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)