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StereoKimono - Intergalactic Art Cafe CD (album) cover



Psychedelic/Space Rock

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Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars Psychophonic oblique rock?

After several months of avoiding discovering new music I dropped in on the progstreaming web site and these guys (actually two guys and one gal) were in the top spot. The cover art looked kind of cool. The music hooked me on first listen.

It's primarily instrumental with some guest vocals. The music is diverse in keeping with the concept of the album - the café is "an interdimensional place, suspended somewhere in the universe, where strange musicians meet each other playing futuristic sessions".

On first impression the music reminds me a lot of one of PFM's newer albums, Stati Di Immaginazione. I guess that shouldn't be too surprising as they hail from Italy and have Franz Di Cioccio on board for production.

The album opens with a nice eleven minutes plus adventurous instrumental Fugua Da (Escape From) Algon. Ah yes, "Algon, fifth world in the system of Aldebaran, the Red Giant in the constellation of Sagittarius. Here an ordinary cup of drinking chocolate costs four million pounds." From an old Monty Python sketch. Space Surfer is another instrumental, surf sci-fi music.

Indian Breakfast, yep, Indian space music, guest drone, sitarific. Never actually had Indian for breakfast, myself.

Next a Rebus in three parts: Game (instrumental, very PFM-ish), Metaphor, and Solution (weird vocals, Mr. Bungle-esque).

Lumacacactus or Snailcactus was actually made into a video. Damn shame MTV doesn't still run videos might have been a hit. They take on a little country and western twang.

The Gnome On The Moon is like Daevid Allen's Gong dropping in on the café.

Zona d'ombra (shadow zone) (thela hun gingeet, thela hun gingeet) '80's King Crimson dropping by?

The party is capped off by another Algon, psychedelic, spacey.

Report this review (#776866)
Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars This is my first (daring) attempt with this Italian outfit ... and please believe me, nothing to regret to sum it up. Wow - a lush sound all the way through when considering them a trio. So overdubs are to be expected ... twin guitars often enough are competing as well as harmonizing with diverse keyboard stuff ... and there's a very lively rhythm section which is much more than a backing ... there you go! As for a first proper overview I'd say this is a rock music blend of crimson-esque leanings and psychedelic ingredients. Wind instruments in terms of saxophone and trumpet are implemented at the beginning in order to mention some guest appearance.

Nine years after the previous album 'Prismosfera' their new Intergalactic Art Cafe is announced to be an interdimensional place, rich in contaminations, unexpected contributions. An exaggeration to talk about? Not at all! While acting nearly instrumental the songs are excellently arranged, consisting of titles which are in English and Italian equally. The cosmic journey starts with the escape from Algon - Fuga Da Algon - which is the real masterpiece just right from the start I'd say - a fantastic workout outfitted with many variants ... and my beloved mellotron. And then they are cheerfully underway like the Space Surfers - this tune perfectly presents the band's good-tempered optimistic attitude ... in the same way as Indian Breakfast with a slight eastern touch due to the guitar appearance.

The gripping 'Rebus' trilogy/centerpiece is blatantly KC oriented, no failure at all, very tricky, shows some weird vocal attendance for example. Bubbling water and ska excursions are to detect on Lumacacactus and they even seem to loose orientation with the poppy The Gnome On The Moon for a while. Oltre Algon finally closes the circle - oltre means beyond here I'm sure - and now they obviously have reached their goal ... a wonderful ballad-esque psych outro to close this album.

Although STEREOKIMONO are definitely operating in their own league music-wise - as for a proper orientation I dare to call up some references to bands such as King Crimson, Moonwagon, Pink Floyd, Hypnos 69 and fellow countrymen Delirio Sonoro ... a wondrous scale, eh? I know, I know ... it only remains for me to add that Franz Di Cioccio, the drummer of PFM, is involved regarding the production. Fine, fine ... an entertaining album is waiting to be checked out, folks - highly recommended!

Report this review (#781255)
Posted Monday, July 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian band STEREOKIMONO was formed back in the mid 1990's, and with their first two albums from 2000 and 2002 respectively they showcased to good effect that they were a good quality act of the kind that is hard to place within a set genre definition. Intergalactic Art Cafe is their third full length production, and was released through the Immaginifica label in 2012. Ten years after their previous album.

And while it have taken the band 10 years to create this disc, it appears that those years have been used well to develop their material. The core of the material is a curious blend of styles, with early 80's King Crimson and jazzrock as prominent details. Liberally flavoured with a touch of late 80's Rush and space rock. The guitarwork caters for the majority of the Crimson references, or perhaps Frippian would be a better description. Generally light in tone and playful in expression, with picked reverberating notes and quirkier wanderings utilizing a tonal range that often makes them sound a tad off kilter, in a nice and intriguing sort of way. Perhaps closer to the Frippian universe in sound than in expression, but with quite a few quirky and most likely fairly challenging escapades to enjoy too. And with occasional jazzrock references to boot.

But it's the steady and occasionally funky bass guitar that provides the majority of the jazzrock references. Solid, steady and energetic, and tightly interwoven with high quality drum patterns there's a solid foundation catering for momentum and energy quite nicely in the rhythms department.

Flavouring the proceedings quite nicely are keyboards of various sorts. Dreamladen Mellotron passages, cosmic synthesizer sounds and fluctuating keyboard textures with more of a symphonic character all have their place here, although it is the former two that are most commonly utilized. All of these details are used to good effect in solid compositions throughout, with a fair degree of diversity too. Generally light n tone and playful in expression, on relatively straightforward pieces like opening tune Fuga da Algon, with eastern inspired textures on Indian Breakfast or exploring theme variations as on three part mini epic Rebus. Slower paced, gentle dreamladen affairs gets a few spots too, with The Gnome on the Moon as possibly the most interesting of these, and they even play around with a few country and folk inspired recurring themes on Lumacacactus, a composition that also features classic space rock Hawkwind style and some clever, quirky Frippian inserts.

A high quality production through and through, Inergalactic Art Cafe should be a safe acquisition for those with a taste for space rock that avoids the most common stylistic expressions of that genre. And if you tend to enjoy music that have a few occasional nods towards the more accessible parts of King Crimson's early 80's productions too I'd suspect you'd find this disc to be a real treat.

Report this review (#834891)
Posted Monday, October 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars This last cd from Stereokimono spreads wide open over progressive, colliding with psichedelia, post-rock, space and experimental music. Take a tour to the Cafè and listen to the tracks to have a multisensorial experience that vary from track to track... and it is suprisingly immediate to the listener. Maybe this feature does not make Intergalactic Art Cafè really "proggy inside", but to me, that I am not a real prog fan, it has been a pleasure and I am sure it will pay. The recording is accurate and contribute to let the record slide down gently in my ears, with the always precious tunes made up by the trio. It has been a long time since the last cd effort, but it has been worthwhile. My favourite track ? "Space surfer".
Report this review (#888197)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my very first attempt to write a review, so I hope I will not as many english mistakes I am afraid I am going to do. What has impressed me more about this album are two things, mainly: sounds and the way songs (a bit "reductive" as term, but I could not find any better) are composed. I have had the impression that all this album might sound a bit "vintage" (just to recall mellotron in a pair of passages) but as matter of facts, Stereokimono has spent a lot of time researching sounds that might perfectly fit all the songs (and I personally love the Mellotron sounds). Furthermore, all their songs flow naturally, with a clear beginning and a clear end, instead of many "progressive composers" who might t think that writing some songs with odd signatures sounds "prog". Those guys have also found time and money to invest in this project, and all the great influences they have, have been greatly merged in this album. Great work, for me 5 over 5.


Report this review (#888240)
Posted Saturday, January 5, 2013 | Review Permalink

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