Friday, September 17, 2010

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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.


Tracklist:
  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

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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.


Tracklist:
  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):
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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

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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.


Tracklist:
  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

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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.


Tracklist:
  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)