Sunday, April 13, 2008

MUSICA URBANA, BLAY TRITONO, LA RONDALLA DE LA COSTA-PRIMERA AVENTURA DE PEPE CARVALHO: "TATUAJE" (1978, LP, SPAIN)

This is the RARE third LP of Musica Urbana in fact it's a soundtrack of the film by Bigas Luna (1978) . The Ensemble Musicale is completed by the Musica Urbana, Blay Tritono and La Rondalla de la Costa.
Some info and tracklist:
Banda Sonora de la Pelicula: Primera Aventura de Pepe Carvalho: Tatuaje (Temas de Toni Miro & Joan Albert Amargos) intepretados por los grupos Musica Urbana, Blay Tritono y La Rondalla de la Costa.
1. He nacido para Revolucionar el Infierno (4:36) 2. Barcelona (1:01) 3. Vallvidrera (5:00) 4. Camina gorda (4:14) 5. Peliqueria queta 1era (1:26) 6. Peliqueria queta 2da (0:19) 7. Hotel las Palma (3:51) 8. Amsterdam & Barcelona (1:59) 9. Teresa Marsé (3:10) 10. Charo (2:38)
Una pelicula dirigida por Bigas Luna sobre un guion de Manolo Vazquez Montalban
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STORMY SIX-CLICHE'+PINOCCHIO BAZAAR (1976, CD ITALY)

Not many progressive music collectors are aware that Stormy Six released some very interesting and original works in that style, the group having long been associated with the left-wing political and protest songs of their first albums.Stormy Six began as a beat band in the 60's in Milan, and they even supported the Rolling Stones during their first italian tour. Their first album, named Le idee di oggi per la musica di domani by their record company, is a good example of the genre, with even some light psych influences like in the instrumental Schalplattengesellschaft mbh, bass player Claudio Rocchi being the most interested in psychedelia. He was in fact the first to leave the band to pursue a solo career.
Second album L'unità saw the group reduced to a quartet, with bassist Massimo Villa replacing Rocchi, and keyboardist Martinetti leaving during the recording sessions, though he appeared on some tracks only. The sound was now strongly inspired by the then popular West-Coast style, yet it contained some rock-inspired moments like in the long Suite per F & F with good instrumental parts by Ricky Belloni (then with Il Pacco and later in Nuova Idea) and sax player Claudio Fasoli from Perigeo.
In the third album, Guarda giù dalla pianura, dealing more strongly with protest songs, the Woody Guthrie influence was evident in the cover versions' choice, and the band was now a constant presence in left-wing movements concerts and festivals.
Their 1975 album Un biglietto del tram was the first proper original Stormy Six album, a highly rated album in Italy at the time and with strong political contents. Released on the newly born independent label L'Orchestra (in which the band members had a leading role), it was a concept album, based on some events from the last years of World War II in Italy and the Resistance movement against nazis, the album contained an original blend of folk and prog sounds and interesting lyrics. Songs like Stalingrado or Dante Di Nanni (the name of a victim of nazis) have always been in the band's concerts in later years.
In 1976 a revised line-up produced the instrumental Cliché, conceived as a soundtrack for a theatre piece and with help from jazz players Guido Mazzon and Tony Rusconi, and a year later L'apprendista, one of their best works ever. A real prog gem, the album had complex rhythm changes in the best tradition of this style (some comparison are possible with Gentle Giant), yet retaining a very original mood, with a perfect use of any kind of instruments and multivocal parts.
At the end of the 70's the band had prolific collaboration with foreign artists and Stormy Six were one of the five founder members (along with Henry Cow from UK, Univers Zero from Belgium, Etron Fou Leloublan from France and Samla Mammas Manna from Sweden) of the RIO-Rock In Opposition international movement, that gave them the opportunity to play all over Europe.
Next album in 1980, Macchina maccheronica, that also becomes the name of the band in some concerts, a varied album in the best RIO tradition with some very good tracks mixed with odd short songs and crazy rhythms, even a waltz! Last chapter in this long story Al volo, in 1982, still a good album that reveals 80's electropop influences added to the typical Stormy Six sound.
In 1984 some of the band members also collaborated with german group Cassiber, releasing some recordings together with the name of Cassix on the english Recommended Records label. Cassix line-up included Umberto Fiori (vocals), Franco Fabbri (guitar), Heiner Goebbels (keyboards) Alfred Harth (sax), Pino Martini (bass), Chris Cutler (drums).
Guitarist Franco Fabbri has written many books on music and still collaborates with various avantgarde music and theatre groups, the others have had many other musical experiences after the band split. The band reunited in 1993 for a concert that's been released on the nice Un concerto CD (italianprog)
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YUGEN-LABIRINTO D'ACQUA (2006, CD, ITALY)

The first album by this Italian/international avant-progressive supergroup, which has been eagerly anticipated. Their stated influences should tell you all you need to know: Satie, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Cage, Reich, Zappa, Henry Cow, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Univers Zero! Very very good stuff for fans of 'rehearsal-intensive, complex avant-progressive rock. "Yugen is a musical project born during autumn of 2004 from an idea by Francesco Zago and Marcello Marinone. Four years after the end of The Night Watch, , Francesco Zago begins thinking about a synthesis between rock (progressive and RIO-style oriented) and chamber music. Thanks to the ideas and fundamental support of Marcello Marinone, the project takes its shape from a few chamber compositions, enriched with electric sounds and a rock rhythm section. The name of the project became Yugen, a japanese word – impossible to translate in its precise meaning – which expresses the aesthetic canon of japanese art, as haiku in poetry or Noh in theatre. Between December of 2004 and January of 2005 the first demo of Yugen was produced. Diego Donadio, formerly drummer of The Night Watch, contributes to the drums arrangements. In February, during an extemporaneous jam session in Tradate, the keyboard player Paolo Botta (Franch TV) and swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss (Spaltklang, Ulterior Lux) joined the group. Then Stephan Brunner, who plays electric bass in Spaltklang, and reed player Peter Schmid (Evan Parker, Vinny Golia) accept to play with Yugen. In the meantime, new compositions come out: Zago writes little acoustic pieces. To satisfy the complexity and richness of the arrangements, other instrumentalist join the band: the percussionist Massimo Mazza, Giuseppe Olivini (OZ, Contrapplugged) plays harpsichord, the classical players Maurizio Fasoli (piano), Elia Mariani (violin) and Marco Sorge (clarinets). Last arrivals, but not less important, the drummer Mattia Signò, Tommaso Leddi (Stormy Six) and U.S. drummer Dave Kerman (Thinking Plague, 5uu’s, Present, Blast, Ahvak….). The recordings began in June of 2005 and they continued until January of 2006. During the following months, Udi Koomran (Avhak, Present, Thinking Plague) worked on mixing and mastering." (Wayside)
Fantastic first working draft of Francesco Zago, "Yugen" is, in my opinion, today one of the best progressive group of the world. An incredible blend of progressive/avant-garde/contemporary-chamber rock. A masterpiece!!! click here
myspace: http://www.myspace.com/yugenband
Buy this cd!!