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LaZona - Le Notti Difficili CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.35 | 23 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars LaZona is the vehicle for the ever-prolific Fabio Zuffanti's post-rock orientations. His colorful curiosity as a writer and performer eventually had to drive him to a project such as this one, and here it goes, LaZona's album "Le Notti Difficili". This is essentially a post-rock album, no way around it, but you can tell that the musicians involved have a solid prog rock pedigree , since the repertoire is far beyond a mere copycat of what Sigur Ros, Mogwai or Tortoise do: it has a very stylish finesse that can only come from a serious concern of bringing a sense of majesty to the standard of post-rock. 'Solitudini' kicks off the album with an extremely low-pitched synthetic layer, gradually becoming a source of cosmic introspection as the guitar states Spartan chords. The soft cosmic atmosphere turns quite steady through the almost unnoticeable crescendo that is taking place, and it is only when the trombone's first lines show that the increasing momentum is quite explicit. Once the trombone and the eerie keyboard layers settle in for good, the whole atmosphere resembles an integral combination of Cluster and Sigur Ros' majestic side, with a proper touch of musique concrete used for good effect in terms of ambience (not disturbance). The multiple guitar ornaments and the spaceship-like synth sounds enhance the concrete element in a very controlled fashion as the trombone displays its final evocative lines right into the starting point of track 2, 'Il Babau'. This one has a more defined framework to it, while retaining the cosmic connection with the opener. It takes 5 minutes before the drummer stops providing occasional cymbal whispers and states a proper rhythmic dynamics, and that is when the main motif blossoms in a most captivating way. This one might as well described as David Lynch OST- meets-Mogwai, with a touch of dense electronics a-la Experimental Audio Research. 'Il Sogno della Scala' is the longest piece in the album, lasting a little more than of an hour. It is also the most patently intense track: it has a slowly growing crescendo - as usual - marked by a solidly pounding bass line - which is unusual by now -, eventually leading to a storm of sound properly dominated by the guitar and built up by the mellotron washes. During the intro part, the choir effect brings a Romanic-meet-s Gothic mood to the overall atmosphere, as if it were the announcement of something ceremonious that is about to happen. Once the rocking section settles in, you can tell that the ceremonious event that was waiting to happen turned out to be quite explosive, with a magnetism that doesn't counter but refurbishes the album's general introspection into a different level. When it's the turn for the trombone solo, the energy of things tones down a bit of its explicitness, gradually as always, within the atmospheric flare developed in the integral instrumental delivery. There is even some flirtation with jazzy stuff in the rhythm section's department. This detail is in fact important for the connection intended between this track and the following one, the closure 'Equivalenza'. Lasting a tad less than 8 minutes, this one is heavily focused on a double set of monologues with the instrumental work serving as some sort of background. It is not totally a background, really, since the elaboration of layers and the development of spacey moods trace a meticulous musical work all the way through. A majestic variation of post-rock, this is what you can expect from LaZona.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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