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Area Event '76 album cover
2.46 | 27 ratings | 5 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Live, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Caos Ia parte (20:15)
2. Caos IIa parte (9:18)
3. Event '76 (9:27)

Total Time 39:00

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrizio Fariselli / prepared piano
- Steve Lacy / soprano saxophone
- Paul Litton / percussion
- Demetrio Stratos / vocals
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, Tcherepnin synthesizer

Releases information

1979 Cramps Records (CRSLP 5205 107)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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AREA Event '76 ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (33%)
Poor. Only for completionists (19%)

AREA Event '76 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Caution: Improvisation Area!

I didn't know about the existence of this album until latter march of this year, when i saw it at Greg Walker's stand in the BajaProg fest, i of course bought it, it was also in the bargain zone so i was happy with it.

Well, as some of you know, Area is one of the main names in the italian prog scene, they wer a unique band with a particular sound that no other band could copy, one of the most disctinctives voices in the same Italian prog scene, was the one of Demetrio Stratos whose vocals games caused a great impact in the 70s (and nowadays with the new Area listeners), if you dare to listen to this album, you will see what i mean.

So if you know the band, you may think this live album has something to do with the music created in Arbeit Macht Frei or Maledetti for instance, but not at all, if something alike existed it would be the Caution Radiation Area, but not even that album could be alike to this.

This live album called Event 76' is just a concert made with pure musical improvisation, and to be honest my review will be shorter than i use to write, because there are not much things to say about it. This album is composed by 3 long songs, Chaos II Pt. 1, Chaos II. Pt 2 and Event 76' respectively, the first one lasts 20 minutes while the other two almost 10 minutes each, the instruments playe here are sax, piano, percussion, some synth effects and Stratos voice, there is not a goal in the songs, they are just strange performances that to my ears cause a certain sense of desesperation, i assume that the people who were in that concert, could have felt half pleased and half amazed it sure was a unique exotic and strange experience for them.

This album in my opinion is not truly recommendable to the prog fan average, but recommendable to those who would like to experiment a little bit with a hidden side of Area, i believe the RIO lovers would find this enjoyable, but for the RPI fans, of course this is not what they are looking for.

In general, for me, very cool in some parts, very boring in others, not a bad album at all, but not what i expected, so for me this is a 2 star album that hurts because i hate giving lower ratings to these awesome Italian bands, but i consider this to be a collectors/fans only album.

Enjoy it, or not!

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This mostly just baffled me. I'm not really familiar with Area so I have no idea if they are playing "compositions" from their studio albums or if this is strictly improvised; but either way, I am left pondering who, at the end of the day, thought, "wow we nailed it..we need to release this as a live album". And how strong were the drugs they were on. There were a few passages where they came through as talented musicians who knew how to play, but otherwise I am reminded of the "you can place an infinite amount of monkeys in a room with an infinite number of typewriters and by pure randomness come up with a masterpiece of literature". This, unfortunately, was one of the failed attempts...hence the pieces titled Chaos, I suppose. To top it, the random vocal squeaks and squeals remind me of something that may have been recorded of the monkeys in that room.

Postscript: I see from reading other reviews that it was all improvised. Improvisation, at least to my ears, is one of those things that can be done really well but mostly should remain in the studio behind closed doors to be mined for the worthwhile gold nuggets hidden within.

Review by VianaProghead
2 stars Review Nš 473

Picking matrices from different styles of music, from jazz to progressive rock music through the vanguard, Area have proved to be the most courageous and original band of Italian prog rock scene. Area began their musical adventure at the end of 1972, gathering musicians from different backgrounds, like pop, free jazz, electronic experimentation and the contemporary music, with the common will of the overcoming of the individual artistic experiences to arrive at a kind of a 'total music'. But to make their mark, it was also and above all the incredible voice of their singer, Demetrio Stratos.

In the begining, the band consisted of Victor Edouard Busnello, Giulio Capiozzo, Yan Patrick Erard Djivas, Patrizio Fariselli, Leandro Gaetano, Paolo Tofani and the Greek Demetrio Stratos who was born in Alexandria, Egypt. Subsequently, Busnello leaved the group and Djivas would become part of Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM). Djivas would be replaced by Ares Tavolazzi. The sixth member of the group-shadow was Gianni Sassi (Frankenstein), the founder of the Cramps Records and creator of some of the most interesting cultural projects in that period. Sassi also handles with the text and image of the band. The music of Area is 'music fusion type internationalist', as was defined by Stratos, the singer and soul of the band. Area tried to make a music style 'total'. Stratos came with his experiences from Greece, other had experience of electronic music in London, two were from jazz and another from contemporary music. All tried to merge, having a combination between rock, jazz, contemporary, Mediterranean and Balkan music.

All this together represents a shift from experimentation, which was very close to the music of John Cage, to jazz- rock, folk from the Middle East and to the Mediterranean folk. One of the goals of the group, in fact, was to tie a purely experimental sound to the Italian and Mediterranean sounds, to rescue them from the world of subculture in which criticism has relegated the Italian music. While Area was coming, like many other Italian groups of the time like Banco Del Muttuo Soccorso, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme, Area was also characterized by the radical nature of the content and the musical language adopted by them, which identify utopias and desires of that generation of the 70's.

Area had their heyday between 1973 and 1979, before the death of the singer Demetrio Stratos in 1979, where the charismatic and characteristic voice of the band fell silent. During those years Area plays a partly enriched style by experimental sounds and jazz rock, which sometimes takes up also oriental elements. The textual messages announce radical leftist positions. In those years, the band released five studio albums 'Arbeit Macht Frei' in 1973, 'Caution Radiation Area' in 1974, 'Crac!' in 1975, 'Maledetti' in 1976 and '1978 - Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno, Gli Arrabbiati Restano!' in 1978 and two live albums 'Are(A)zione' and 'Event '76' in 1979. The last one will be the subject of this my review.

'Event '76', is a live album of Area which was recorded in 1976 in the great auditorium of the University of Milan. It was recorded at the time when the group was working on their fourth studio album 'Maledetti'. Unlike the 'Concerto Teatro Uomo', which was recorded during the same period, there are no area classics to be heard here, but only excessive collective improvisations. In addition, not all band's members are going on, as bassist Tavolazzi and drummer Capiozzo stayed at home. The saxophonist Steve Lacy and the percussionist Paul Litton took part in the event, which can also be heard as a guest musician on 'Maledetti'. The sound of the recording session is quite good, much better than that the sound of the 'Concerto Teatro Uomo'. However, it's quite far from the quality of a professional live recording, really.

'Event '76' has only three tracks, 'Caos' part one and two and the title track 'Evet '76'. As I already indicated, there are only free improvisations on 'Event '76' in the sense of the song title 'Caos'. This is a wild avant-garde sound clutter, a kind of a bizarre but fascinating free-jazz rock decorated with the crazy vocal acrobatics of Stratos. To describe the music that Stratos and colleagues perform is quite difficult, really. In 'Event '76' the band tries a concept of random improvisation. Each musician tries to improvise. The result is an 'ordered chaos'. The musician is no longer bound by the play of other musicians. His improvisation is now indeed free. And this freedom is the focus of the music.

Conclusion: The radical concept of music of Area, somehow isolated the band from the developments in the music scene, a certainly wanted development. In this respect, it's hardly surprising that Area found hardly any collaborators or imitators. What remains is the courageous, but very difficult, attempt at a radical reinterpretation of music, art and interaction. Seen in this way, Area was far ahead of their time and also of the prog music, who never went down on such a thin ice. And if there is one of their works that shows so clearly the radical concept of their art, I think it's 'Event '76', really. Area's 'Event '76' is anything but a hot recommendation for the usual proghead. However, those who have learned to deal with the free forms of jazz and the contemporary music will be able to discover a fascinating and truly innovative band in Area. But, this isn't a good starting point. As memowakeman said: 'Caution: Improvisation Area!'.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars An improvisation concert made by an Hybrid group: Fariselli, Tofani and Stratos by Area and other two good avant-garde musicians Lacy on sax and Litton on percussions. The game was simple. Every one tokes a little paper. There were 5 papers, on each one was written a state of mind or an action ... (read more)

Report this review (#35795) | Posted by dodaro | Wednesday, June 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This one, such as other highly-experimental Stratos' solo albums, is not progressive at all. This is the record of one of the strangest gigs ever made by Area, in Milan, with other avant-guarde players, acting a sort of "divisionist" improvisationist concert, inspirated by a John Cage inventio ... (read more)

Report this review (#927) | Posted by | Monday, June 14, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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