I wonder if people just find progressive rock to be in itself ridiculous - it's likely true that many people do, with all the comments about capes and such. If you didn't like the English language PFM record, I can't imagine you'll like the first few Italian ones that much, either. What was it that you didn't like?
Jaxon - which of Mr. Battiato's later albums had you heard? What was bad about it? I have "Arca di Noe" (sp?), and think it's great - not much like the very experimental '70's ones, but rather lovely and intelligently written pop.
― Pangolino again, Friday, 14 January 2005 20:27 (8 years ago) Permalink
are you italian? do you speak it? does this help in enjoying his less experimental works?
i hear he still sells out arenas in italy?
― JaXoN (JasonD), Friday, 14 January 2005 21:02 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Stormy Davis (diamond), Friday, 14 January 2005 21:08 (8 years ago) Permalink
I don't speak Italian - I can just barely make out things at the best of times - I am thinking of the musical writing, and so don't know what to make of Mr. Battiato's lyrics. It wouldn't be bad to know, though! I think it's great if he does sell out arenas in Italy.
I can see what you mean about the PFM album - I've heard people comment on their lack of a really commanding lead vocalist. I've never found that a problem, and do find them quite hooky. I hear you about the pressing, though. The Italian version isn't that expensive in a remastered edition that I think sounds quite good (it's lacking one song ("Old Rain") that was only on "Photos of Ghosts" and maybe as a b-side somewhere, though I may be wrong in thinking so) . "River of Life" and "Mr. 9 till 5" were my favourite songs from "Photos of Ghosts". "Chocolate Kings" is a pretty rocking, catchy PFM record - you might like that one better. Not everyone likes Bernardo Lanzetti's singing, it seems, but it does stand out. I think "Come ti va..." is pretty hooky, too, but it's later and straighter rock than the older albums, so some progressive fans might not like it that much.
― Pangolino again, Saturday, 15 January 2005 00:23 (8 years ago) Permalink
all Area and solo Demetri Stratos solo albums
― Joe (Joe), Saturday, 15 January 2005 01:39 (8 years ago) Permalink
I'm not really interested in what Battiato is doing now (and yes, he's still selling out arenas) but I quite like his early 80's synth pop albums. Its mostly light euro-pop, not really interesting music-wise, but the lyrics are a completely different matter: really clever, ironic, detached observations on modern life and political frenzies. He was (and still is) a very different kind of Italian artist: while most of our singers were devoted to some kind of old style marxism or simply were preparing themselves to the oncoming revolution, Battiato was much more layered and complex: like mixing together Borges, Gurdjeff, Thomas Mann and Flash Gordon. Intellectual but with a funny twist - no academic pedantry here.He was interested in middle age mysticism and sufism (many accused him of being a "reactionary"), reacted against dehumanized modern society and at the same time despised any violently revolutionary dream (in Italy there was a strong terrorist movement) - always with a funny, slightly ironic and provocative touch. He consciously chose pop music as a way to express himself in a more biting way, and again he was right: "La voce del padrone" was the first Italian lp to sell more than 1 million copies.
But you have to know Italian language to enjoy it properly... :-)
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Saturday, 15 January 2005 10:59 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Brian Turner (btwfmu), Sunday, 16 January 2005 04:20 (8 years ago) Permalink
I wonder how differently I would think of different artists and groups if I could understand the texts more closely - most of the Canadian progressive groups I like are francophone*, so this holds true even for music from my own country (at least I can roughly translate French, but all nuance is lost on me).
The only RDM album I have is "Contamination" - I wasn't completely sold on it, but I keep meaning to give it another chance. I think it had struck me as somewhat uneven / lumpy between the "classical" and "pop" parts, but it's not like it was "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" or anything. I'd bought it because of Luis Bacalov's arrangements. What is "io Come io" like?
― Pangolino again, Sunday, 16 January 2005 04:55 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Marco Damiani (Marco D.), Sunday, 16 January 2005 15:52 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Hurlothrumbo (hurlothrumbo), Sunday, 23 January 2005 02:53 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Pangolino again, Sunday, 23 January 2005 03:02 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Hurlothrumbo (hurlothrumbo), Sunday, 23 January 2005 03:04 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Pangolino again, Sunday, 23 January 2005 03:26 (8 years ago) Permalink
area, osanna, banco - these are good places to start?
― peter smith (plsmith), Friday, 18 March 2005 15:48 (8 years ago) Permalink
but what i wanted to say! is that il balletto di bronzo's "ys" is great, but "sirio 2222" is greater! and it's not really prog at all so i don't even know why i'm discussing it here!
― el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Friday, 18 March 2005 16:06 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Pashmina (Pashmina), Friday, 18 March 2005 16:12 (8 years ago) Permalink
― J0hn D., Sunday, 24 August 2008 14:44 (4 years ago) Permalink
that's a personal favorite. the one after it (living mask) is even more bizarre. like the 80s legendary pink dots doing jacula covers.
― GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Monday, 25 August 2008 01:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
It's like these guys only sing in Italian.
― Abbott, Saturday, 30 August 2008 23:48 (4 years ago) Permalink
Italy's Semiramis gave the world the scariest ablum cover:
― Abbott, Saturday, 30 August 2008 23:53 (4 years ago) Permalink
ho ho ho
― GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Sunday, 31 August 2008 03:08 (4 years ago) Permalink
So is Italian prog ever going to undergo a major hipster revival? Or did it already and I just wasn't paying attention?
― i fuck mathematics, Sunday, 31 August 2008 05:10 (4 years ago) Permalink
...because it would be awesome to have some readily-available deluxe remasters of some of this stuff.
― i fuck mathematics, Sunday, 31 August 2008 05:15 (4 years ago) Permalink
i dunno about deluxe, but itaprog stuff tends to stay available. syn-phonic has a ton of it.
― GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ, Sunday, 31 August 2008 05:32 (4 years ago) Permalink
Oh, I have a lot of this stuff, but it would just be awesome to have shinier versions and more coverage of it in general. Like, if there were an Italoprog equivalent of Kraut/Japrocksampler.
(Things seem to already be sort of like that in Japan -- I went pretty prog-crazy during my vacation there. Even an average-sized Tower Records would have a decent selection of albums by Area, Goblin, PFM, etc. as well as pretty much all other europrog. And the prog branch of Disk Union in Tokyo -- holy shit. MAGMA NECKTIES! But I digress.)
― i fuck mathematics, Sunday, 31 August 2008 05:43 (4 years ago) Permalink
Saw on Forcedexposure that early demoes for Ys by Baletto di Bronzo had just been released on cd and lp.
Been trying to find remasters of Area material since there were suddenly reviews in Record Collector of the lps sometime last year. Still not come across any & the previous Cramps cds are very quiet and probably late 80s judging by the sound.
Noticed there was an encyclopaedia type book of Italian prog being advertised here http://www.italianprog.com/welcome.htmbut unfortunately the link to btf.it seems to be dead. shame that was a really good cheapish source for Italian prog with reasonable p+p
― Stevolende, Tuesday, 8 March 2011 21:33 (2 years ago) Permalink
So is Italian prog ever going to undergo a major hipster revival?
This still needs to happen.I've been picking up a lot of Italian 70s stuff in the last couple of years, some of the "one shot" bands are incredible, especially Maxophone and Semiramis.
― My Teenage Neo-Prog Shame (Matt #2), Tuesday, 8 March 2011 21:39 (2 years ago) Permalink
Been living in Rome the last half year, and trying to buy almost only Italian music. Franco Battiato's first few albums (especially 'Fetus') have been absolute favorites for many years, and I really liked Balletto di Bronzo and Goblin, but generally I'm more familiar with weird soundtrack/sound library/Morricone stuff and a little Italo Disco, and random acts like Krisma. I knew Le Orme by one album, so took a chance on an 11-CD set of their albums, and I think they remain the best of what I've tested of the 60s/70s scene. Especially surprised by how great the 1979 album 'Florian' is--reminds me a lot of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, always a good thing in my book. Also a "supergroup" (I'm told) called Carnascialia is pretty cool in a similar vein of mining antiquarian instrumentation toward modern ends.
Unfortunately just couldn't get into Area--actually exchanged the couple of albums I picked up. Weirdly, I do like the Demetrio Stratos album 'Cantare le Voce,' which is incredibly weird vocal warbling. I like some Fabrizio De Andre, Claudio Lolli, some New Trolls, Ibis, Osanna, Alan Sorrenti, Renato Zero, Jumbo, Sensations Fix, Latte e Miele. But I hate to say it--nothing has just blown me away. A lot of it makes even fairly middling Krautrock seem really strong, or French rock--maybe I'm just looking in the wrong directions. I think to some degree its the vocal/melodic traditions that I just don't dig--a lot of guys who really, really can't sing belting it out with tuneless conviction and a sort of emotional drama that isn't my style. I'm assuming the lyrics are awful, but fortunately I don't speak Italian so I'm spared drama on that front.
The one thing that remains unbelievable to me is that the proto-Gruppo d'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza group The Feed Back hasn't been reissued. That album is one of the very best things Mutant Sounds has ever shared.
I've got a week left in the country--can anybody point me to what I'm missing? Is there anyone even close to Franco Battiato out there to be found?
― Soundslike, Friday, 27 April 2012 14:30 (1 year ago) Permalink
Wish Julian Cope would do an Italian book. Could do with something like that, would like something that gave a set of atmospheric reviews of material.
I may have a semi definitive list of essential stuff somewhere. I got somebody to give me one when i was looking into the scene in the middle of the last decade.
yeah, found this and the date I had for it was 2004. Btf.it might be about the best place to be buying things from. think prices are reasonably cheap as was p+p. think there's a link to a website which is the source of an encyclopedia type book on the scene there toohttp://www.italianprog.com/index.htmthere's also this one http://www.italianprogrock.com/artists.php
list is thisAlphataurus - SameApoteosi - SameAtlantide - Frencesco Ti RicordiBambibanda E Melodie - SameBlocco Mentale - PoaCaliffi - Fiore Di MetalloCampo Di Marte - SameCitta Frontale - El TorCircus 2000 - Same and An Escape From A BoxDalton - Riflessioni-Idea I'nfinitoDuello Madre - SameEdgar Allan Poe - Generazioni (Storia Di Sempre)Electric Frankenstein - What Me Worry?Flea - Topi O UominiFormula 3 - All AlbumsGarybaldi - Nuda and AstrolabioI Giganti - Terra In BoccaLocanda Delle Fate - Forse Le Lucciole Si Amano PiuMaxophone - SameMurple - I Sono MurpleMuseo Rosenbach - ZarathustraNouva Idea - All AlbumsOsage Tribe - Arrow HeadOsanna - L'Oumo and PalepoliIl Paese Di Balocchi - SamePanna Freda - UnoPlanetarium - InfinityQuella Vecchia Locanda - Same (stay of their 2nd)Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno - Per...Un Mondo Di CristalloI Raminghi - Il Lungo Cammino Dei RaminghiRicordi D'infanzia - Io UomoIl Rovescio Della Medaglia - All AlbumsSamadhi - SameSemiramis - Dedicato A FrazzI Teoremi - SameThe Trip - All AlbumsL'Uovo Di Colombo - Same
That's about sums it up...
― Stevolende, Friday, 27 April 2012 20:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
who are you excited to see at FARFEST this year?
― scott seward, Friday, 27 April 2012 20:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
When is somebody going to remaster the Area stuff? Been waiting for somebody to do so since getting the Caution Radiation Area in the old Cramps version about 10 years ago. Just had a track come on my walkman way too quiet and had me thinking I was probably missing a lot of the details. & a couple of years back a couple of review sections had several titles mentioned, think it was Record Collector and possibly Shindig, but I couldn't find any mention of an actual release & I did ask on nearly every forum that might cover them to no answer.
Was there an Akarma box set on them some years ago & if so what was the sound on that like?
― Stevolende, Saturday, 28 April 2012 17:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
this sensations fix reissue is the bomb!
― the late great, Saturday, 20 October 2012 22:59 (7 months ago) Permalink
Anyone heard if the actual albums (Sensations Fix) are getting reissued? I never managed to track down the Italian Prog box sets that contain them, when I was living in Italy, and they're crazy expensive now elsewhere. Definitely one of the very best Italian Prog bands--but unfortunately to large degree because they don't sound much like Italian Prog.
― Soundslike, Sunday, 21 October 2012 00:58 (7 months ago) Permalink
Probably find somebody wanting to if this compi, which I need to pick up, is successful. I'm not sure if I've heard of anybody doing much Italian prog recently. Would check either ESoteric or Sunbeam, probably Repertoire too.
― Stevolende, Sunday, 21 October 2012 12:37 (7 months ago) Permalink
it isn't even very prog, let alone italian prog ... but it is beautiful
― the late great, Sunday, 21 October 2012 17:35 (7 months ago) Permalink