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Claudio Rocchi - Suoni di Frontiera CD (album) cover

SUONI DI FRONTIERA

Claudio Rocchi

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.95 | 3 ratings

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Guldbamsen
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Site and Forum Admin
3 stars Shape-shifting

There are artists out there who shape-shift - metamorphose into something completely different than what they started out as. Pink Floyd did so - King Crimson continue to do as well, and well I could go on and on, but I guess you already know where I'm going with this. Often these acts shed their worn out shells like one of those migrating sea snails that trade in their empty portable houses for a new one every time they grow too big for the old one. Maybe music is not that different, and perhaps these artists simply grow out of their former sonic house, replacing it with a brand spanking new one with balcony and silver showers to boot.

I actually don't know what happens, and maybe the musicians have no clue either, all I know is that I was completely caught off guard, when I purchased this Claudio Rocchi release. The other albums I've got in my collection of his, which incidentally also are his earlier efforts, are Indian themed psychedelic excursions. They are RPI at heart with a strong penchant for earthy and warm sounding instruments, such as wooden styled conga drums and lots of acoustic guitars - bringing with them a certain whiff of the Italian folk music roots. Then I popped this album on the stereo, and I dropped my coffee-mug and jaw simultaneously. Talk about a change in style! It was like finding out your mother actually is Eva Braun, and she secretly enjoys shooting zebras on cold African nights as long as she's got enough heroin and avant guarde schlager music to go with it.

This album is a progressive electronic one. There are no hints to the Rocchi of old - no folky acoustic guitars nor floating psychedelic sections with beautiful choral mellotron bursts. Here we get buzzing, iron fisted swarms of electronica. The mood is grim and soulless - reverberating inside this huge metallic orb. Playing around with all kinds of robotic sounding synthesizers and tape-loops, Rocchi manages to conjure up a heartless and lonesome atmosphere that flies around the listener as huge wailing bees - praying to the eternal bee gods to let them keep their amber coloured gold to themselves. This is a goodbye to the Hare Krishna inspired path of his old albums. There is a distinct emptiness of the mid 70s unfolding here - a so called reality check bringing all those fantastic artistic dreams down to the ground. There were still people fighting in the streets, poverty, injustice, war, famine and every other downfall of humanity they'd been facing before the dreamy 60s. Somehow this lack of faith, or whatever one wishes to call it, is all over this outing. The synths sound like cold winter and forgotten dreams.

Even so, there's still a very good album hiding underneath all this misery. If you're able to come to terms with this rather remarkable shift in style, you will hear an adventurous affair that puts all of the aforementioned human pitfalls under a sonic microscope. Well at least that's what it sounds like to me. Rocchi utilizes tape-loops in a unique way, that I have grown increasingly fond of, where they seem to grow in size and sound with every reverberation. They transform into these effervescent spiralling ghost insects buzzing and chirping upwards like an electronic animal discharge. Underneath it all a disturbing unmelodious foundation lurks. It feels malicious and mechanical like it was made up of old despairing machines. They sound like ancient evil vacuum cleaners left for dead - giving off the kind of sounds you get from old buildings at night, when nobody is there.

Suoni di Frontiera translates into The sound of the frontier, and maybe this particular album is the kind of warning you may find in the likes of Brave New World and 1984. I honestly don't know - all I know is that I get a kick out of the cryptic electronics on offer here, that more than anything were forerunners of famous Italian prog electronic artists such as Francesco Bucherri and later with Maurizio Bianchi. It's all here in this record. The unfathomable unmelodious slicing music that tears through flesh and bone with the power and grace of a cannibalistic ballet dancer. 3.5 stars for a dehumanizing journey into the darker and colder parts of the electronic genre.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |

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