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Il Babau & i maledetti cretini - Dio Dio Mio, Che Cosa Abbiamo Fatto CD (album) cover


Il Babau & i maledetti cretini


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 11 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Observations on the confrontation of fear

"dio Dio mio, che cosa abbiamo fatto" (God, my God what have we done!)

On a recent summer Tuesday I had a very good day. Every June I take a Tuesday off to drive across town and take my Mom to the outdoor farmer's market and then lunch for her birthday. It is great to sleep in and spend a day living rather than working. And precious to be able to visit the old neighborhood and reset a connection. As I was about to leave, the day got even better-a package in the mail from Italy! It arrived just as I was heading out for a long drive, perfect timing on their part. The day was cloudy and cool, but not raining, perfect weather for cranking some loud prog. And Il Babau's disc, a pure expression of musical freedom, was a great soundtrack for that ride. It pulled my mind away from the hassle of driving in a busy metropolis, for a brief time it made the desire to kill the other drivers go away. It made me float, glaze over nicely, and lock into this band's amazing groove.

It's so hard to do justice to their sound with words: using no fancy games, they create long and seemingly repetitive rhythms with the guitar chords, bass and drums. I say "seemingly" because there are plenty of wonderful intricacies in the playing for those truly listening. The bass lines can be rolling in the back or suddenly come forward with a lead bit. Keys and piano are tastefully used throughout although this album is primarily a guitar album. It's an interesting mix between hypnotic-drone-weaving exploration on the one side, and no-nonsense post-punk on the other. It can careen from yelled choruses of bravado to serene and soothing ritual organ/chant without any difficulty. The vocals are used in unconventional ways, sometimes singing, other times creating mood with various chant-like sounds or unnerving phrasings. It can be a rambling but fascinating example of just how incredibly expressive and moving a deliberate study of guitar-scapes can be, beautifully set off by clever percussion and core strangeness. This is ritual music, sweating beads of psych freedom on a speeding motorcycle through the southwest desert under noon sun, staring at the vast horizon. This is "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun." This is Osanna's "Palepoli" in spirit. With some bits of Throbbing Gristle. Sonic Youth. Lou Reed. The creative heart of classic Italian progressive is present but in the guise of something much more modern, grittier, and more economical. This is a far more interesting musical direction to my taste than the countless bands trying to sound like the popular prog-rock/pop flavors of the moment. An examination of inner dialogue presented in conversations between sounds (that's what it sounds like to a person who doesn't understand the Italian language.)

The themes of "dio Dio mio" lie in the struggle between man's fears and the consequences of rising up to "destroy" the source of those fears, an interesting topic in the world we live in today. This is the main 4-part suite "Tetralogia" which is followed by an "ironic love song" (Quella di Vincenzo) and "a passage from a bucolic-rural surroundings with traditional Japanese influences to an industrial-alienating-noisy factory" (Avviamento con resistenze rotoriche). The long suite is particularly beautiful songwriting, flowing and otherwordly but completely holding the attention of the listener. Their influences range from Barrett-era Floyd to early Sabbath, Popol Vuh, 70s RPI and soundtracks, and the work of Dino Buzzati and Poe. They describe themselves as "regressive rock" but I certainly find the work to be progressive, fusing elements of the past into an exciting fork in the road for today's music fan. Take it.

The band began in 2000 and despite losing some members after this 2003 release, they continue with a new line-up and a project forthcoming on Edgar Allen Poe. In their own words they describe best the future project: "we tell you a story with a soundtrack. Imagine, a voice recount "the tell-tale heart" (as example) supported by guitar-drum-keyboard-noises, all curried with a sort of theatrical attitude. Our last shows cover three tales (the tell-tale heart, the mask of red death & The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar) for 1 hour and 15 minutes of non-stop music." For now, if you want to buy their stark 2003 album, visit their myspace linked from their artist page here and you will see their vendor info. An absolute stunner in my eyes that reveals new visions in my head with every listen.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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