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Braen's Machine - Underground CD (album) cover

UNDERGROUND

Braen's Machine

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.95 | 12 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Who doesn't like a mystery?! Vintage Seventies psychedelic and proto-RPI group Braen's Machine was shrouded in it, a studio collective comprised of a duo that went by the names of Braen and Gisteri. In reality they were two soundtrack composers - Alessandro Alessandroni, a frequent collaborator of legendary scorer Ennio Morricone, and Oronzo De Filippi, and their contributions were overseen by a further composer, Piero Umiliani. The pieces found on this collection were culled from thousands of recording sessions that took place at Umiliani's studios in the early Seventies for the purpose of being used in films, and the all-instrumental `Underground' from 1971 is assortment of cool grooving acid rock improvisations, trippy psychedelic jams and sound-collage experimentations that is sure to be of interest to collectors of both film scores of the period and the early movements of the artier Italian rock bands of that decade.

Infectious but fleeting opener `Fying' is am up-tempo rock n' roller with no shortage of bouncing bass, peppy drumming and chiming electric guitar splinters, and `Imphormal' is a slinking psychedelic jam of shimmering effects and fuzzy acid-guitar wailing backed to a relentless beat. The nightmarish `Murder' heads into Goblin-esque territory with its stalking bass, jagged staccato piano stabs and faraway rumbling drum fills to bring a creeping tension, `Gap' whips into a frenzy of Popul Vuh-like ethnic percussion mantras and `More'-era Pink Floyd headiness with its incessant drum chases and strangled acid rock guitar soloing, and those Floydian touches carry on into (slightly tedious) `Militar Police', only grafted to unrelenting militaristic drumming.

The flip-side's `New Experiences' meets at the crossroads of late Sixties Pink Floyd and the early King Crimson improvisations, drifting with echoing spacey effects, mellow electric piano tip-toes and drowsy guitar tendrils all chilling out together. `Fall Out' brings a mellow funk with scuzzy guitar soling, rambunctious drumming and lovely electric piano shivers, `Obstinacy' is a skittering jazzy pysch freak-out of runaway electric piano dashes duelling with humming organ over the top of pulsing bass, and closer `Description' wraps on a final run of chilled psych rock with a nice urgent sprint in its final moments.

Sure it's dated and some will find much of the LP a little samey, but for those wanting to add a perhaps less important but still fascinating, addictive and thoroughly worthwhile title to their collection will be in for a gentle and tasty treat with this one. `Underground' occasionally calls to mind the earlier albums of Italian rock bands of the period before they truly headed in more adventurous progressive directions such as Osanna, Nuova Idea and the New Trolls, as well as reminding of embryonic Italian psych-rock acts like I Raminghi, Laser and The Underground Set alongside many others.

On the surface it seems like just a cool psychedelic party background soundtrack, but dig a little closer with plenty of re-spins and `Underground' reveals itself to be a damn fine psychedelic record that frequently reaches even further.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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