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(48 min, Lizard)
TRACK LIST: 1. Intriduzione All'essenza 4:01 2. L'Incontro 1:50 3. Rubare l'Attesa 3:04 4. Cio Che e Noto 2:49 5. La Mattina Prima 3:19 6. Ripongo 2:28 7. La Sera 2:25 8. Luce 3:34 9. Il Mio Delitto 8:34 10. La Mattina Dopo 3:07 11. Commedia 2:08 12. Nevocazioni 5:10 13. Fuga dal Sapere 5:07 All music: by Nema Niko. All lyrics: by Tuppo. Produced by Nema Niko. LINEUP: Marco Tuppo - narration; guitar, bass Andrea Albanese - guitar; programming Luca Boldrin - keyboards; drums
Prolusion. "La Storia dell'Uomo che Incontro se Stesso" is the second album by Italian group NEMA NIKO, following "Mio Scialbo" (2000), which I reviewed six months ago. Their new CD will be released later this year.
Analysis. Nema Niko was originally a quartet, but drummer Veiro Boldrin quit just before the band started working on this material. As a result, percussion rarely appears in this show, while drums only once (on Cio Che e Noto), and they aren't acoustic. Generally, this album is a vast-bordering-on-radical departure from its predecessor and is different from it nearly on all levels, despite the fact that cosmic themes remain the central aspect of the band's creation. Here, the musicians much more often experiment with sound than perform the composed stuff. Seven out of the thirteen tracks find them being completely immersed in eliciting odd and eccentric sounds from their instruments, and even Marco Tuppo less often appeals to his pet narration. I won't list the tracks filled with generated effects, reversed and echoed solos and the like stuff. I'll only note that in spite of its unstructured nature, this music has a certain mysterious sense and is rather imaginative. Most of all, it reminds me of the voice of a distant space or the heartbeat of the universe, which is endless in its inconceivability and is inconceivable in its endlessness. The other pieces are structured, at least for the most part, and most of them, unlike those about avant-garde space music, feature either little narration or are free of it altogether. Cio Che e Noto, Luce and Il Mio Delitto are in particular notable for slow, yet, various interactions between passages of electric piano, which are mostly symphonic in character, and guitar solos, which are often improvised. I can't find any better definition of the music on these but Minimalist Space Fusion. The next two tracks: La Mattina Dopo and Commedia are similar and are highly impressive, especially the former. I would have called it Caravan in Space, as it features amazing sounds of varied Eastern stringed instruments and congas and is filled with the spirit of oriental music. The last track, Fuga dal Sapere, is the only up-tempo piece on the album, but it's not a fugue and can hardly be related to Classical music in general. There are only sequenced solos of piano intermixed with real, performed ones, and all of this is Minimalist electronically symphonic music.
Conclusion. The music here is unique, just as everything by Nema Niko, though originality is perhaps the only major virtue of their second effort, at least from a classic progressive standpoint. This would be a very good album until it would be compared to its predecessor. I wish the band would return to their progressive roots, while this stuff is mainly destined only to those into experimental space music.
VM: May 26, 2005
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