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MALEDETTI

Area

Rock Progressivo Italiano


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Area Maledetti album cover
4.02 | 123 ratings | 22 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Evaporazione (1:45)
2. Diforisma urbano (6:18)
3. Gerontocrazia (7:30)
4. Scum (6:30)
5. Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore (2:20)
6. Giro, giro, tondo (5:55)
7. Caos (parte seconda) (9:00)

Total Time: 39:18

Bonus tracks:
8. Intervista a Stratos, Tofani, Fariselli (2:07)
9. L'Internazionale (5:58)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, electric piano, bass clarinett, synthesizer, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic bass, trombone
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, synthesizer, flute, tcherepnin
- Demetrio Stratos / vocal, organ, cembalo, steel drum, percussion

Guests:
- Eugenio Colombo / kazumba
- Hugh Bullen / bass
- Walter Calloni / drums
- Steve Lacy / soprano sax
- Anton Arze & Jose Arze / txalaparta
- Paul Lytton / percussion
- Paolo Salvi / cello
- Giorgio Garulli / contrabass

Releases information

LP Cramps Records CRSLP 5105 (1976)
LP Akarma AK 1009 (2000), contains 2 bonus tracks

CD Cramps Records CRSCD 005 (1993)
CD EMI 7243 8 57428 2 8 (1994)
CD Edel 0136512CRA (2002 Germany)
CD Strange Days POCE-1160, CD-sized album replica, Limited Edition (2007)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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Buy AREA Maledetti Music


Arbeit Macht FreiArbeit Macht Frei
Import
Cramps Records Imp 2012
Audio CD$15.67
$17.21 (used)
MaledettiMaledetti
Import
Cramps Records Imp 2013
Audio CD$11.27
$10.27 (used)
19781978
Import
Warner Italy 1999
Audio CD$11.51
$10.71 (used)
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AREA Maledetti ratings distribution


4.02
(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
28%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
45%
Good, but non-essential (21%)
21%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

AREA Maledetti reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The political rebellion by Demetrio Stratos is a strong sarcasm about the lack of respect for the majority of women,as well as his real disappointment for their unconsidered civil rights, talking about the promulagated laws in Europe, during the seventies...this is the main reason for what concerns the main concept of the album;nevertheless you can find other interesting music features within, such as the splendid transposition from Bach's "Brandenburgische Konzert", entitled " Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore", and other unforgettable moments of such "progressive jazz", enriched with a lot of improvisation (well perhaps the song "Giro, giro, tondo" is the most typical example of their versatility). Besides I like to remark other "stormy" moments of jazz, more and more getting confused behind a certain rationality, which is not clearly apparent in every break through, anyway consisting of the most crazy ideas by Demetrio (listen to "Caos parte seconda")...I don't know whether this album is a must-have or not, but for sure it's well worth checking out at least...after "Arbeit macht frei"- a real gem- you can also appreciate the present "Maledetti"; and moreover some bands like "Deus Ex Machina" could not exist today without an important music background of the seventies like that one represented by Area. Think of their important role and forget only a few "confusional" music passages which characterize the main "jam-session" of the album!!

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#911) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Review by soundsweird
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A great album. I am writing this review mainly to advise readers to avoid the cd release on Cramps, and get the newer release on the Akarma label. The Cramps cd is fine until you get to track five (beginning of side two on vinyl release). The sound at that point becomes very muddy (probably taken from an old cassette!!). The Akarma release sounds great. It has two bonus tracks that did nothing for me (one is an interview in Italian; huh?).

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Send comments to soundsweird (BETA) | Report this review (#912) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Area's fourth studio effort is yet another masterpiece in their recording catalogue, standing out as the most solid showcase for their musical ideology so far. "Maledetti" is a bit stronger than their second gem "Caution Radiation Area" and, in some ways, much bolder. After a less aggressive and less demanding "Crac!", the band seemed now decided to lift off from where "Caution" stood and take their radical artistic attitude to its most mature expression - and so they did! The bizarre-beyond-words Stratos soliloquy that kicks off the album should prepare the listener for the deconstructive feast that's about to take place: the whispers, fractured stammering, dubious articulations and final shout that fill the speech of 'Evaporazione' are an urgent invitation to leave the boundaries of modern rational thought behind and les ourselves be transported to more fundamental roots of our lives. A lovely invitation that is immediately segued into the funky-oriented jazzy splendour of 'Diaforisma Urbano', whose optimistic flavours properly convey the need to face a new era of real freedom without fear or regrets: it is in our hands to transform our contemporary life into something we are to command instead of something out of our hands and above our heads. 'Gerontocrazia' is one of the most captivating Area pieces ever (in fact, it is perhaps my all-time favourite Area track). It sort of encapsulates the musical ideology that Area had been thoroughly outlining and establishing in their studio recordings and live concerts for years: Stratos' vocal lunacy (one of his best performances ever), the Eastern-like melodic lines, the bold use of dissonance, the energetic jazzy rhythm section. all these elements are stunningly epitomized in the sonic tour-de-force that is comprised in 'Gerontocrazia'. Compared to the band's previous three albums, it is a fact that Fariselli's interventions on synth and grand and electric pianos are more featured in the mix: the ultra free-jazzy 'Scum' and the prototypical 'Giro, Giro, Tondo' are clear showcases for that factor. Sandwiched between the two there is a string quartet rendition of the main motif of Bach's 'Branderbuger Concerto No. 3' - Fariselli wrote this wicked arrangements, which incorporates some originally added countermelodies and a final dissonant section. This massacre is a symbol of the band's urge to eliminate the ghosts of the past and instill an absolute faith in the future into the listener's heart. Meanwhile, all throughout the album, it has been noticeable that Tofani's guitar adventures have been sounding less prominently, although they still work as a very important asset in Area's sound. Anyway, eventually those adventures are shown in full frontal in the extremely deconstructed 'Caos (Parte Seconda)', a 9-minute musical event formed by a highly loose set of improvised, disturbing sonic fragments on guitar, synth, piano, percussion, soprano sax. and of course, Stratos' vocal deliriums. At times psychopathologically ethereal, at times simply nightmarish, this concrete tour-de- force is designed to disturb those who want to be disturbed and annoy those who are not in touch with the band's artistic spirit. The occasional presence of a guest on sax may remind us somewhat of the band's debut album, in which the sax was such an important instrument: also, the presence of guests on bass, drums and percussion allows the band to enrich their jazz leanings as a result of the intimate interaction with other performers alien to the band's official line-up. Since this is Area's last studio effort with guitarist Tofani as a member, I can only conclude that this is a brilliant testament of his inventive input for Italy's 70s avant-garde scene. "Maledetti' is a masterpiece!

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#914) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2005

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What a shock for the brain.

Don't be misguided by their genre: "jazz-rock fusion" might mislead you and make you think these guys sound like Pat Metheny and the like. Well, no. Not in a thousand years. There is no "touch of class" so typical for majority of jazz-related music: this is the rawest and most brutal force within the free-jazz experiments, occasionally touching rock and other genres, with insane growls by vocalist Demetrio Stratos. The rest of AREA's albums are pretty much in the same vein (that doesn't mean that they are unimaginative), but this one is my favourite.

This is a concept album. I guess. There is some guideline story about "what would happen if...", and (as illustrated through the songs on this album) every song is a example of the world and society dominated by the women, children, elderly and so on. Therefore, we can't judge very hard occasional non-musical tracks here, because they are all parts of the statement, and no matter where will the music turn in the next few seconds, the idea is evolving all the time. A very unique concept. I'm almost sure that for occasional lyrics they picked pieces of paper from the hat, and than formed the random sentences.

Anyway, the music is equally chaotic as the lyrical concept itself. But it's great nonetheless. We can hear traditional Greek lullaby, free-jazz, anarcho-jazz, conquered-jazz and all other forms of jazz. There are elements of funk music thrown in for a good measure, Balkan music, rock and pure avantgarde. I mustn't forgot the classical music too: "Il massacro di Branderburgo numero Tre in Sol Maggiore" (what a title!!) - is actually played by string quartet with the idea : "What would happen with the today's music if only one note from Bach's piece had been changed?" That is a really nice variation. It floats in apocalyptic "Giro, giro, tondo" with lyrics about a child who wish to control human, through nice allegory of child's game (at least that's my impression).

The music itself is mostly driven by bass and furious drums, with loads of piano and keyboard works, spiced up with incredible Demetrio's vocals and his daring experimentations: from yodeling, squeaking, howling, growling, snoring, sometimes all of that in the same time.

This is a brilliant piece. But be warned: it's not for everyone, it requires some time to digest.

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Send comments to clarke2001 (BETA) | Report this review (#106507) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 08, 2007

Review by Tapfret
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars More Experimental than Crac!

Of the 2 Area albums that I am so far familiar with, 'Maledetti' is far more experimental than 'Crac!'. The foundation of heavy porgressive jazz/rock fusion is still there, but the album also contains 'Chaos' in 2 seperate parts which are primarily improv pieces. 'Il Massacro Di Brandeburgo Numero Tre in Sol Maggiore' is basically a note for note rendition of the main theme of Brandenburg Concerto. Vocals are still very much in the style of Christain Vander (sans high-pitched screams. oh, except for 'Chaos') singing in Italian.

I am only familiar with the Akarma release, so I am only aware of problems with the Cramps release through reviews. But I will say that the Akarma release comes in a very beautiful mini-LP sleeve with complete art and booklet.

Strong effort, not quite as enjoyable as 'Crac!', but essential. 4.0 stars.

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Send comments to Tapfret (BETA) | Report this review (#141723) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After the accessible "Crac !" album, AREA head back into the Avant-garde territory of "Caution Radiation Area" with this release. This is not for the faint of heart, but more for those who are adventerous and are looking for a challenge. The subject matter is as usual political and social in nature, but since the lyrics are in Italian i'll just talk about the music.

"Evaporazione" is a short intro track where we can hear someone whistling and talking. No music. "Diforisma Urbano" is just a joy to listen to with all those intricate sounds coming and going. Very jazzy. It's hard to even highlight one instrument because they all sound amazing.Then vocals and piano arrive 3 1/2 minutes in. Back again the instrumental work that continues to be incredible. "Gerontocrazia" opens with vocals and percussion. The sax makes some noise, but there really isn't much going on. Then the tempo picks up 3 minutes in as we get some cello then a middle-Eastern flavour. This sounds much better. The bass before 4 1/2 minutes is chunky as the soundscape changes to a jazzy motif. Great sound. Vocals return before 6 1/2 minutes as it ends with that middle-Eastern vibe. "Scum" is my favourite, it opens with piano as drums join in. Nice bass lines follow. The piano work is fantastic, a little dissonant you might say.The drumming is outstanding. Love this track ! Organ 4 1/2 minutes in. A calm before 5 minutes as spoken words come in to the end.

"Il Mascacro..." features a string quartet. A short classical piece that is very impressive. "Giro, Giro,Tondo" opens with some strange vocal sounds from Demetrio for 1 1/2 minutes. Then a jazzy, uptempo section takes over. Vocals come in a minute later. The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. Just a terrific sound as piano, bass and drums astound. It ends in an almost spacey manner. "Caos (Parte Seconde)" is the 9 minute closer.It begins with very bizzare vocal sounds. This is actually very entertaining and funny. Sax is in the background. This is weird even for Demetrio. Avant-garde instrumental sounds follow. Yes, this is experimental folks. Vocal melodies 4 1/2 minutes in. Demetrio sounds likes he's lost it 6 minutes in. Haha. A dissonant horn melody ends it.

Very much recommended to Avant Jazz fans.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#184030) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The Posse that Lynched the Hangman - A Spaghetti Western

We should never lose sight of the context within which a work of art is created. In the noughties, those in the west are undoubtedly guilty of taking for granted most of the freedoms not enjoyed by artists who existed under less liberal regimes. To wit, some of the greatest creations of all time are forged from clandestine resources and exist IN SPITE of the prevailing controls designed to stifle them.

It's very easy to smirk knowingly at say, Poland's Exodus, Estonia's In Spe, Hungary's Panta Rhei and Slovakia's Collegium Musicum and twitter

- that's really just pedestrian rock and SO derivative -

without stopping to realise that ownership of ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition at one time in Budapest would have had you locked up. Although Soviet era eastern Europe can hardly be compared to a relatively urbane and democratic Mediterranean nation, the fact that art cannot exist in a vacuum still holds true.

I have many Italian friends, most of whom grew up in Italy during the late 60's early 70's and they would agree without hesitation that it suffers from an endemically corrupt society where the only crime acknowledged in the popular consciousness is 'getting caught'.

It should come as no surprise therefore to discover a vigorous reaction to this deficit of integrity from the nation's youth to reclaim that yawning space abandoned by institutionalized duplicity. Such is the volatility of Italian socio political life that all manner of polar opposites and extremes over the years have managed to enjoy their 15 minutes of allotted infamy from the hustings. It is from this forbidding soil that such rare blooms as Area have conspired to grow, mutate and nurture an agenda aimed at addressing the bullying administered to a shrinking and timid idealism by the forces of reaction.

Unfortunately however, like many other purveyors of an egalitarian manifesto, Area are found guilty on all charges of conspiring to send the disenfranchised masses into the class struggle accompanied only by a posturing conceptual art-wank soundtrack.

The unarmed cannot declare a cease-fire and do Area really think that complex, challenging and dissonant jazzrock is anything other than 'preaching to the converted' i.e the liberal intelligentsia who can actually appreciate this stuff? Joe Blow might just march to the Stones and Oasis, kill the king and rail at all his servants , but he would look on in baffled dismay at what he sees as the hollow rhetoric of elitist and pretentious poseurs.

Evaporazione - As if to say, 'this ain't no party, this ain't no CBGB's, this is not entertainment Ladies and Gentlemen, we have something to tell you and it's not very nice' . Similar in spirit to that of the intro used by Fripp on Exposure. Mercifully brief.

Diforisma urbano - Like submerging yourself in a warm and sumptuous analogue bubble bath. Industrial strength 'funky' with some glorious synth, bass and drum interplay and a memorable rejoinder theme which reappears at intervals throughout. Redolent of some of Miles Davis fusion work but free from the noodley meanderings of the latter. Many singers have designs on using their voice as if it were an improvising instrument, but none come as close to the startling effect Stratos achieves here. Makes even the redoubtable Sara Vaughan sound like a karaoke busker.

Gerontocrazia - More incredible singing/vocalizing by Stratos which we get to enjoy up close on an acapella intro which you will never forget once heard. His voice is surely one of the most astonishing I have ever encountered, and lends Area's volatile music an indelible and compensating texture. He soars, swoops, flutters, screams, shrieks, squawks and croons in equal measure and must be deserving of a freshly minted instrumental category all by himself by now surely? (Demetrio on Stratos-caster) Thereafter we gradually move into a section for the emerging band which encompasses Mediterranean, Arabic, North African and jazz dialects all poured liberally into an intoxicating and nicely simmering stew. Paolo Salvi's visceral and pulsing cello is particularly effective here and the synth palette of Patrizio Fariselli is unfailingly appropriate throughout. If you had to choose only one Area track with which to convert a doubter, then it might just very well be this critter.

Scum - Dislocated and elusive stabbing rhythm replete with some rapid-fire Keith Tippett era Crimson piano which just manages to straddle that precarious cusp between anarchic and incoherent successfully. Perhaps the most overtly jazz oriented piece on the record. Bristling and beguiling playing from all the band on this and although not particularly accessible it is well worth the perseverance. Rather incongruously the instrumental sections end with some synth chording very similar to Partick Moraz circa Refugee. Quite what the bilious manifesto of an idiot feminist militant has to do with all this, I am unsure (S.ociety for C.utting U.p M.en) by Valerie Solanas, whose only claim to posterity was a failed assassination attempt on the (ironically gay) conceptual art wanker without peer, Andy Warhol.

Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore - according to Mr Biagio Cepollaro's sleevenotes this brief and delightful adaptation of Bach for string orchestra is really about an oedipal killing and/or castration of your father. In the unlikely event that you invite Mr C round for tea, best to remove all the cutlery beforehand methinks...

Giro, giro, tondo - Another wonderful vocal extravaganza from Stratos introduces this and he sounds in places like a hybrid Mongolian overtone throat singer/Yodelling Swiss shepherd (imploring his flock to chase the sheepdog?) Curiously, the main riff employed here is almost identical to that of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band's Shark's Teeth before we move into an exhilarating electric piano solo from Fariselli who really shines on every track on this album. Kudos are also due to Giulio Capiozzo on drums, whose playing is dazzlingly inventive and, to my untrained ears, fiendishly complex but unfailingly musical.

Caos (parte seconda) - here we meet a bewildering and nauseating array of 'in jokes' the preserve of the smirking anti-art brigade i.e Fluxus, Dada, Cage, Warhol and the rest where infantile 'dicking about' is considered a subversive and politically charged act. Self indulgent, patronising, long winded, pretentious and bordering on arrogant contempt for your audience more like. Everything that makes the term 'prog' a pejorative one is contained herein. A void masquerading as a statement that is deserving of goldfish memory as a storage medium. Viva neglect lads...

I cannot help but detect the calling card of the artistic Fluxus movement throughout so much of this record. All the tell-tale signs are there: the completely impenetrable, paranoid and delusional sleevenotes from an intellectual half-wit, intuiting democracy in the creative arts by positing the beauty of random events i.e anyone can do this, espousal of anti-art to be understood by the masses and not just critics, dilettantes and professionals. If you can get through the sleevenotes without revisiting your lunch, right on comrade ! but to give you a warning morsel from Mr Biagio Cepollaro's tangled pasta:

- the musical corporativism is demolished by means of the 46 Bach-like beats. Interaction is sought with the public through the solicitation of chaos; two linked synthesizer threads and two oscillating ones capture the corporeal thermodynamics of the public.... (Say What???!!!) -

We cannot blame Area for an unsolicited description of the view from inside Biagio's own backside and the whole execrable essay may have been translated from Italian via Klingon to English by a stoned and dyslexic glove puppet from the record company.

Based entirely on Biagio's ramblings, he would have us believe Area constitute a gang of Tifosi ejected from the stadium by the hated Carabinieri but cannot flee their captors (presumably because their train is running late)

This is a very impressive album by a band that have never compromised their artistic vision for a second but a word of caution is required, lest some unwitting souls think this is just another slice of Italian fusion. No Siree, Area are notoriously contrary and consequently very hard to categorise satisfactorily. I am sure they wouldn't have it any other way as there are instances on Maledetti where they cut off their (FAKE) noses to spite (OUR) faces with indecent glee. Democracy has never had any place in the arts and individuals as clearly intelligent as Area, should have the nous to understand that it is scarcity that confers value on anything.

Special Thanks to Gina for transcribing and translating some of the lyrics.

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Send comments to ExittheLemming (BETA) | Report this review (#210980) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars Fourth Studio album, Maledetti is an improvement over the absolutely obtuse CRA album and its improvised atonal music, yet it takes as much from that album and "Crac!" whose bright jazz rock was illuminating the peninsula. So using the median between the two conduct line Maledetti is a concept album about "what if" and was packed inan impressive medical gatefold.

Besides the whacky opening short Evarorazione, an eccentric Stratos vocal affair, the album starts well enough un the ultra-funky and mega-technical Diforisma Urbano , sounding a bit like Jeff Beck's Wired album, Stratos intervening as if his voice was just another synth (some of the most effective scat I've heard, since you might actually miss them) in this red-hot fusion of molten rocks. Gerontacrazia is one of the weirder track on this album at least in its first half, hovering between the dissonant and absolutely mad, then suddendly veering again fusion, (beck and hammer seems to be again the influence), but Stratos' vocals ensure that you couldn't mistake them for another band. Scum is very close tio free-jazz, often teetering wioth the dissonant demented line >> this track is probably the closest to their Radiation album, along with the closing and aptly named Caos (second part), which retuirns to Area's maddening free-improv side.Beside a useless but thankfully short Massacro Di Brandeburgo, Giro Rondo reaches another red hot fusion, but it took its time to get there via some excellent and cradual progressions and implacable chord succession. There is an unwelcomed bonus track in the form of a live interview which turns chaotic, as Stratos pushes his provications;

Please don't be fooled by my fellow reviewers twho claim that Area is misplaced in jazz-rock, but thios album is filled with it as there were previous ones and when not JR/F, then they veer free-jazz with a touch of RIO ( I can see Area signing the Rhe chart just as easily as Stormy Six did, both bands sharings fairly similar aesthetics.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#211510) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 17, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars Maledetti is decisively more funky and happy then the previous Area albums. It's the fourth album in a row filled with stellar musicianship, but it has sacrificed some of the dark power that made me love the preceding albums so much.

After a poetic start on Evaporazione, Diforisma Urbano finds Area in a surprisingly upbeat funk fusion mood. It's a pleasant track but certainly not the best I have heard in this style. Mahavishnu's Visions of the Emerald Beyond for instance has much better tracks in this style. Gerontocrazia takes a good 3 minutes till it gets going. The vocal and Arabian flavoured section that follows is great but doesn't measure up to similar snake charming excursions on the previous albums. The band's playing and the synth usage in particular is great, but as a whole it fails to surprise.

Scum features a rhythmic pulse that brings it close to zeuhl, RIO and other rock forms that take the wild rhythmic dynamics of Stravinsky as an example. It has some great fretless bass work and wild free jazz experimentation. It ends with another poem accompanied by space noises. Il Massacro is a classical chamber orchestra piece that gets a slightly punkish/noisy treat from Area but it is rather pointless really.

On Giro Giro Tondo, Area gets back on track with their typical blend of avant-garde, emotional vocals and intense jazz-rock. Caos is chaotic indeed, it's a rowdy slab of vocal and instrumental experimentation that must have been tremendous fun to do because, dense as it is, it still manages to convey their wilful enthusiasm.

For people that followed Area from the beginning, this album may not offer many new thrills, and it sure lists as the lesser of the first 4 albums for me. Still it is a strong album on its own and Frank Zappa fans that haven't tried Area yet might take this album as a starting point. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#277155) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010

Review by andrea
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars After the live "Are(A)zione", in 1976 Area released their fourth studio work, "Maledetti (Maudits). The line up is the classic one featuring Giulio Capiozzo (drums), Patrizio Fariselli (keyboards, piano synthesizer), Demetrio Stratos (vocals, organ, piano, bells), Ares Tavolazzi (bass) and Paolo Tofani (electric guitar, synthesizer, tcherepnin). Anyway in those days Area were an "open band" and during the recording sessions they were helped by some guest musicians like Eugenio Colombo (kazumba), Hugh Bullen (bass), Walter Calloni (drums), Steve Lacy (sax), Paul Lytton (percussion), Anton and JosŤ Arze (txalaparta) and a string quartet conducted by Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli. The result is a rich and heterogeneous mix of jazz-rock, classical music, Mediterranean folk, avant-garde and sonic experiments inspired by John Cage.

This album is an ambitious conceptual project of "fanta-sociopolitica" where Area tried to blend their music with science fiction and politics... The plot was explained in the liner notes. It's settled in the future in a time when society is vertically split and divided in corporations. World conscience is a liquid plasma kept in a computer inside a bank but, because of a failure, the liquid begins to spread out leading gradually to the loss of human conscience. The band draw three possible developments: A) Power to the ancient people as keepers of a past memory refusing the troubles of the present; B) Power to the women as energy suppliers and bringers of new ideals in antithesis with their historic repression; C) Power to the children as guarantors of freedom since they can reinvent history with the strength of their creative imagination. It's up to the listener to choose what's better...

The short opener "Evaporazione" set the atmosphere. It features recitative vocals and concrete music, here Paolo Tofani "plays" an electric shaver while Demetrio Stratos' theatrically warn us... "We've lost the memory of the XVth Century!". Next comes the excellent instrumental "Diforisma urbano" featuring a nervous rhythm and a jazz-rock pace. Demetrio Stratos here "plays" his voice like an instrument adding beautiful and intense touches of colour.

"Gerontocrazia" is about point A). It begins with a sweet traditional lullaby from Asia Minor featuring soaring vocals in Greek. In the liner notes you can read that in Asia Minor old people used to put a loaf of hashish under the pillow of little children to make them sleep for a long time easier. So this lullaby symbolize the proceedings of narcotization that old people exert through education on children's imagination. It leads to a complex and dynamic second part where Area depict the tricky ways of power... "With the power of things I can control your life / And this is called freedom / The daily experience of terror leaves you no one but me / Violence wearing down in love pushes you towards me / If you look in the past, you will find that everything has already been settled / And this is called truth / Without history nor memory let me write your steps / Enjoy your life in peace / Do not think and dream happiness...". That's one of my favourite Area's pieces.

"Scum" is about point B). In fact, Scum is an acronym for "Society for Cutting Up Men". Music takes off in a free jazz direction with the piano of Patrizio Fariselli in the forefront, then there's a sudden stop and Demetrio Stratos begins a speech featuring words taken from the "SCUM Manifesto" by Valerie Solanas, an American radical feminist writer, best known for her attempted murder of Andy Warhol in 1968... "Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic- minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex...". Well, here these words sound like a ferocious and sarcastic criticism against feminism.

"Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore" is a fragment taken from Bach's Brandenburg Concert number 3 in G major and passed through a treatment of progressive effacement of the most important parts of the counterpoints. According to the liner notes, this piece was conceived to symbolize the demolition of music corporatism and as a criticism to classical music in general but luckily it does not completely erase the charm of Bach's music.

"Giro, giro, tondo" is about point C). Demetrio Stratos' vocal experiments introduce a dangerous and frenzy ring-a-ring-a-roses where children play with the world as if it was a toy... "I play, I play with your world / I can dominate you / I turn, I turn always in circle / I can control you / I look, I look down at the bottom / I can subjugate you / I laugh, I laugh at your time / I have to crush you...". A famous scene of a Charlie Chaplin's film comes to mind...

"Caos (parte seconda)" in some way deals with point C) too. It's a long piece of concrete music inspired by the work of John Cage, a kind of play where the musicians pick up at random some pieces of paper with the names of some emotive states or "silence" written on them, then they freely interpret what's written on the paper disregarding what the others are doing... The result is a complete chaos! Area were so brave to repeat this experiment in a controversial concert at Milan university in 1976. On the Edel reissue on CD of the album at the end of this track you can listen to an interview with the band made immediately after this event... Interesting, but concrete music is not everyone's cup of tea.

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Send comments to andrea (BETA) | Report this review (#300657) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 27, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Area return with another album which, much like Caution Radiation Area, slips in moments of pure sonic experimentation in with the band's usual volcanic jazz fusion. Unfortunately, the album does not feel to me to be quite on a par with the band's best works - tracks such as Evaporazione or the classical parody Il Massacro di Brandeburgo Numero Tre in Sol Maggiore feel like filler, their fusion chops don't really seem to have advanced much since their debut (bar Hugh Bullen's super-funky basswork), and the avant-garde portions of the album might be worthwhile experiments, but to my ears they don't really work. A solid enough pick for the fusion numbers, but the noise experiments have not aged at all well.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#552367) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Latest members reviews

5 stars Although many artists in the 70s were recording albums in English, most of the Italian groups including AREA continued to use their native language. One of the plights of this decision is for non-Italian speakers to be utterly clueless what the album is about. Not speaking much of the lingo I for ... (read more)

Report this review (#1083491) | Posted by siLLy puPPy | Friday, November 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars An interesting jazzy album by one of my all-time favorite Italian groups. Unfortunately, After the amazing album "Crac" the band wasn't able to follow up at the same level. This album could potentially be really great if I could just cut out about 40% of the boring noisy junk. let's explore: ... (read more)

Report this review (#947296) | Posted by pfloyd | Sunday, April 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is another avant-prog album by these Italian band; it sounds a bit like Caution Radiation Area. Maledetti (maudits) is a concept album about an ipothetical loss of historical memory, and the political changes that may occur. These are three: 1 - Γεροντο& ... (read more)

Report this review (#521644) | Posted by Turillazzo | Monday, September 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The fast 'n furious beginning sets the tone for this twisted jazz rock classic from 1976. It sounds like an alternative soundtrack to Kojak during a drugs bust. 'Maledetti' is a bit different from their earlier releases in that it sounds deeper, more fleshed out and thoughtful. They even managed ... (read more)

Report this review (#403500) | Posted by Dobermensch | Saturday, February 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This was Area's fourth studio effort, and what an album this is! They got plenty of outside help, with the likes of Steve Lacy and Paul Lytton, plus a cello quartet. Patrizio Fariselli had acquired himself a Serge Modular synth, which don't appear to feature a keyboard, but great for electronic e ... (read more)

Report this review (#286673) | Posted by Progfan97402 | Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Maledetti" by Area is perhaps the album that was most ahead of its time in the Italian scene in the 70's. The work is enriched by Demetrio Stratos' unique way of singing, hard to explain in words, similar to asian chants and swiss jodel, very teathrical and similar to grounds that in those year ... (read more)

Report this review (#262402) | Posted by Malve87 | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The fifth work released in 1977 "Maledetti". In addition, it goes forward on a musical experiment. The content is challenging jazz-rock. The acoustic piano of Patrizio Fariselli is also strong. An avant-garde approach like the collage, Edith, and the noise, etc. also shows it. "Caos(parte seco ... (read more)

Report this review (#63375) | Posted by braindamage | Friday, January 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Perhaps it was the contributions of this eclectic group of guests that gives Maledetti its bi- directional feel. On one hand, the opening tracks show Area softening their jazz-rock style to a more comfortable fusion orientation, but then "Scum" features the Fariselli playing an angular piano st ... (read more)

Report this review (#42515) | Posted by | Thursday, August 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars AREA is simply the best italian band I've heard so far. And this album really provs my theory: this is modern, mediterranean popular music.A great mixture between genres, toghether with some good ideas about exploring the meaning of music itself and its realtonship with society. It's not cere ... (read more)

Report this review (#913) | Posted by | Saturday, May 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The improvisations, diversity, talent, foreign contributions and musicianship is truly outstanding. Maybe along with Crac, the best Area's album. Diforisma Urbano is probably one of the best musics from the seventies. Amazing! ... (read more)

Report this review (#910) | Posted by Melos | Tuesday, September 28, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another TOUR de FORCE. The first cut gives an appropiate italian answer to all the fusion masters of the seventies, I mean McLaughlin, Corea and their bands. Area is an OUTSTANDING group, with plenty of technique & ideas. ... (read more)

Report this review (#908) | Posted by | Tuesday, January 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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