collaborations (both musical and graphical). He is now married with singer Alice, and he is a university professor in the field of graphic design.

(I could not find a bigger image, sorry)
  1. Marcia di Kioto
  2. Harem
  3. Uffici del 126° piano
  4. Russian tea room
  5. Plaza tonal
  6. Fine novecento
  7. Club Mediterranée
  8. Comunicazioni interne
Download (210 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Subsonica: Microchip emozionale (Mescal, 1999)

On the confluence of the Italian electro-dub tradition of the 90s and the new sounds coming from the UK (trip-hop, d'n'b), Subsonica hail from Turin with a very personal dance-rock formula. Based on the metallic voice of lead singer Samuel and the hi-tech beats of drummer Ninja, both trippy and driving, their music portays metropolitan sensations and paranoias in a typically late-Nineties cyberpunk fashion. But their music is not just pure dystopia: the dub/upbeat structures fill the music with open spaces. They are readily colonised by the the ultradeep and sinuous basslines, but also by more optimistic (yet very edgy) disco guitars and catchy melodies.
Quite surprisingly, most of the tracks have a (mainly implicit, but sometimes outspoken) languid allure, enhanced by the dewy synth carpets and sonic details. Another striking element is the technical complexity and precision of the weavings, rare for those years and that genre, and somehow closer to the sophistication of the most refined acts of the prog era. The ungraspable 7/8 beat of "Discolabirinto" (a dancefloor hit!) firmly points in this direction.

Subsonica were founded in 1996 in Turin. They were - and are - a quintet: voice, guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. Besides the classical rock instrumentation, their music relies heavily on programmed beats and sounds. This is their second LP.


  1. Buncia
  2. Sonde
  3. Colpo di pistola
  4. Aurora sogna
  5. Lasciati
  6. Tutti i miei sbagli
  7. Liberi tutti
  8. Strade
  9. Discolabirinto
  10. Il mio DJ
  11. Il cielo su Torino
  12. Albe meccaniche
  13. Depre
  14. Perfezione
Download (240 kbps)

Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


La quiete: La fine non è la fine (Heroine, 2004)

Convulsive, hot-blooded, this album is internationally regarded as the masterpiece of Italian screamo. For those who are not acquainted to the term, "screamo" designates a very fiery branch of post-hardcore, which evolved from emocore starting from the mid-Nineties. Its defining traits: frantic hardcore drumming, chaotic and coarse guitar swirls, prominent soft/loud dynamics quite close to post-rock and, most of all, harshly shouted vocals - often almost unintelligible.
La quiete gained a devoted cult following thanks to their relentless live activity and their curiously ironic attitude - mostly showcased by their surreal, or even nonsensical, lyrics. Their songs are quick and tense, and their sound is just as impetuous and scratchy. Despite the chaotic feeling of their music, there is a very clever attention to structures, with an enormous density of tempo shifts and a wise ability to balance the impulsiveness with more dilated sections. These latter episodes contribute to make the album somehow dreamy and optimist despite its strongly existentialist/expressionist character: letting the everpresent melodic lines tower above the rest, they momentarily illuminate the angry desolation of the music, creating an "epiphanic" melancholy which is much similar to the one familiar to GYBE! or Explosions in the Sky fans.

La quiete was formed in 2000 in Forlì. This is their first and only album up to now.

  1. Raid aereo sul paese delle farfalle
  2. Metempsicosi del fine ultimo: nevrastenica oscillazione fra poli estremi
  3. Notte dei cristalli a Rue des Trois-Freres
  4. Ciò che non siamo, ciò che non vogliamo
  5. Il destino di un ombrello
  6. Merce Cunningham
  7. Super Omega
  8. Uncaged
  9. La fine non è la fine
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Contropotere: Il seme della devianza (Skuld, 1991)
Kina: Se ho vinto se ho perso (Blu bus, 1989)

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Toni Esposito: Rosso napoletano (Numero uno, 1975)

Jazz and the Mediterranean: two worlds merging into one with the suspended atmospheres of "Rosso napoletano". A magical record, capturing the most alluring aspects of Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis and elevating them to an almost mystical lightness. Hypnotic funky grooves and a miniaturistic work on percussions are the key element - and the most discreet one - of the sound, equally tipified by charming keyboard brushstrokes (piano, e-piano, synthetizers, all unfolded with calm, equilibrium and an elegant sense of obliqueness) and wavering saxophone themes, metamorphosing Southern-Italian folklore into a new melodic language.
The album succeeds in being both relaxing and thrilling at the same time: its delicate stream cradles and bewitches, but the everchaning breeze of its details won't ever let you yawn.

"Rosso napoletano" is the first solo album by legendary Neapolitan session-drummer Toni Esposito, and features Robert Fix on saxophone,  Paul Buckmaster on keyboards, and Gigi De Rienzo on bass and guitars, plus many guest appearences.


  1. Rosso napoletano
  2. Danza dei bottoni
  3. Il venditore di elastici
  4. Breakfast
  5. L'eroe di plastica
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Giuntoli & Meroni: Diabolik e i sette nani (Rombo, 1980)

Idly couched on the confluence of progressive, jazz and "modern classical" experimentation lies "Diabolik e i Sette Nani", and it does not sound as you would expect from these few words. Don't imagine anything difficult, pretentious, or intellectual: just piano and saxophone (or clarinet, sometimes). Placid and spontaneous - even a bit tipsy, I dare say. No apparent direction: the tracks are just take-it-as-it-comes excursions through Satiesque impressions, free-jazz(y) improvisations, and facetious melodic quotations. The overall spirit might remind Robert Wyatt, but the most close comparison I can think about is the lazy melancholy of French avant-prog project ZNR (for the few ones which actually knew them).

Massimo Giuntoli and Roberto Meroni are both from Milan, where they still live and play today.


  1. I racconti di Canterbury
  2. Mastro Antonio
  3. Tre movimenti per pianoforte
  4. Diabolik e i sette nani
  5. Lothrorien
Download (217 kbps, vinyl rip)

nb. The first four tracks are grouped together in one single file

Similar albums on the blog:

Friday, April 9, 2010


Claudio Baglioni: Viaggiatore sulla coda del tempo (Columbia Sony Music, 1999)

Baroque pop means dressy arrangements, highfalutin melodies, and a certain amount of pretentiousness. But in the case of this album, the expression gets some additional meanings. Talking about structures, these songs don't reach the puzzling complexity of Battisti's later efforts: no deconstruction here, just verse/chorus/bridge/coda craftmanship taken to masterwork level - the quintessence of baroque aestethics. Lyrics and rhymes are of the most convoluted kind: lines and lines of far-fetched metaphores just to say one small concept, interwoven with elaborate rhyme schemes which always privilege form above content.
The arrangements are layered and affected by a purely baroque form of horror vacui: in any other context, they'd sound overproduced, but here they just fit perfectly. Blending orchestral gusts and trip-hop architectures, Fripp-like curves and abrupt world music meddlings, their amazing sound depth's a stirring counterpoint to the impressive vocal glides propelling the songs.

21th album by pop-rock superstar Claudio Baglioni, the lp is some sort of concept work about midlife and the passing of time. It was produced by Cervello's Corrado Rustici, and the drums were played by longtime Baglioni's collaborator Gavin Harrison, later of Porcupine Tree fame.


  1. Hangar
  2. Un mondo a forma di te
  3. Si io sarò
  4. Stai su
  5. Caravan
  6. Mal d'universo
  7. Chi c'è in ascolto
  8. Opere e omissioni
  9. Quanto tempo ho
  10. A domani
  11. Cuore di aliante
  12. A Clà
Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Touane: Figura (Persona, 2008)

Techno music can be cold, stern, alienating; it can also be delicate and fluffy though, and this is the case of "Figura". An album of watery sounds, crystalline electronic echoes, and comforting beats. Glitchy streams that never sound "broken" or disquieting, but gently cradle the listener with their progressive mutations: supple timbres, whispered vocals, pointillist percussion, slight dub tendencies... The overall flow is extremely natural and ravishing. It seems like going for a walk in the springtime, with nothing in your mind - it makes you feel the wonder of the breeze, the blossoms, the drizzles.

Touane is Marco Tonni, 1979, born in Rimini but living in Berlin since 2005. This is his sophomore full-length release.


  1. Fruehstueck
  2. She Let Some Light In
  3. Pioggia
  4. Autoerotica
  5. Di sotto
  6. Take Off
  7. Figura
  8. Promenade
Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)
miles_gurtu: omonimo (Shakti, 2004)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


VV.AA.: Polizziotteschi Graffiti (GDM Music, 2005)

Let's make another step in the world of Italian soundtracks of the 70s. As I wrote in a previous post, this is one of the most experimental territories ever explored by Italian musicians, and one of the most varied too. A stunning trait of the genre - but rather obvious, indeed - is its "easy listening" element: though daring, often electronic, or dissonant, or fostering composite rhythms, the tracks always have a strong cynematic flow which makes them immediate and thrilling.
Most of the tracks feature exciting jazz/funk jams, impulsive and lucid, combined with captivating keyboard themes. The deep "semantic" nature of the music relies on the intuitions of composers such as Ennio Morricone, and on a series of cliché associations: horns and action, staccato figures and suspence... These standard solutions are always reworked and recombinated to form a very broad spectrum of inventions, ranging from the Moroder-like pace of "Delitto al ristorante cinese" to the uber-groovy basslines of "Nucleo antirapina".

"Poliziotteschi graffiti" is one of the many compilations recently devoted to the genre. Despite the cover, I think it's one of the best. I will post some more in the future, if you like.


  1. Stelvio Cipriani - Mark il poliziotto (Mark il poliziotto, 1975)
  2. Luis Bacalov - The Summertime Killer (Ricatto alla Mala, 1972)
  3. Armando Trovajoli - Blazing Magnum (Una Magnum Speciale per Tony Saitta, 1976)
  4. Detto Mariano - Delitto al ristorante cinese (Delitto al ristorante cinese, 1981)
  5. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis - Goodbye My Friend (Il cittadino si ribella, 1974)
  6. Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, Vince Tempera - Nucleo antirapina (Operazione Kappa: Sparate a vista, 1977)
  7. Franco Micalizzi - Delitto sull'autostrada (Delitto sull'autostrada, 1982) 
  8. Goblin - Trumpet's Flight (Squadra antigangsters, 1979) 
  9. Franco Micalizzi - Special Cop (Italia a mano armata, 1976)
  10. Luis Bacalov - La polizia è al servizio del cittadino? (new edit) (La polizia è al servizio del cittadino?, 1973)
  11. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis - The Life of a Policeman (La polizia incrimina, la legge assolve, 1973) 
  12. Stelvio Cipriani - La polizia sta a guardare (La polizia sta a guardare, 1973)
  13. Goblin - La via della droga (La via della droga, 1977)
  14. Franco Campanino - Napoli si ribella (Napoli si ribella, 1977)
  15. Franco Micalizzi - Special Agents (Napoli violenta, 1976)
  16. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis - Car Chase at Margellina (Piedone lo sbirro, 1973)
  17. Guido & Maurizio De Angelis - New Special Squad (Roma violenta, 1975)
  18. Luis Bacalov - Montreal Non Stop (L'ultima chance, 1975)
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Calibro 35: s/t (Cinedelic/Self, 2008)
Ennio Morricone: Crime and Dissonance (Ipecac, 2005)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Central Unit: Central Unit + Loving Machinery (M.P. Records, 2003)

The unquiet waverings of Tuxedomoon spawned a whole school in the Italian underground. This record (a sum of two actually, see below) heralds the tendency: skeletal electronic beats and evanescent synth atmospheres, combined with mechanical basslines and relentless violin meanderings, with slothy saxophone murmurs peeping out here and there.
The music is ghostly, decadent, and subtly soggy; it never sounds epic or apocalyptic though, nor excessively amateurish (it's not minimal wave, to make a long story short). On the contrary, it sounds quite elaborate: its orbits are knotty and obliquous, and its mood is the mood of fallen aristocracy.

Central Unit were a band from Bologna. They were among the first in Italy to manipulate synths, drum machines and other electronic devices to create atmospheric soundscapes. This is a reprint of their first LP (produced by Tuxedomoon's Peter Principle), together with a preceding EP.

 Central Unit LP (1983)
  1. Detective Fredd
  2. Orient-Express
  3. Mas rapido
  4. Primavera di Kaspar
  5. Grotesque
  6. Bailamme
  7. Mordor
  8. Où Papè d'Où Marcocù
  9. Aiumassah!
  10. Die Flucht Ohne Ende
Loving Machinery EP (1982)
  1. Saturday Night
  2. Rock Onze
  3. What Use? (Version)
  4. Beset City
Download (192 kbps) (re-up)

Similar albums on the blog:
Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici: GMM (Materiali Sonori, 1985)

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Kleinkief: Il sesso degli angeli (Srazz, 1997)

Infested by alternative rock first, and colonized by post-rock immediately afterwards, the Italian underground never really developed a noise-pop scene. "Il sesso degli angeli" then sounds like a solitary jewel, a random spark of frenzy in the boredom.
Modeled on Sonic Youth and their convulsive out-of-tune whirlpools, the songs also feature some slight dream-pop/shoegaze tendency, reflected in the cradling female voice and in the unexpected moments of quietness and suspension. But the instinctiveness of the hardcore school also illuminates the music, and so does the almost prodigious balance of raw spirituality, ingenuous literarity and light-hearted nonsense. This last element is perhaps the trump card of the album, which definitely stands out over the many overpretantious "adolescential" records of those years.

Kleinkief were a band from Venice. This is their first album.

  1. Scarpe nuove
  2. Milena
  3. Psycho 41
  4. Stercofilo
  5. Bivi
  6. Dostoevskij
  7. Chiavi inesistenti
  8. Gogne perse
  9. Alter ego
  10. Tramiti
Download (192 kbps)

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Calibro 35: s/t (Cinedelic/Self, 2008)

"Poliziotteschi" of the 70s are among the most appreciated Italian movies abroad. Longly dismissed as "trash", they've been promoted recently to near-masterpieces. Their soundtracks were probably the first to be reconsidered: the international stardom of Ennio Morricone and Quentin Tarantino's B-movie fetishism surely contributed to the process.
Calibro 35 tries to revieve some of the key pieces of the genre with a more "rock" spirit. Where the original tracks featured extended instrumentations and privileged groove and atmosphere over impulse, their updated versions have a more aggressive sound and a more compact sonic palette. The edginess of the compositions remains the same though, and is still impressive.
A well-conceived and respectful tribute to the less pretentious and less ingenuous - but most daring - form of progressive which ever came from Italy.

Calibro 35 are a supergroup formed by Enrico Gabrielli, Fabio Rondanini, Luca Cavina, Massimo Martellotta, Tommaso Colliva, well-credited collaborators of Mariposa, Afterhours, Transgender, Mauro Pagani and many more. They're united by the passion for obscure Italian movie themes and excellent instrumental skills.
Their second LP, "Ritornano quelli di Calibro 35", is out now.

  1. Italia a mano armata, dal film “Italia A Mano Armata” (F. Micalizzi)
  2. Summertime Killer, dal film “Ricatto alla Mala” (L. Bacalov)
  3. Notte in Bovisa (M. Martellotta, E. Gabrielli, F.  Rondanini, L. Cavina , T. Colliva)
  4. Titoli, dal film “Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto” (E. Morricone)
  5. Milano Calibro 9 (Bouchet Funk), dal film “Milano Calibro 9” (L. Bacalov)
  6. Trafelato, dal film “Giornata Nera per l’Ariete” (E. Morricone)
  7. Una stanza vuota, dal film “Svegliati e Uccidi” (E. Morricone)
  8. La mala ordina, dal film “ La Mala Ordina” (A. Trovajoli)
  9. La polizia s’incazza (M. Martellotta, E. Gabrielli, F. Rondanini, L. Cavina , T. Colliva)
  10. Preludio dal film “Milano Calibro 9” (L. Bacalov)
  11. Gangster Story, dal film “La Polizia incrimina, La Legge Assolve” (G. & M. DeAngelis)
  12. Spiralys, soundlibrary (D. Casa)
  13. Shake Balera, dal film “La Ragazza Con La Pistola” (P. De Luca, V. Tommaso)
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Braen's Machine: Temi ritmici e dinamici (Liuto LRS, 1973)
Ennio Morricone: Crime and Dissonance (Ipecac, 2005) 

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Zeit: Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo (Materiali sonori, 1979)

The progressive-folk field can be split in two veins: one came (almost) directly from traditional music, and tried to revive the "folkloric" spirit updating it to the era of pop music and electric guitars; the other came from the most experimental and non-rock sides of the psychedelic galaxy, and looked to the traditional sounds as a new lexicon for their avantgardish jams.
The albums by Aktuala, Third Ear Band, Älgarnas Trädgård surely belonged to this latter wave, and so does "Un giorno in una piazza del Mediterraneo" (A day in a Mediterranean square). Compared to the work of the aforementioned bands, it seems to be a bit more orthodox in the treatment of the folkloric material, and more rhythmically challenging. Instead of stagnant ragas, the compositions have the pace of circle dances, and the melodic patterns show some attention to real traditional figures.
The album is entirely acoustic and instrumental; a crucible of Eastern-Mediterranean vapours, Italian shepherd pipes, tinkling sounds, and wavering violin improvisations. Daring, fascinating, and hypnotic.

Zeit were a quintet, from Florence. They recorded just another album, "Il cerchio degli antichi colori", in 1981.


  1. Ruz
  2. Circus
  3. Echi d'acqua
  4. Ritmo berbero
  5. Il mosaico
  6. Vetri e canne
  7. Tema oscuro
  8. Sintesi
Download (192 kbps)
First posted on Mutant Sounds.

Similar albums on the blog:
Spirale: omonimo (King, 1974)
Marcello Capra: Aria mediterranea (Mu records, 1978)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Cube: Can can in the garden (Polydor, 1983)

Synth-pop can be the art of celebrating future and technology, but also a surprisingly effective means to create old-fashioned atmospheres. The electronic propulsion, in this case, just gives a modern twist to classically-conceived songs, whose melodical strength would shine with (almost) every kind of arrangement.
The songs of "Can can in the garden" belongs to this second kind of synth-pop gems, like the ones of A-ha or Tears for Fears. Light, optimist and polite, they have a sophisticated taste which the electronic palette both enhances and dilutes. The glowy reverb of the synthetizer surely puts some glossy nuances on the already elegant piano/sax sound, but the italo-disco schemes of the drum-machine lighten the seriousness making the air more festive and blithe.

Cube are a short-lived creature of Mauro Malavasi, who wrote and produced all of the songs. The band members were English singer/guitarist Paul Griffiths, and keyboardists Rudy Trevisi and Serse Mai (the latter also programmed the drums and played the saxophone).


  1. The young pretender
  2. Love and protect
  3. Can can in the garden
  4. Two heads are better than one (remix)
  5. Concert boy
  6. Prince of the moment
  7. Stealing
  8. Why men go insane

Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Matia Bazar: Tango (1983)
Lucio Battisti: Don Giovanni (Numero Uno, 1986)

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The Dining Rooms: Subterranean Modern, vol 1 (Milano 2000, 1999)

Trip-hop, italian style. Which means Portishead without the pathos, Morricone without the West, or just "Histoire de Melody Nelson" gone chillout. No (cyber)punk spleen, no ketaminic stagnations: this is not a night-drive through the post-industrial Bristol, but a late-night walk through the stone-paved arcades of the Padan Plain. Bricks, history and fog. Nobody around. A meditative sound: hushed voices, dewy e-piano, a hip-hop beat slightly jazzified, bringing some warmth. The thud of the double-bass resounding through the neon-lit mist.

The Dining Rooms are a lounge/downbeat combo from Milan. This is their first album.


  1. Occhi neri
  2. M. Dupont
  3. Il giradischi e i tuoi dischi
  4. Cinemaroma 1
  5. Keep calm
  6. Jazz X
  7. Susanna 2000
  8. Hip hop hippies
  9. Le crepuscule du matin
  10. Dubterranean modern
  11. Cinemaroma 2
  12. Stromboli promenade
  13. Triste, solitario y final

Download (224 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
miles_gurtu: miles_gurtu(Shakti, 2004)
La Crus: La Crus (1995)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Fare soldi: Sappiamo dove abiti (Riotmaker, 2008)

The "Riotmaker sound" is one of the most defined of the Italian underground. "Sappiamo dove abiti" is its most iconic representation: italo-disco samples, 80s' synths+glitter everywhere, trendoid house grooves with a massive funky aftertaste. A curious mix of postmodern irony, urban glamour, and the stereotypical indie-pop nostalgism (the overall mood may suggest an ironic version of the recent "hypnagogic pop" trend).
Kitsch? Sure. But playful (first of all), explosive, and irresistably groovy. Colourful and irreducibly quotationist, the songs manage to be both totally inclonclusive and surprisingly well-crafted. Prepare for a funny listening!

Fare soldi are Luca Carnifull (Carnifull Trio) and Pasta (Amari). This is their third record as a duo.


  1. Sappiamo dove abiti
  2. Dolo boys
  3. Survivor
  4. Tribunale midi
  5. Puff dandy
  6. Il vecchio e il mullet
  7. Pagagheddon
  8. (Take me to) Zingales
  9. Message in Abbado
  10. Acid in Abbado
  11. Fare soldi va a Milano
  12. The radler song
  13. Il lato B del mondo
  14. Palazzo dei cigni
  15. I wanna Feel Collins
  16. Fessi vivono
Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)
Üstmamò: omonimo (Virgin, 1991)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Automat: Automat (EMI, 1978)

Progressive and italo-disco? Sounds foolish, but "Automat" is not an isolated case: in the end of the 70s, more than an artist tried to merge the neoclassical grandeur of spaghetti-prog and the electronic grooves of Giorgio Moroder.
"Automat" is anyway one of the most accomplished attempts at this fusion. Listening to it is like spinning Jean-Michael Jarre on one deck, Midnight Express theme on the other and discovering they fit perfectly. The album has something like a concept, dealing with the adventures of a golem-like robot. It is no futurist work though: instead of celebrating the glory of the machine, the music portays a somehow disillusioned spleen. Baroque fugues inspired by Bach, minimalist repetitions and crystalline synth layerings disclose an alabastrine melancholy, the one of a creature which can't feel at home in the human world. A steampunk version of Alan Moore's Dr. Manhattan.

Automat was a short-lived project of soundtrack composers Claudio Gizzi and Romano Musumarra, together with sound engineer Mario Maggi. The album was entirely performed (even the drums!) on the MCS70 analog synthetizer, designed by Maggi himself. The first half of the record features Gizzi's compositions, the second one Musumarra's.
Trivia: J.-M. Jarre was the first person to get a copy of "Automat".


  1. Automat: (The) Rise
  2. Automat: (The) Advance
  3. Automat: (The) Genus
  4. Droid
  5. Ultraviolet
  6. Mecadance
Download (320 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Easy Going: Fear (Banana Records, 1979)
Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Ivano Fossati: La pianta del tè (CBS, 1988)

When the elusive humanism of the singer/songwriter school meets the scents of world music. When Africa and South-America blend together, and their blend is called "Mediterranean". When a Piedmontese accordion can seduce the shimmery guitars of South-African Mbaqanga and wave to the beat of a reggae beat.

It's an album of joy, "La pianta del tè", and an album of melancholy. It's suffused and springy, and pensive, and ecstatic. It's an album of lush arrangements and exceptional rhythmic refinement. The grooves are vigorous, but sparse, infectious, but subtly askew.

There are the songs, then, and Ivano Fossati's envelopping voice - his husky grain, and his quintessential prolonged vocals. And guests: Fabrizio De André, Francesco De Gregori and Teresa De Sio, all of them contributing to the unique mood of Fossati's tenth solo record.


  1. La pianta del té
  2. Terra dove andare
  3. L'uomo coi capelli da ragazzo
  4. La volpe
  5. La pianta del té (parte seconda)
  6. Questi posti davanti al mare
  7. La signora del ponte-lance
  8. Chi guarda Genova
  9. La costruzione di un amore
  10. Caffè lontano

Download (112 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
L'orchestra di Piazza Vittorio: Sona (RadioFandango/Edel, 2006)
Radiodervish: In acustico (Cosmasola, 2001)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Monomorph: Alternative Fluid (Disturbance, 1994)

There are times Italian artists don't come late to the novelties of the musical world, but seem to be perfectly synchronized to them. The abstract techno-sound of "Alternative Fluid" is one of these very rare cases. Hybridating the futurist geometries of Underground Resistance and the glacial ambiences of Autechre and Aphex Twin, the album synthesizes a very peculiar - and mature - progressive electronic formula. An architectural sound, favouring structure over narration, but full of unexpected trumps: daring stop'n'go inlays, pointillist textures and weavings, dreamy melodies which can't fail to allure and ravish.

Monomorph is a project by brothers Marco and Fabrizio D'Arcangelo, known also under the names D'Arcangelo, Centuria, Intermolecular Forces.


  1. Geometrical...
  2. Monomorph
  3. Lonx
  4. Exiled Ambient
  5. Minimalia (Drumix)
  6. ...Spherical
  7. Sequon Og
  8. Battletech

Donwload (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Jolly Music: Jolly Bar (Nature/Wide, 2000)
Giorgio Moroder: E=mc² (Durion, 1979)

Monday, March 1, 2010


Un po' di spam (trans. A little bit of spam)

Non mi sono mai fatto pubblicità da solo su questo blog (né ho mai scritto in italiano), ma faccio un'eccezione per reclamizzare il recente "abc del decennio" pubblicato da Ondarock, che contiene una voce "Italia" curata da me.

Ci trovate, più che i "migliori" o anche solo i miei preferiti, un tentativo di ricostruzione dei principali filoni dell'indie italico. Caratteristiche musicali dunque, ma considerate nel contesto "sociale" che le ha generate.

Spero che anche questo po' di inquadramento generale possa risultare interessante, dopo tanta attenzione spesa per i dischi singoli.

Torno ad eclissarmi :P


MoRkObOt: MoStRo (Supernatural Cat, 2006)

A trip through sonic magma. Red-heated basslines, basaltic bass bursts (there are two basses in here), and eerie ambient vapours. Unsettling and hypnotic, "MoStRo" is not the ordinary jazz/noise/core stuff with a harder edge. Here and there you can find the dominant "sparsely angular" sound of the Italian underground, but the main element here is the deeply enthralling flow and its evocative power. Anarchic, but surprisingly "narrative", geometric though blatantly psychedelic, the album fuses the dragon-lairs of early Pink Floyd, the swamps of Melvins and the esoteric wedges of math-metallers Tool with a distinct Zu-esque (or should I call it "Zornesque"?) vibe. I know the description would fit for many unexciting bands, but trust me: "MoStRo"'s better than them all. 

A somehow misterious band, MoRkObOt is a trio whose elements are disguised under the names Lin, Lan and Len (presenting as "messengers" of MoRkObOt). This is their second album.


  1. Tobokrom
  2. Zorgongollac
  3. Kaklaipus
  4. Cammut
  5. Skrotocolm
  6. Poldon

Download (192 kbps)

Similar albums on the blog:
Transgender: Sen Soj Trumàs (Snowdonia/New LM Record, 2003)
Taras Bul'ba: Incisione (Wallace, 2005)