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Pensiero Nomade - Da Nessun Luogo CD (album) cover

DA NESSUN LUOGO

Pensiero Nomade

 

Crossover Prog

3.78 | 11 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pensiero Nomade is a relatively recent project, marshaled by former Germinale guitarist and composer Salvo Lazarra, a resident of the Eternal City of Rome, who decided in 2008 to forge a new path, certainly far removed from the conventional RPI School of prog. The accent here is on more experimental surfaces, infusing modern electronic soundscapes that would be closer to one of Fabio Zuffanti's many projects called Rohmer or even other more sonic acts that search to stretch the musical envelope. Another foremost attraction for me was the presence of Davide Guidoni, a masterful percussionist and drummer who has graced his craft on albums as diverse as Daal, Taproban, Gallant Farm, Nuova Era and many others. He is a fabulously creative musician who is at the top of his art and a total treat to follow. Add to that list , Greenwall's keyboardist Andrea Pavoni, as well as a slew of additional guests and you get a real solid package.

That being all said and stated for the record, this recording is not an easy walk in the park, no hint of simplistic or accessible fare that will have you humming as you walk the pooch. Quite the contrary, the major challenge here will be to follow the course set by the musicians and understand how the sounds affect each listener individually and collectively. There is a vast arsenal of electronic instruments that seem to form the foundational core of the material, making this a very modern, I daresay futuristic album. The day starts with the yawning cool rays of the Roman sun slowly permeating the ancient stones and its more recent concrete progeny, the solely coalescing jumble of people waking up and getting to work, becoming slightly hectic and rapidly, maddening like only the Italians can master. Davide's stunning stick work combines both percussion and thumping drum patterns, giving Salvo Lazarra all the rhythmic support he needs to infuse bass rumbles and churning guitar phrasings while keyboard men Pavoni and Fabio Anile hammer their insistent piano like some car horn gone berserk, the stretching synths gloriously heating up a blaze of sound and fury.

The tension remains constant ("A Tensione Costante") introduces Alessandro Toniolo's lavish flute into the mix, as the guitar smokes lustily forward, drum fills and constantly screeching tension amid the trumpets and the Midi horns. The overall feel is intense, very urban and quite chaotic. The citizens have arrived at their workplaces and offices, thus the daily toil begins, a human interface of greetings, shrugs and gossip while getting the espresso machine to ramp up production. Guidoni seems to be the only only holding the fort, as all the instruments play to their own bubble. It's quite amazing!

Farther and harder, ("Piu Lontano, Piu Forte") the mood now settles into a groove that focuses on the daily grind of creative thought and mindless execution, the predilection to detail and the obligations of the clock. Singer Michela Botti kicks in with unabashed passion, a passionate plea that resonates amid the bruising drum patterns and jungle-thick percussives. Luca Pietropaoli rampages wildly on his trumpet as the theme reaches a frenzy of enormous proportions.

Nothing, finally ("Niente, Finalmente") is really difficult for these effortless musicians as the mood veers into even more angular territories, lathered in dissonance and rinsed in oblique noises and sounds, only to be kept in line by Botti's recitative voice. The experimentation is laudable, creating an audio soundtrack of some absurd Fellini-esque production, burdened up with slick electronics that actually possess an organic sheen. Hypnotic and bizarre. The faraway trumpet blares some innocent supplication and suddenly, it all fades into silence.

Looking out from the corner of one's eye ("La Coda dell'occhio"), the mood becomes even more solemn, as splashy cymbals and decorative drum punctuation recall some semblance of control, while Botti's voice travels along some impractical road. Contrasting is a slick electric sizzle that is buried under the mix, like some grating chainsaw having a hard time slicing through mahogany. A move many a guitarist will applaud! Sounds like a guitar synth but I may be incorrect; whatever, it's brilliant!

From nowhere ("Da Nessun Luogo"), the imposing and impressive 13 minute+ title track then pierces the thick clouds, a ray of piano sunshine assaulting the Venetian blinds and permeating the inner sanctum. Master Guidoni lays down a heartbeat, corralled by a lush cymbal alliance and his 'famous gongs', egged on by Lazzara's scintillating touch guitar and an impenetrable electronic tropical forest of sounds. Highly investigatory and intrepid, the wretched piano maintains the melancholic pace, carrying the theme on a sonic road to nowhere. Michela Botti then offers 'private pain', a universe of thoughts, trepidation, memories and fears that need to be articulated, come hell or high water (as they say in Venice). Lost love, lost soul. The massive binary beat remains along for the ride, a barely beating historic song that survives the ages. Salvo then carves a noodling guitar solo that proves his talent once and for all to notice, sweetly oozing all the hurt of the universe.

The lost verse ("Il Verso che non Trovo") provides the platform for a vocal duet between Botti and Andrea Pavoni that will elevate the mood to unreal heights, especially the female voice that hits the loftiest registers with impunity. Heavily concussive drums, drizzling piano and intense electronics all combine to drive this beast forward, amid moving walls of synthesized orchestrations. Dense and tense.

None of us could have imagined what was smoldering beneath this happiness ("L'Apparente Allegria") chooses to , once again, enter uncharted territory, with overt wah-wah drenched electronic guitar licks to conduct the show, clanging shadows and urban noise, an attractive trumpet blare and a plethora of amazing aural trickeries that entice and seduce. Modern, odd, strange and yet very real.

Seeking out the deep-sunken eyes ("Cercalo in Fondo Agli Occhi") is the highly poetic finale of a troubled and tired soul, waiting for the day to end, ready for slumber and a return to daily routine tomorrow. The day is done, a lot was achieved and yet? Ringing acoustic guitars tuck the weary soul into the warm comfort of the bed, pillows as companions and dreams as entertainment.

Definitely a challenging listen that will require personal markers to guide through the maelstrom of ideas and sounds, a lush and luxuriant package that will undoubtedly continue to challenge the audiophile, even after multiple listens. Who says I like only the simple stuff?

4 Travelling thoughts

tszirmay | 4/5 |

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