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(73 min, Lizard)
TRACK LIST: 1. 30 Secondi di Jeremy 0:55 2. In Nuce 1:09 3. Salti 2:48 4. A Chappolo 1:43 5. I Nostri Nomi 2:26 6. Gioventu Bruciata 2:57 7. I Passamano 2:31 8. Zapum 0:22 9. Amour pour la Question 2:36 10. Emotional Massacre 3:10 11. Vita Mia 3:21 12. Ovetti 2:24 13. Tipo Topi 3:40 14. Spazzolare 3:26 15. Richamino 1:38 16. L'uovo Della Gallina 1:35 17. E Non C'e 2:45 18. Questa Ponta Cadra 1:22 19. Ar Core 0:31 20. Godzilla 1953 5:04 21. Hyperdub 5:08 22. Giardino Inquetante 3:36 23. Candele 2:56 24. Espone 5:17 25. Simpatia a Go-go 2:09 All tracks: by Memoria Zero. Produced by Memoria Zero. LINE-UP: Antonio Acunzo - vocals; guitars Stefano Acunzo - bass; percussion Marco Rossa - drums; sampling Ettore Scandale - sax, flute; keyboards Federica Santoro - vocals With: Mauro Montecchiani - vocals
Prolusion. Italian band MEMORIA ZERO was formed in 1995. The lineup stabilized two years later and hasn't changed since then. In the course of the next few years the band toured in their homeland, and also recorded two demo tapes. "Free Sdraio" is their only official release thus far.
Analysis. This is very unusual Prog, which will be a stumbling block for the uninitiated and a source of continued pleasure for those prepared to atypical music forms. The highly original approach to the performance of vocal parts, a strange combination of traditional harmonious and angular structures, dissonant solos of saxophone, and the overall mysterious atmosphere, which I would describe as a silently sinister Walpurgis Night, are the most memorable aspects of the album. Although most of the 25 tracks present are short, none is a makeweight. All of them are complete works, and although there are no pauses between them, many are musically independent from the others. Some compositions consist of flowery patterns; some are notable for highly complex rhythms and eclectic arrangements, the others for spontaneous improvisation. There is no end to the band's inexhaustible fantasy, and it's their effervescent ingenuity that allows them to put so much music in the course of so short space of time. So perhaps it's just logical that the longer compositions, such as Godzilla-1953 or Espone, seem to be more comfortable for a quick comprehension than most of the others. The vocals can be traditionally strict or even exclamatory in character, but much more often they are extremely extraordinary and are nearly indescribable with words. In the kaleidoscope of themes and rhythms, at times manifest distant echoes of Peter Hammill, those of Gong's creative explorations, or begins dawning the mirage of Duke Ellington's Caravan. To some degree, the music is also consonant to John Zorn's extravagant experiments. Overall however, there is nothing in the world that it could be subjected to in direct comparison with. The more or less accurate definition of the band's style would probably be avant-garde Jazz-Fusion with elements of Zeuhl, RIO and psychedelics, though if briefly, it would be difficult to frame this music otherwise than just Avant-garde. It occurs quite often that some artists (not only musicians of course) appeal to avant-garde art just due to their weak grounding in academic forms. Much more rarely it happens because of the natural inner need for self-expression, as is about Memoria Zero. While listening to the album the listener will continually meet their mastery as composers, instrumentalists and singers all alike.
Conclusion. "Free Sdraio" is a highly complicated work, which, due to its specifically elitist nature, is destined exclusively to the versed, open-minded Prog lovers. Considering the album's exceptional originality, I would be at fault not to rate it as a masterpiece. Top-20-2003
VM: April 11, 2005
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