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Luca Olivieri - 2008 - "La Quarta Dimensione"

(43:31, 'AG')

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Angelina 3:36 	
2.  Chrome 3:01 	
3.  Lontana Presenza 4:03 	
4.  Il Sogno Di Napo 4:02 	
5.  L'Attesa 2:53 	
6.  Un Mondo Segreto 5:16 	
7.  Fantasmi 1:45 	
8.  Baricentro Morale 2:34 	
9.  Alibi 4:06 	
10. Angelina Reprise 2:09 	
11. Le Ali Del Tempo 5:44 	
12. Ricordo 3:39 	


Luca Olivieri  keyboards; melodica; percussion
Diego Pangolino  percussion (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9)
Andrea Cavalieri  bass (3, 4, 5, 8, 9)
Fabio Martino  accordion (1, 4, 5, 9, 10)
Fabrizio Barale  guitars (1, 2, 4, 5, 8)
Roberto Lazzarino  guitars (6, 7, 11)
Mario Arcari  woodwinds (3, 4, 6) 
Giovanna Vivaldi  cello (2, 8, 12)

Prolusion. Luca OLIVIERI is an Italian keyboardist and composer whose musical background has been collaborations with Italian outfit Yo Yo Mundi, as well as composing scores for theatrical productions and silent movies. "La Quarta Dimensione" is his first solo album and was issued in 2008.

Analysis. The first thought that struck me after listening to this album for a bit is that this would have been a perfect production to be issued by Musea Records' sub-label Dreaming. There are a lot of new age elements to these compositions, but the general scope of the outing is too advanced and embellished to truly belong in that category, just like most of the artists I've encountered on aforementioned label. Keyboards, synths and electronic elements dominate the proceedings here; whether it is a single floating pattern or undercurrent contrasting other instruments or multilayered escapades with fluctuating movements sprinkled with electronic noises, there's no doubt as to what instruments that occupy the central place in these excursions. For better or worse, this also goes for the rhythm department: all drum patterns and most percussion is of an electronic nature. What makes this affair into something more than a light and positive venture in typical new age territories are all the other instruments used. Olivieri himself takes glockenspiel and melodica to the proceedings, while the many guest musicians involved add reeds, accordion, cello, bass and guitars to the sonic tapestries created. And, whether it's a rather basic accordion contrasting a dark, ominous synth layer as in Angelina Reprise, or a more embellished soundscape involving reeds and accordion on top of a musical landscape involving electronic sounds and multiple layered synths as in Il Sogno Di Napo, this mix of synths and analogue instruments create timbres and nuances that add just the right amount of textures harmonizing or slightly contrasting to keep this production interesting and intriguing rather than stale and clich?d. Although some tracks have a certain darkness and ominous presence to them, it is the light and joyful moods that are prevalent on this recording, albeit sprinkled with a melancholic tinge. There's a strong emphasis on atmosphere and emotion, and many creations have a cinematic quality to them. Given Olivieri's background that is hardly surprising, and indeed, some of these ventures were originally written as scores for theatrical productions and silent movies.

Conclusion. "La Quarta Dimensione" is hardly what you could describe as a progressive album; the closest we get on this venture is an opening theme reminding of Kraftwerk on one occasion. But, if you're looking for a really well made album with an electronic foundation embellished with guitars and various analog instruments, residing in the twilight zone between new age, cinematic scores and progressive electronic music, this is a recording well worth investigating.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: Agst 16, 2009
The Rating Room

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Luca Olivieri


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