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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Leddi's canvas, Yugen's drawing

This is no coincidence that this is called Yugen Plays Leddi. All music here is composed by him and so do not expect anything like their wonderful Labirinto D'aqua from 2006. In this album Yugen plays the music of Tommaso Leddi, who played in Stormy Six and now plays with the formidable Yugen.

What this album contains is a handful of cheerful music, explorative, experimental, varied in styles and moods, volume and choice of instruments playing and leading each track, diverse in the way its applied in each song, progressive in nature, complex compositions, frivolous and merry, eccentric and beautiful; all of this is found here in abundance. One can find a Miriodor-esque styled perkiness in here in both the compositions and the musicianship along with the use of violin, sax and clarinet.

The sound here is not as 'drowning' and immersing the listener as in their first album "Labirinto D'acqua" where the rich and 'symphonic'-like style was the equivalent of a wall of sounds tumbling down upon the listener. It is a more laid back affair, with a more airy sound, more fragile in nature. There are instances when the music reminds somewhat of what we heard from Yugen before, such as on track 7, "Sviluppi". There's also a feeling of being in a country side, enjoying life with a good bottle of wine and cheese when listening to such a track as "Campo". "Colonia" presents a conceived theme around which the band improvises, particularly towards the end of its more than 8 minute length, but never going over the top, and in the procedure showing again their skills as musicians. Appearing towards the end of the album is the "Uova Fatali" suite (tracks 8-12) is remarkable in its form; a disjointed and complex structure and rhythm is at the basis of this 5 parts piece with contributions from the various musicians as the lead instruments, all mingled up. Each part continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, adding a component of its own and presenting a slightly different approach, all the while keeping with the same spirit and remaining in the same frame.

The instrumentation is as varied as the sounds portrayed in the album, though the lineup isn't as big as in the previous album. Nine musicians are given credit here, and there is the (usual) split between acoustic and electric giving them the required breadth to create the variety mentioned above, although not as full blown 'symphonic' as it was in "Labirinto D'acqua". We will probably have to wait for their next "proper" album for that to happen.

Overall, there is subtlety here, tenderness even that seems to be at the core of the tunes here ("Escher" and "Piani" are good examples) alongside occasional eerie and awkward instances ("Abisso" for instance).

Yugen draws very well the musical landscape that Leddi has in his mind and manages to convey quite a different experience than its previous release. This release shows Yugen's abilities to play various styles and do it very well, proving again how skilled they are and how wide their musical vision is. For me, this is a more challenging album than their first one; while it is perhaps more accessible, it does not posses the charm "Labirinto D'acqua" has, but then again it's not supposed to as this is a different 'beast' altogether. For those who liked the first Yugen, be prepared for something different. On its own, this is an intriguing listening experience and worth your time if you like this type of music style.

3.5 stars in PA rating

Report this review (#203940)
Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
3 stars There's no change about YUGEN's unique and flexible play.

This Uova Fatali (Fatal Eggs) is the second play by YUGEN (YUGEN PLAYS LEDDI), previously Tommaso Leddi has played as one of the members of STORMY SIX. Please forgive me for not having heard STORMY SIX's version and in my humble opinion I could enjoy this album with their freely-formed style. Regretfully this work is not so luxurious as their previous one Labirinto D'aqua- the mixture of chamber music and rock, but I appreciate that they could shoot exactly their progressive way, with their remarkably flexible style and sound. We can find their strong way in each part (song). Fighting unreservedly with eccentric piano plays, violin screechs, and so on is in Abisso. And we surely can give a chuckle to the third part Campo with full of folkish canzone flavour. On the other hand, avantgarde strings, horns, and piano can get the free world in Labirinto D'aqua... Mattarello is a guerrilla war and, after the hard war, calm and soft air named Piani should come to us. This contrast is highly impressive. Wanna say Uova Fatali Suite is the main dish with eggs. Although everyone has another feeling, I always have an impression of a cock-a-doodle-doo, a rooster's jumpin', an egg's rollin', and its being broken and scattered.

Welcome to an avant-progressive chicken and egg farm. :-)

Report this review (#214325)
Posted Friday, May 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, just a short little bit about this album. As the other reviewers have already said, this sure isn't anything like Yugen's first offering. In fact, I don't think you could tell they're the same band if you listened to them back to back.

But, this is glorious music. I respect a band (I personally know how hard this is to do) for picking up, and changing direction - especially out of respect to such an unheralded artist as is Leddi (and Stormy Six for that matter.) The interplay between instruments is humorous and grand. The production is modern, therefore maybe a bit sterile , but very, very clean and precise.

Since I have just been blown away by the RIO stuff for the last year or so, this is a welcome addition to the Yugen catalogue!

Thank you Yugen for giving so much to such a fine composer. And, as always, THANKS to Progarchives for existing!

Report this review (#234796)
Posted Monday, August 24, 2009 | Review Permalink

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