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Stranafonia - Stranafonia CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars If you love Filoritmia and D.F.A., take note!

Today is a day to remedy an unfortunate oversite which occurred in 2008, a busy year in modern RPI. In that year Stranafonia released their 3rd album which was not only overlooked here but on many other music websites as well. Tis' a shame for this is one fine album which deserved much more attention. While I've only heard samples of their two previous albums it seems quite obvious that "Tre" is a significant leap in maturity and vision. This is a talented trio of finesse who on this work recall Lagartija, DFA, and Filoritmia. They could resemble the Aja era smooth chops of Steely Dan through the filter of their own prog and psych tendencies, all the time draped in an Italian marinade courtesy of those warm vocals and melodic piano sections.

Noting their home base as Bologna on their MS page, the guys list influences like Baudelaire, Pink Floyd, Robert Fripp, Alberto Fortis, Area, Matching Mole, Walt Whitman, Fabrizio DeAndrč, Genesis, and Gentle Giant. Their last web activity seems to date to 2010 so I hope this band has not called it a day.

Here you have a trio who come close (though not quite) to the chops of a DFA or Dan yet fall somewhere between in approach. While very capable and nimble musicians who effortlessly slide into jazz-rock territory they do not stay in long instrumental jams like DFA. They prefer a shorter songs-based approach with vocals both skillfully arranged and pleasing on the ears. A bit of their 60-70s prog/psych/pop affections along with a casual and unpretentious love of experimentation bleeds into the material. The result comes off as a very fresh take on modern RPI. What appeals most to me is that the chops are not mired in heaviness and noise, rather, there is a lightness and beauty and "space to breathe" inhabiting every track. There is clear RPI beauty in the piano passages and some very light avant touches without things ever going off the rails. Highly listenable to any rock fan, the album's tracks feel cohesive and provide a satisfying listening experience.

"this is not the place for sterile regressions in an ideal golden age, rather we are in the presence of a genuine search. Often led by guitar sometimes biting which stands threateningly over rhythmic pressing, the Stranafonia reveal similarities between classicism sometimes decadent and a psychedelic soft and never intrusive. They also rediscover the roars of the early '70s progressive, the chaotic aspirations of the great festival season, an escape to the east and a gradual jazz." -Arlequins (translated clumsily, apologies, but you'll get the drift)

I feel great regret that I missed championing this album in 2008 and apologize to the band for the oversite. The bands website linked here has a player with lots of samples. I strongly suggest you get to know Stranafonia. You may be kicking yourself as I am today. Let's hope the story is not over for them. 3 1/2 stars rounding up.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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