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CRAC !

Area

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.22 | 252 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Area was one of the more unique Italian bands of the 1970s. Their sound is a cross between Fusion and Avant-Prog. Although there is some folky, funky and electronic elements as well. Demetrio Stratos is the band's most well known member. His background is Greek and he was born in Egypt. He plays keyboards and percussion but what he is most famous for is his vocals. His vocals are like a mix of Elvis and Tarzan. Very unique and talented singer.

Crac! is the band's third album and it is slightly more accesible than the first two. But it's still crazier than a lot of prog albums at the time. "Area 5" is a short avant piece that consists mostly of dissonant piano with some weird vocals, bass, drums and guitar. It was a wise decision to put it at the end of the album. "Gioia e Rivoluzione", on the other hand, is almost radio-friendly. Only some of the vocals are weird and uncommercial. The music itself is upbeat and folky, almost with a poppy country flavour to it.

"L'elefante Bianco" starts off with piano and vocals. The synth and guitar playing has a Middle- Eastern influence. "La Mela di Odessa" has tuned percussion at the beginning. It then goes into a very fusion-y part. Some wordless vocals. After 3 1/2 minutes it gets funky with some horns and stays that way for the rest of the song. "Implosion" is another highlight. Nice organ solo. I don't like the way it fades out too soon. "Megalopoli" begins with synthesizer noises with double-tracked vocals from Demetrio. Overdubbed drum rolls appear. It goes into a part with crazy drumming and some cool bass and electric piano. Some gibberish vocals. After 3 minutes there is a nice synth solo. After 5 minutes there is a long bass solo. Around 7 minutes the gibberish vocals come back.

This does not sound like your typical RPI stuff. At the same time it's too avant to be fusion and too jazzy to be Avant-Prog. Area are a group that can't be pigeonholed. This may or may not be their best album but it is a great place to start. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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