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LO SCEMO E IL VILLAGGIO

Delirium

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After minor changes DELIRIUM headed for a more symphonic edge than displayed in their debut album, but still retaining it original charm and character. Once again a wide range of influences prevails on DELIRIUM's early albums with stronger and a slight harder edge. The dominance of flute and tenor sax on this album mixes superbly with the increased fusion tension explored within. Songs are highly melodic with excellent vocals and group choir like contributions. Songs however symphonic are still quite jazzy and full of syncopation timing. Overall a scrumptious little album from early golden early 70's.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#18603)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars A perfect mix of jazz, Italian ethnic music, rock and even psychedelic and symphonic moments. Some instrumentals tracks, other have the usual good unusual Italian vocals, some quiet and pleasant moments to great progressive moments, the jazz element is very present in a balanced way. In fact sometimes similar to Bloco Mentale and even to Quela Vechia Locanda but in my opinion, Delirium is probably better than both. "La Mia Pazzia" is an awesome song. Another beautiful thriller record and if you like me, loves the Italian scene, this is an awesome art piece.

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Send comments to Rafael In Rio (BETA) | Report this review (#37178)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The second work released in 1972 "Lo Scemo E Il Villaggio". A powerful performance of the free jazz adds a new expression to the sound. A progressive expression such as extreme changes in the sound collage and the volume appears, too. There is a symphonic uplift feeling, too. It is a fine work in which an avant-garde attempt succeeds.

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Send comments to braindamage (BETA) | Report this review (#71466)
Posted Wednesday, March 08, 2006 | Review Permalink
andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After their debut album "Dolce acqua" and some commercial singles ("Jesahel", "Haum" and "Treno" - in my opinion weak, but very successful), vocalist and flutist Ivano Fossati went solo and Martin Grice stepped in. With a renewed line up now featuring Mimmo Di Martino (guitar, vocals), Ettore Vigo (keyboards, vocals), Marcello Reale (bass, vocals), Peppino Di Santo (drums, percussion, vocals) and Martin Grice (flute, sax, keyboards, vocals) the band turned back to prog and in 1972 released "Lo scemo e il villaggio" (The fool and the village), their second album, a kind of "concept" about "foolishness and reason", where the fool is someone that always finds a way to tell the truth. In my opinion in this album you can't find the spontaneity and freshness of Delirium's debut, anyway the music is rather good and the band blend folk, jazz and prog rock with remarkable results.

The opener "Villaggio" (Village) is an excellent instrumental with a great piano and flute work and a joyful, complex rhythm. Every now and again it reminds me of Le Orme, Jethro Tull and ELP. Well, many influences blended together in a very personal, convincing way. This is also my favourite track on this album.

"Tremori antichi" (Ancient shudders) is an amazing, dreamy acoustic ballad about the absurdity of war. The snow falls down and covers the blood of the dead soldiers after Marathon battle, in the same way men too easily forget the tears of the women who have been waiting in vain longtime for the return of their lovers and husbands. For a thousand years, battle after battle, war after war, it's always been the same endless story... "Under the fog of ancient shudders / The clash of the swords awoke me / I begun to scream like a child / And someone shouted at me that I was mad / The lips of the wise men shouted in my face that they liked to see the rising sun in a blood-red colour...". The singing of Mimmo De Martino is not bad at all but here I miss a bit the particular voice of Ivano Fossati.

"Gioia, disordine, risentimento" (Joy, disorder and resentment) is a complex piece where the band try to blend tarantella, prog and avant-garde. It's a song about social inequality and the lyrics depict the contrast between slums of tin houses and the threatening power of money. Although I find this experiment interesting, it is not completely convincing and in my opinion this is the weakest track on this album. I prefer by far the new arrangement on their live album released in 2007 which gave new life to this track.

The following "La mia pazzia" (My madness) is a joyful track that reminds me of the hit single and best known Delirium's song "Jesahel". Is it madness shouting "Peace!" in the streets or claiming for the right of every man to be equal to others, despite the colour of his skin? Men frequently tell lies to themselves because of their greediness and they disown their own faith because of their evil nature. This is the kind of madness that is described in the lyrics... "Don't look me in the eyes / My madness won't be silent...".

Next comes the beautiful, dreamy "Sogno" (Dream), an instrumental track that recalls the atmospheres of their previous album, with a touch of jazzy sax and piano in the middle section. It leads to "Dimensione uomo" (Dimension man), a a slow ballad with heartfelt vocals floating upon acoustic rhythm guitar patterns and nice piano passages. It's a reflective track that invites you to think about the real value of life in a world that always seems running after death. Isn't it beautiful when peace and love come around? Look at the children and at their ingenuity but do not expect anything from the adults... "Do not ask anything / If you don't want a refusal...".

"Culto Disarmonico" (Dis-harmonic cult) is another good instrumental with sax and drums driving the music towards jazzy paths while the final track "Pensiero per un abbandono" (Thought about an abandonment) is quiet and symphonic. Maybe the real madness of humankind is due to the lack of love that leads to injustice and abuse in the name of God. But the real God for too many people is nothing but money... "Perhaps it's true / I'm mad / I've just understood / That I can't remember a single act of sweetness / Coming from the hands of people...".

On the whole, "Lo scemo e il villaggio" might not be a masterpiece but in my opinion it could be an excellent addition to any Italian prog collection.

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#77643)
Posted Tuesday, May 09, 2006 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Delirium is a classic italian prog act of the seventies who only released three albums plus many singles, some very famous at the time. Lo Scemo e il Villaggio is their second effort and was recorded after the departure of singer-songwriter Ivano Fossati, one of the most important solo artists in Italy, but definitely gone from his prog musical roots. This was not for the band he left who, instead, insisted to explore the vast scenarios of the rising prog genre. They were of the very first in Italy to produce a prog album of such a quality as Dolce Acqua in 1971 along with certains pioneers as Le Orme (Collage), New Trolls (Concerto Grosso) and I Giganti (Terra in Bocca).

With their second release they fix their musical behaviour around two particular keys: jazz/improvisations and symphonic interludes. Other reviewers have pointed out that the main english references could be found in Jethro Tull (for the flute, mainly) and King Crimson (for saxophone, often play a la Islands). They are not too far from reality even if I think the band had (and has) an unique style of approaching the prog scene which is completely different from that it would have been then the traditional italian symphonic mood.

The album's structure is made of the alternating mix between simpler/shorter (and softer - sometimes joyful) ballads with "harder" and more complicated tunes. "Tremori Antichi", "La Mia Pazzia, "Dimensione Uomo" and the closer "Pensiero per un Abbandono" are the warm songs here. The last one is the best in my personal opinion and worthy of special mention for the wonderful melodies, the delicate and poetic lyrics and for the more varied range of keyboards: from classic piano to organ and mellotron. A classic and a special favourite of mine.

On the "hard" side of albums there are more "complex" and long tunes starting with the opener "Villaggio"(5,13 mns) that represents one of the peaks of the album with its jazzy and "Tullian" interludes and colours balanced by organ, sax and a good rythm' section. Unfortunately the rest is not always at the same level and so the final result sounds not completely convincing.

The most "weird" and "proggy" track is "Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento" (7,17 mns) wich starts with a joyful "jingle" soon decaying in darker dissonances and alternating some pauses as it was played live in a local pub. There is in fact the noises and the voices of few customers and fans clapping excited to see the band.

"Sogno" (5,46) reproduces the formula of a strong jazzy injection on sax and even piano in the second half, after a more melodic and "conventional" opening while "Culto Disarmonico" (3,44 mns) is another interesting jazzy "pastiche" that perhaps lacks in some mordant.

In conclusion: two gems and some interesting tunes cannot make the album achieving a complete excellence' status. Nevertheless this is a worth buying and the proof that the sub-genre of "PROG FOLK" doesn't fit for this band.

3.75 stars.

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Send comments to Andrea Cortese (BETA) | Report this review (#97026)
Posted Friday, November 03, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not unlike many Italian prog bands in the 70s, Delirium's origins were part of the beat movement (in the shape of the band I Saggitari). "Lo Scemo e il Villagio" is the band's sophomore effort, which allows Delirium to evolve from its initial pastoral trend. Well, the Mediterranean pastoral factor remains powerfully present in the band's sound, but now the band has grown to be an authentically prog act with augmented elements of symphonic prog, jazz and folk. Influences from jethro Tull and Genesis are easy to notice, although the jazz element should not be dismissed at all, especially since sax/flute player Martin Grice is so featured in the instrumentation and he happens to be an enthusiastic jazz lover when he's not focused on bucolic ambiences. His labor builds a perfect complement for the keyboard harmonies and layers and for the rhythm section, as well. You can tell that the keyboardists, the drummer and the wind player are the main architects of the whole ensemble's sound. The most energetic pieces can remind us of compatriot bands Raccomandata Ricevuta Ritorno and jumbo, while the most relaxed pieces may lean closer to Celeste and "Storia di un Minuto"-era PFM (without equaling their notable academic trends). The final result is a repertoire full of serene beauty and subtle magic, with an abundant colorfulness that shows recurrently, plus an obvious finesse in performances - this particular point keeps Delirium one stage above Jumbo, who prefers to give a rougher approach to their acoustically-oriented prog. 'Villaggio' kicks off the album with an agile combination of pastoral prog and jazz, with pronounced cadences on piano and pertinent sax/flute lines. 'Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento' starts pretty much in the same vein, although the development includes some playful variations with a certain lunatic twist - this may remind us of the jolly passages of BMS's first two albums. This is a well-ordained sonic collage, and it certainly is one of the album's highlights. 'La Mia Pazzia' goes on with this celebratory vibe, while 'Sogno' retreats to calmer moods, albeit preserving that explicit sense of joy provided by the fruition of pastoral and jazz. The delicate sweetness of the ballad 'Tremori Antichi' and the romantic spirituality of 'Dimensioen Uomo' make them oases of reflectiveness in te halbum's repertoire. 'Culto Disarmonico' is yet another special highlight, heavily focused on complex rhythmic patterns in the jazz vein, with the piano and sax alternating polished solos. As a definitive contrast, the following track 'Pensiero per un Abbandono' brings a stylish example of classicist melancholy, perhaps similarly to Procol Harum's most sublime classics. This is a perfect closure for a very beautiful album.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#176456)
Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars DELIRIUM are a band hailing grom Genova,Italy and ''Lo scemo e ill villaggio'' is their second studio release.After an interesting debut release,which had a an evident folk rock sound,the main man of the band Ivano Fossati left the group to purchase a solo career.The new situation alond with the rise of the italian prog rock wave seemed that had an impact to the band as the second release has more obvious progressive leanings...

The album consinst of a total of 8 rather short tracks except the over 7-min ''Gioia..''.The new member of the group is Martin Grice who contributes in vocals,sax and flutes.Don't be sceptic about the different vocal ranges you will hear in this work as all the band members contribute in this section after the departure of Fossati...As for the music,at times it's quite interesting,at other ones it's just average...Despite the progressive path the band has chosen to follow,there are also clear folk traces from the past and pop leanings...Unlike bands like PFM or LE ORME which were more symphonic,DELIRIUM mix various styles of music like pop,jazz,symphonic,folk and ethnic resembling to a sound very close to BLOCCO MENTALE...But,although I trully find BLOCCO MENTALE'S ''Poa'' a masterpiece of prog rock,this one has some flat moments so it can hardly be categorized even as an essential work...I really like some symphonic or jazz passages where the italian music romanticism is obvious and amazing...But,as I have written,there are moments of flat music or passages that work as fillings to my ears...

My general feelings for this album are mixed and depend on my mood...It isn't an album I will play often in my CD player,but on the other side it's an album I'm sure that I'll try to listen to sometimes in the future...So I guess the truth lies in the middle...3 stars exactly,not slightly worse or better that that...

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#186300)
Posted Saturday, October 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I wasn't really enthusiast about the debut album of this Italian band.

What's available here is much more appealing. The opener "Vilaggio", depicts a fully Tull atmosphere which heavy parts, lots of flute and some jazzy aspects. The fine ISP feel is present in the short and subtle " Tremori Antichi". Vocals are particularly well performed.

The theme around this album is craziness and you can feel this while listening to " Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento" (joy, discord, resentment): a total chaos; loose and weird music. The whole piece sounds quiete strange actually, even if the finale is somewhat more listenable (thanks to the flute play).

Some pop accent are also to be noticed on this work: "La Mia Pazzia" is a simple song with a nice melody and as usual some good fluting (but this is a major characteristic of this album).

The influence of the great Tull is very, very much present all along this album. The jazzy feel as well ("Sogno"). My favourite song is the wonderful " Dimensione Uomo" which provides a true ISP music: warm vocals, admirable mellotron and a sweet melody. I like this combination very much.

there are some excellent moments during "Lo Scemo E Il Villaggio", but the jazzy angles are too plenty for me to judge it higher than three stars. A good album indeed. But too hesistant between ISP with the great closing number " Pensiero Per Un Abbandono" and jazz : " Culto Disarmonico".

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#276386)
Posted Monday, April 05, 2010 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Delerium are another instrumental RPI band that feature rather well played instrumentation and inspirational jazz fusion nuances. I was quite impressed with the style the band explores.

The music is literally delirious, with fractured rhythms and sporadic drum metrical patterns. Villagio features crazy flute that would blow Ian Anderson off his one leg. There are wild time sig swings and a crawling bassline. This is very solid symphonic prog and that flute by Grice is incredible. He seems to be the anchor of the band with all his instrumental prowess enhancing the sound at every occasion.

Gioia, Disordine, Risentimento is a lengthy jamming track with strong Focus like la de da vocals. It is humourous though not a highlight for me. It settles into a nice restrained ambience complete with breathing and flute blasts. It is notable that it was recorded in a pub and even features the crowd joining in. La Mia Pazzia has actual vocals so it stands out but is still no highlight, it kind of works as a single with a pop oriented accessible sound.

Culto Disarmonico is the highlight of the album with brilliant drumming and awesome sax to carry it along. The melody is infectious and the ultra cool sax is simply astonishing, played like Jackson of VDGG.

So my opinion is Lo Scemo E Il Villaggio is worth getting for RPI connoisseurs. Not everything works but there is enough on this to justify tracking it down. 3.5 wonderful stars.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#321759)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink

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