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Alio Die - Honeysuckle CD (album) cover


Alio Die

Progressive Electronic

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5 stars By now; almost every elecronic-prog follower knows that mostly all electronic " intentions" are going outside their own circle; more towards "Ambiental" expressions ( pulses or rhythms are now; not that fundamental and even unnecessary). The instrument by excellence the "synthetizers" can do more tricks now than those "old" ones. And of course the path has been opened up wide by "early" Prog Founder and Progressive- electronics wiz-kid; Brian Eno.

That is the tendency, but not all AMBIENT music is achieved with electronic instruments, the same goes for the songwriting. This is an "issue" corresponding to a pure "electronic" prog sub-genre. More in the case of this musician, who takes the best of both worlds acoustic and electric, breaking ground in the use of both musical languages. And really quiet progressive; "music wise".

This Alio Die 2010, 3-pieces effort, with an special early baroque flavor, hides its own baroque expression, by lowering down the emphasis on the tempo and paying more attention to the natural harmonics progression of harmonics. Therefore, the melodic lines are constantly appearing and dissolving.

As soon as it plays on, You will be caught in an entanglement of low-profile, baroque like flutes threading simultaneous progressions of minimal melodies (a natural wild "attribute" of harmonics) that fly in any direction. And yet build a whole environment as if "constructing while they pass by".

****5 , "a subtle electronic/acoustic "AMBIENT", masterpiece" PA stars.

Report this review (#895485)
Posted Saturday, January 19, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Though not a huge fan of the overdrawn opening song of this album, I can say that the other 50 minutes are absolutely stellar. This may be my favorite Alio Die album and one of my Top Five Progressive Electronic albums of all-time.

1. "Honeysuckle" (24:00) Wooden flutes, old organ sounds, old metallic and organic acoustic hand percussion instruments, and a constant though protracted fading in and out of 'focus' gives the opening 24-minute epic and title song of this album the feel as if one were walking around--both inside and outside--an old monastery, only, perhaps three to five hundred years ago. A truly magical and evocative experience. My only criticism is that the overall length may be a bit too much; even a walk around St. Peter's or Hagia Sophia needn't take 24 minutes--nor would the minstrels inside be performing the same droning song for that length of time. I think. (8/10)

2. "Innamorato" (9:19) opens with a very familiar BRIAN ENO Ambient 2 or 4 feel to it--only this one may be better than the original. It's gorgeous! Zither, harp or other finger-played stringed instrument performs the foundational sound with some kind of 'almost-trumpet'-like sound looping within the weave while the harmonics drone, echo, and reverberate without. (10/10)

3. "Honey Mushroom" (40:00) is a suite of three parts which opens with at least five instruments contributing thread lines to the construction of the overall musical weave: chimes, zither, organ, synthesizer, and bagpipe-like horn. The ethereal sound produced as result is gorgeous, mesmerizing, and truly enchanting. I feel as if I could fall under the spell of any one of the instruments but as a whole, in this weave, they are irrefutable. Unlike the opening number, there is enough developmental flow in the first movement of this suite to make it interesting and never boring. The second movement is slower, thicker, heavier, thicker, despite the more active play of the muted chimes over the top. There is a much more pronounced and slow moving wave-like low end here--harmonics or strums of a treated zither, I'm not sure. And a very engaging melody of longing and imploring seems to come from these harmonic overtones. Incredible! The third movement opens with a drone-like note in the unusual place of the upper registers of the harmonic mix--and it is sustained--almost like a large alabaster 'singing bowl' is being played. For the first three minutes, the background of various chimes, organ bass tones and zither are supportive but truly at the call and beckoning of the singing bowl in front. Then there is a subtle but pronounced shift as the drone of the singing bowl softens and recedes slightly, giving the zither and other sounds a little more prominence. Overall, "Honey Mushroom" is an absolutely brilliant piece of music--entertaining, satisfying, and never overstaying its welcome despite its 40 minutes. (10/10)

Five stars; a true masterpiece of Progressive Electronic music.

Report this review (#1637795)
Posted Monday, October 31, 2016 | Review Permalink

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