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Nichelodeon - Cinemanemico CD (album) cover





3.48 | 9 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With a talented multi-task artist such as Claudio Milano, two core members of that R.I.O. new wonder called Yugen and a synthetist educated in the field of avant-garde music, Nichelodeon has all the tools necessary to produce and perform top quality avant-prog music. And so they do for this album "Cinemanemico", which is a series of tracks delivered in the context of a 2007 performance. Even though this music meets its complete meaning as part of a bigger environment, the amounts of creativity and energy portrayed in this repertoire make it clear that the sole listener gains much with this anti-pop experience. The album kicks off with a magnificent 'Fame', whose instant energy is properly manifested by the precise angry piano chords and creepy ornaments on guitar and synth, while Milano displays his peculiar singing in a most engaging way. Some playful falsettos make him sound like a demented clown trapped in a non-sensical world - very Dadaistic indeed! The extravagant atmosphere is well defined, even when near the end the sonic scheme becomes a bit calmer. 'La mosca stregata' is a brief instrumental piece rooted in the minimalistic side of 20th Century avanti-garde, an eerie prelude to the masterfuly crafted beauty of 'Lascia ch'io pianga' - originally a Haendel piece, in the hands of Nichelodeon it becomes a clever exercise of focused tension in which the aura of subtlety dominates over the display of neurosis (and let's make it clear that the neurotic vibe is presently real, as well). The last moments of 'Lascia ch'io pianga' are drowned in a semi-nightmarish fog of inscrutable mystery that paves the way for 'Malamore e la Luna', a piece where the marriage of Milano's singing and Fasoli's piano lead the manifestation of romantic vulnerability and threatening unease. While the song goes on building up to its climax, the airs of magic and tragedy intertwine fluidly through this particularly elegant elaboration of sonic tension Nichelodeon-style. The combination of vulnerability and power in this track is simply formidable, making it a definitive highlight in the album. In many ways, the follow-up track entitled 'Amanti in guerra' picks up where 'Malamore e la Luna' had left, although it goes to denser places. 'La torre più alta', which lasts a tad less than 10 minutes, is arguably the most explicitly ambitious item in the album's tracklist. Starting with Milano engaged in wild Tarzan cries (as if being possessed by the ghost of Demetrio Stratos), the instrumental ensemble gets involved in a robust framework of dissonant orchestrations and chiaroscuro textures; the synth stops being preferentially cosmic and shifts to a more pompous orientation, in this way becoming a lead instrument (at least, occasionally). The interlude that settles in before the 4 minute mark evokes a reflective mood that manages to instill a tenuous spirituality among the storming architecture. This song, being a expression of perfect amalgamation of the gothic, the Dadaist and the Expressionist, meets a perfect culmination in the dreamily chaotic coda. A piece like this would have been a highlight in any early Art Zoyd album, or an Opus Avantra one. Next comes 'Ciò che rimane', which capitalizes on the preceding track's splendor for a 7 ½ minute duration. The use of some lyrical passages makes this track less obviously tortured. Mysterious and low-paced, 'Flower of innocence' is filled with full washes of cerebral spirituality wrapped in a constrained environment (very minimalistic), before the arrival of 'Disegnando cattedrali di cellule Pt.II', which bears a more stately elaboration of sound and theatrical moods. During 9 ¼ minutes, 'Disegnando.' has plenty of room to continue exploring the band's most spacey side, which serves to efficiently complete our perception of Nichelodeon's postmodernist musical ideology. 'Il ladro di giochi' occupies the last 7'50" of "Cinemanemico", delivering a solid recapitulation of romantic, creepy and cosmic textures that by now are totally familiar to the attentive listener. Beware the false ending: after the 4 ¼ minute mark, comes a moment of silence followed by an industrially minimalistic coda, very much akin to chamber electronics. "Cinemanemico" is an excellent achievement of avant- garde music created on the margins of progressive rock's most cerebral trends - Nichelodeon dearly dignifies the idea of bringing the abstract notions of postmodernist art into the area of current experimental rock.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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