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Franco Battiato - Sulle Corde Di Aries CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 120 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Very cool, spacey, folk (or religious) psychedelia--the music a man would make if he were celebrating and supporting a kind of personal 'New Age' spiritual transformation.

1. "Sequenze e frequenze" (16:23) Side One's side-long suite opens with chaotic cacophony of female voices, reed instruments, and sustained volume-pedal-controlled electric guitar chords and notes. In the second half of the second minute this evolves into a synthesizers over a droning note. AT 2:24 a male voice enters singing in a style familiar to me from Roman Catholic High Masses. Beneath the singer the synthesizers begin to shift and evolve their weave. At the four-minute mark percussion, mandola, and synthesizers continue the weave at a fairly quick pace. Though the music feels ethereal and serpentine, it also exudes a kind of ecstatic joy. At the end of the seventh minute the drone has become chopped up like a helicopter's rotors in motion while c(k)alimba and what sounds like an organ and sax play at a loose weave. Quite mesmerizing. And beautiful. The pace seems to quicken--almost like the dance of the Sufi whirling dervishes--as we reach the two-thirds mark before it starts to fade out--all but the chopper drone. A harmonium-like sound adds itself and is then joined by tuned bells (miniature piano? small xylophone?) and calimba to form a new weave--which also builds to a crescendo of volume and frenzy over the final four minutes before finally fading away in the last minute, leaving only the tuned hand percussives playing. Amazing song of invocation and worship. (10/10)

2. "Aries" (5:27) opens with the slow emergence of a single sustained, pulsating, flute-like synthesizer note. Eventually a kind of sequenced set of synth arpeggi support this before every fallls away at the 1:30 mark to allow the entrance of African hand drums, guitar arpeggi and strums and volume pedal-controlled electric guitar notes before echo-chamber-treated "la-la-la-la" vocals enter. After these cease, a wailing saxophone leads the band into an orgiastic climax. Nice celebratory song for members of the Age of Aquarius. (9/10)

3. "Aria di rivoluzione" (5:03) opens with heavily effected guitar and rapid-echo-treated solo voice. The vocal sounds almost sacred, ritualistic, perhaps from some Arabic tradition (though it is sung in Italian). The recorded talking voice of a woman speaking in German (Jutta Nienhaus) is interjected in the place of the choruses while being accompanied by violoncello. Nice little contemplative soli occur in the "C" instrumental part over hand percussives, first from volume-pedal-controlled electric guitar and synth horn, then from several high pitched reed horns, to the song's end. It would probably mean more to me if I knew what the German recitation meant. (8.5/10)

4. "Da Oriente a Occidente" (6:38) opens like an sing-a-long in an Indian ashram with folk instruments supporting multiple loosely-aligned male vocalists, but then it turns into a kind of "everybody grab an instrument" jam session (only the instrumentalists are all well-trained musicians). Awesomely hypnotic! (9/10)

Five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music (though I'm not sure this fits in with the more typical RPI sounds).

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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