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

DIO DIO MIO, CHE COSA ABBIAMO FATTO

Il Babau & i maledetti cretini

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
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.

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#226020)
Posted Saturday, July 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Todd
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Rock Progressivo Italiano!
4 stars Great modern RPI

First off, I refer you to the excellent comprehensive review of this album by Jim Russell (Finnforest). Once again, he has brought to light another marvelous gem from the fertile Italian fields. This band combines a thoroughly modern approach and infuses it with shades and temperament that recall the RPI glory days of the 1970s. Their sense of drama, intensity, and tendency toward schizophrenia (mellow passages followed by loud intensity, then back to mellow) call to mind SEMIRAMIS, although only in spirit, not in sound.

Contrasting IL BABAU to another wonderful contemporary band, IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA, IL BABAU is much more modern in terms of minimalism--often they build on a groove, usually begun with simple bass and drums, sometimes with a strummed guitar or gentle atomspheric organ. This builds in intensity until climaxing and then returning to a calmer sound. However, although partaking of the ame RPI spirit, IL BACIO also utilizes 1970s complex compositions and instrumentation. IL BABAU prefers emphasizing the raw emotion, letting complexity and virtuosity fall by the wayside.

This is a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable work, one that deserves far more attention. This is recommended espcially to adventurous RPI fans who don't shy away from a modern approach. Strict traditionalists can probably skip this one. Four stars!

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Send comments to Todd (BETA) | Report this review (#239272)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is one of the most interesting albums i've heard for a while. It's dark and a little schizoid at times but I find it so uplifting for reasons i'm not able to express. I did think this was a seventies release when I first heard it and so yes I was surprised to find out this was released in 2003.You can read Jim's review for to understand what this album is about lyrically. Since the vocals are in Italian my focus is completely on the music.

"Antro" opens with gentle acoustic guitar then it starts to build 1 1/2 minutes in. It's still slowly building as we get vocal melodies before 4 minutes then spoken vocals. Bass and drums start to lead. Strummed guitar ends it. "Il Babau" opens with percussion and a dark mood. It's heavier a minute in with drums and guitar while the vocals follow.That intro soundscape is back after 5 minutes with people whispering in the background this time. It then kicks in hard after 6 minutes. Nice. "Coda" opens with laid back guitar as loud percussion sounds come in. Whispered vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. It turns a litle chaotic a minute later. We then get a calm with organ and solemn vocals.

"I Maledetti Cretini" is pleasant to start with guitar, percussion and cymbals. Drums and bass after a minute then vocals as it turns darker. It kicks in after 2 minutes with theatrical vocals. I like the low end sounds. Intense stuff until before 6 minutes when it calms back down. "Quella Di Vincenzo" features acoustic guitar and deep bass lines early then the piano joins in followed by reserved vocals.The vocals become higher pitched 2 minutes in. This is so good as contrasts are continued. My fav track. "Awiamento Con Resistenze Rotoriche" starts with percussion, guitar and drums. Whispered vocals before 2 minutes. It turns heavy and abrasive 2 1/2 minutes in. The tempo picks up 4 minutes in. Great sound ! It picks up even more 4 1/2 minutes in including the vocals. What a great way to end the album.

A must for the adventerous who like music on the darker side. This is brilliant ! Thanks Todd

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#308250)
Posted Thursday, November 04, 2010 | Review Permalink

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