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Stormy Six


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Stormy Six Macchina Maccheronica album cover
3.69 | 39 ratings | 6 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Macchina Maccheronica (5:39)
2. Le Lucciole (7:37)
3. Madonina (0:51)
4. Megafono (5:52)
5. Madonina (0:39)
6. Banca (2:39)
7. Pianeta (5:40)
8. Rumba Sugli Alberi (2:56)
9. Enzo (Live *) (2:16)
10. Verbale (8:38)
11. Madonina (0:55)
12. Somario (3:55)
13. Madonina (0:14)

* Recorded 28th April 1979 at Teatro Dell'Elfo, Milan

Total Time: 47:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Umberto Fiori / vocals
- Franco Fabbri / guitars, trombone, vibes
- Tommaso Leddi / alto sax, violin, mandolin, guitar, organ
- Leonardo Schiavone / clarinet, tenor sax
- Pino Martini / bass
- Salvatore Garau / drums

- Georgie Born / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Monica Silvestris with Salvatore Garau

LP L'Orchestra ‎- OLPS 55009 (1980, Italy)

CD Fonit Cetra ‎- CDM 2126 (1997, Italy)
CD ‎- VMCD106 (2005, Italy)

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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STORMY SIX Macchina Maccheronica ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

STORMY SIX Macchina Maccheronica reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by laplace
4 stars If you form opinions of bands based only on the opening track of one album, you would be forgiven for assuming Stormy Six were a reed and brass cigányzene assemble, as there are many more elements to their music, touching on theatrical chamber music, romantic balladry, demented surf-rock and the exuberant ridiculousness of the barbershop quartet. Macchina Maccheronica even has time for a little heaviness. Note that this is not a mix-and-match album composed by a "hey, we're avant-garde!" style band - this is a cohesive and eclectic work featuring the necessary transitions between moods.

This folky, jazzy album is divided into several parts by short skit-like pieces all called "Madonina", which although enjoyable mostly just serve to place more focus on the longer compositions. There's nothing of "epic" length but then there's no reason for that term to apply to this sort of music. If you've enjoyed music by Alamailmaan Vasarat or Samla Mammas Manna then there's no reason why you shouldn't look into picking up "Macchina Maccheronica."

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Quite a big change in their sound from the last one "L'Apprendista". This one is much more avant-garde with a lot of humour. I can't help but think that when they played at the first ever Rock In Opposition festival the year before(1978) bands like SAMLA MAMMAS MANNA and ETRON FOU LELOUBLAN must have had a big influence on them. Georgie Born(HENRY COW) has been added to the lineup on cello and Leonardo Schiavone(MAXAPHONE) has also been added on clarinet and sax.

"Macchina Maccheronica" is led by horns and vocals before bass and drums add to the sound.This is silly. It calms down 3 minutes in with spoken words that last less then a minute before the frivolity returns. "Le Lucciole" features violin, drums, horns and guitar coming and going quickly. The outbursts then last a little longer. This is really good. Vocals after 2 minutes(they come and go). An element of darkness arrives, as well as some angular melodies. This is my favourite song on here. "Madonina" is the first of a 4 part suite all titled "Madonina". They are all under a minute, and are fun. This first one has a swinging melody that is repeated a second time but at a faster pace. "Megafonio" opens with a horn, vocal, string and drum melody. It stops as different intricate sounds come and go quickly. A better melody than the intro arrives 3 1/2 minutes in but it's brief. Vocals and more intricate sounds jump in and out to end it. Nice.

"Madonina" is a short, uptempo, fun track. "Banca" opens with spoken female words that are replaced by a haunting soundscape, although it's hard to take this too serious considering what has gone on before. Male vocals 2 minutes in. "Pianeta" is ok. It features theatrical vocals at first (they do come back) until 1 1/2 minutes in when they sound better. Violin or cello 3 1/2 minutes in followed by horns, guitar and drums. "Rumba Sugli Alberi" opens with dual horns as vocals come in followed by bass and drums 1 1/2 minutes in. Dissonant sax sounds later. "Enzo" is just over 2 minutes long, but in concerts they would expand it to 30 minutes sometimes. This one is live as you can hear the audience laughing at times to the insane vocals and harmonies. "Verbale" is my second favourite song on here. Not really a melody to open, but clarinet and different sounds are coming and going. Vocals a minute in. Violin after 4 minutes followed by some heaviness. Nice. Violin is back 5 1/2 minutes in. Guitar, horns and vibraphone follow. Good song. "Madonina" has an island flavour to it. "Somario" is almost 4 minutes of silliness. "Madonina" is short and crazy.

There's not enough on here that I really like for me to give it 4 stars. I could see why many would rate this as their best though. It depends on your tastes I guess. My favourite from them is still "L'Apprendista". 3.5 stars.

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars With MM, Stormy Six reaches the depth of their musical madness and again fully justify their RIO adherence. Indeed they might even go a bit far with this album from 79, their music often being modern contemporary classical music along with weird and frequent vocals (maybe not as evident than Etronfou) and dissonant but without being shocking. With MM, SS is proposing more wind instruments than ever, plus a full-time cellist, but the music remains mostly acoustic, even if there is an electric guitar and bass, the latter is actually quite interesting throughout the album.

As I said, their music is now reaching a complete madness, but coupled with a certain kind of goofiness and a tad of circus-like atmospheres, plus the more experimental music, this makes the mostly-acoustic (there is some electric guitars) music even more inaccessible than it needed to be. I just never had the patience to actually understand what SS's music was about in this album, but sometimes they're quite impressive and at their proggiest, they're soundacular, the almost 6-mins Megafono being the highlight of the album. While there are many fine moments on MM, there are a few glitches and difficult passages, making its progress on your lazer beam a bit more arduous, I'm thinking of the a capella Enzo, and the following (and album longest) Verbale.

Definitely of SS's better (and certainly their most personal from their later discography) albums, MM could easily be in your first wave of SS acquisition or be part of the second batch, if you've enjoyed the more "conventional" albums. A good one, but maybe over the top , even in the RIO realm.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Stormy Six took an instrumental from Cliche, added to it lyrics, made some arrangements and named all the album after it. This is "Macchina Maccheronica" (Macaronic Machine). This song is a grotesque tango for the first 3 minutes, then turns into waltz then polka...almost all the popular dancing rhythms of the old Europe, like a precursor on Weird Al Yankovic.

The intro of "Le Lucciole" is enough to make ckear thatthe first track is just a joke. The album is made of something different. If you have an idea of how an experimental band has to sound, this gives exactly this idea. The first RIO festival is an old story and this album is a follow-up, more experimental than anything else previously released by this band, with a fusion between folk and classic contemporary that can remind also to Zeuhl. The lyrics are experimental, too. The clear political statements that were still present on the previous album are now hidden if not disappeared behind words that sound well with the music but not necessarily meaningful. On "Le Lucciole" the role of main instrument that's usually played by the violin is now given to the clarinet. it's only after 6 minutes that the ensemble plays more orchestral making the track less challenging. Following there's another joke. A sort of "shake" version of "Madonina". This song, written in the 30s by Giovanni D'Anzi has become the anthem of the city of Milan where Stormy Six are from. Played in this way in just 50 seconds can be irritating for some of their most traditionalists-right-winged citizens. The "Madonina" is the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of Milan's Cathedral.

"Megafono" (Megaphone) is a grotesque and very 'avant' song. A Megaphone is an essential device for protesters, and the joke is about the fact that the way it distorces a voice makes the speaker anonymous. There's a long "eclectic" interlude made of disconnected sounds, passages between violin, clarinet, bass and drums. At minute 3:40 there's a short rock section leading to another part with vocals. If you read the definition of this subgenre on PA, this song fits perfectly there.

30 more seconds of irriverent "Madonina" then a female speaker with an Eastern Europe accent introduces what she calls "a moment of relax". "Banca" (Bank) is an instrumental crazyness "Since when you're gone my life is empty...I can't live anymore, what will be of me? I have close this feeling in the bank!".

"Pianeta" (Planet) is even more challenging. If I think to what this band was doing just five years before... The lyrics are as hermetic as the music. A very challenging album that the Madonina interludes try to make a little lighter but it's very difficult and totally non-suitable for the Italian market of 1980. The clarinet makes a great work.

"Rumba Sugli Alberi" (Rumba over the trees) is a brasses and clarinet thing with vocals. two minutes of the most "melodic" stuff that can be found on the album even including the second half when bass and drums make it very chaotic.

I'm now thinking that what I'm writing can be interpreted as "very good and artistic music" by fans of Rio and Avant, and like an "Avoid it absolutely" by fans of more melodic and strustured things like symphonic prog.....

"Enzo" is a vocal choir totally out of what we can call "song" or "melody". It's an experiment about voice, not too dissimilar from what Demetrio Stratos made in his "Concerto all'Elfo". It appears to be recorded live but the applauses may be just added, I don't know.

"Verbale" (Report, intended in legal or bureaucratic sense) is in some way reminding of the political/social period of the band, but the lyrics are very hermetic. The good is that even if one can sometimes catch a sort of melody, this track is totally unstructured and unpredictable both in terms of notes and rhythm. Who makes a great work here is the bass that keeps a jazzy profile.

Another interpratation of "Madonina" and the last "regular" track of the album: "Somario". As Macchina Maccheronica also this track is taken from Cliche'/Pinocchio suite and "Somario" is a joke between "Sommario" (summary) and "Somaro" (donkey), so it's clearly related to Pinocchio. The track is recorded live.

The last 15 seconds of "Madonina" closes the album.

A challenging listen but also rewarding for the listener. Of course it's not an album to be listened while driving by car. Take your time and the right moment to dig into the various moments. A must have for the fans of the genre also because it's the first Stormy Six album of the RIO era.

Latest members reviews

5 stars To me, Macchina Maccheronica is the perfect culmination of all that has gone before in the world of Stormy Six. A perfect blending of RIO (which in itself is a blend) and the accurate, passionate Italian rock music of the time. This must have been something to see live! The music has that overal ... (read more)

Report this review (#380856) | Posted by tmay102436 | Sunday, January 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An amazing band with amazing ideas. I found a concert of theirs on Dime a dozen, and was absolutely floored by the precision they brought to what can only be described as "challenging" music. I was told that their catalogue was in the process of being remastered and re-released. I seriously ho ... (read more)

Report this review (#86707) | Posted by boe_a | Friday, August 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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