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Madrugada Incastro album cover
2.87 | 27 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Romanzen (12:30)
2. E' Triste Il Vento (5:28)
3. Aragon (8:51)
4. Katmandu (3:41)
5. Noter De Berghem (1:26)
6. Hobbit (8:20)

Bonus tracks on AMS/BTF CD:
7. Aragon (live) (8:20)
8. Hobbit (live) (6:48)
9. Pinto Suite (live) (14:15)

Total Time: 67:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Gianfranco Pinto / keyboards, vocals
- Alessandro "Billy" Zanelli / bass guitar, vocals
- Pietro Rapelli / drums, percussions, vocals

- Lucio Fabbri / violin (1,2)
- Gianluigi Trovesi / sax (2,3,6)
- Gianni Bertocchi / flute (1)
- Luciano Ninzatti / acoustic and electric guitars (3)
- Silvia Annicchiarico / vocals (6)

Releases information

LP Philips 6323 046A
CD AMS/BTF AMS 108 (reissue with mini-LP gatefold cover plus 3 bonus tracks)

Thanks to andrea cortese for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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MADRUGADA Incastro ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(11%)
Good, but non-essential (56%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MADRUGADA Incastro reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Madrugada's second (and unfortunately, last) studio album is generally regarded as their most convincing work and their best contribution to the italian progressive scene. The trio was composed by keyboardist Gianfranco Pinto, bassist Alessandro "Billy" Zanelli and drummer percussionist Pietro Rapelli. Their sound is eclectic and varied going from more typical rock progressivo italiano patterns (as in E' Triste il Vento with a certain Lucio Fabbri on violin) through jazz-rock excursions, to more experimental avantguard territories and even to typical folk tunes from the Alps. This is clearly the main choice, here, to shock the listener with many changes fo tempo and atmosphere. Frank Zappa and Robert Wyatt wisely mixed within genuine italian flavour and invention with sparse tribal and dramatic overtones.

Two long tracks (almost intrumental) deserve special mention: the opener Romanzen (12:30) which goes absurd in the ending "panting" part with more than a reference also to Alan Sorrenti's Come un Vecchio Incensiere...'s epic.

Aragon (8:51) has a harder structure thanks to the guitar played by Luciano Ninzatti. A smooth bass guitar contribution from "Billy" Zanelli, atmospheric and quasi-cosmic keyboards in a very hypnotizing vortex.

With Katmandu (3:41) the band opens with interesting eastern/indian influences that suddenly fade into a strange "pop" song with funny lyrics about a lost love in India and the obviously sad return to the home village, Berghem, that's why of the unespected folk vocals based choir following (Noter de Berghem, 1:26).

The instrumental closer Hobbit (6:09) follows the example of Romanzen and Aragon with catching and strong bass lines, aggressive drums and percussions, non-sense colours and those cosmic keyboards' adventures.

E' Triste il Vento (5:28) features the important contribution of PFM's member Lucio Fabbri on violin and is the most typical RPI song with mellow vocals and slightly medieval- renaissance feel. Very good.

On the elegant BTF's papersleeve remastered reissue there are also three bonus live tracks: Aragon and Hobbit plus the previously unreleased Pinto Suite (14:15). Not the best sound's quality, ok, but a great document of the strong personality of the band.

3.5 stars

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Second album from this trio, that gets lots of help from guest musicians, yet I'm not sure calling themselves (even in a subtitle) Electronic Avant-garde is a fitting word for them, no matter how superior this album is to the acoustic ballads of their self-titled debut. This second album is not much improvement on the debut but has such a wider spectrum that it has certainly a problem focusing on a musical direction and maintaining it. The album came out with a gatefold artwork representing fragments of dunes and the back cover had the full picture restored.

Indeed the 12-mins Romanzen starts out very much like an early PFM track with an outstanding flute from guest Bertocchi and the whole shebang, slownly dying into a bongo solo that signals a second movement. The bongos are quickly double tracked and joined by hard-to-define shrill sounds, but nothing electronics I figure. A solid Aftrican drum joins with bunches of percussions to make this an Voodoo-like dance until the piano slowly steps in and takes over as the percissions disappear. The piano soon becomes double tracked and dissonant, before dying out at the end of the track, leaving us puzzled as to what this "trip" meant. The cover Sad Wind picks up a bit where the first movement of the previous track had left, minus the flute, but a violin as bonus. But dying on an Elton Dean or Archie Shepp-like sax improv, having us wonder why again.

The flipside opens on a drone that gets up-ended by that same sax, but this time it's not improvising) and a very modern and technical jazz-rock; and once it calms down, the drone reappears but in a higher register and the whole group flies into a You-era Gong trip that's simply too close for comfort, but the group moves on and return to an easier jazz-rock than the one that had first opened this very Aragon track. Katmandu has the obvious sitar opening the track; but once the intro is gone, this becomes an atrocious and completely out-of-context pop song. Melting in the gospel-like Noter de Berghem, hesitating between Clegg and Afro-American church music. Both tracks are best skipped to keep a semblance of unity in musical direction. The closing Hobbit is again flirting with atonal and dissonant improvisations, until a steady drum installs an order that the bass soon transfers in a wild GG- like trance with keys and saxes reaching an impressive level of complexity. This is for me the most impressive track of the album, by far: everything sounds well though-out (if not written), unlike the much clumsier Romanzen and Aragon.

The three live bonus tracks are not of the same sound quality, but hardly devoid of quality, a show of the band's live performance. The first two are fairly different live renditions of Aragon and Hobbit, especially for the former. Most interesting is the 14-minjs+Pinto Suite, which could've been easily added to this album in place of some two shorter tracks. And should that track have been on the studio album, it would've been the highlight with hobbit. So the bonus tracks add some value to the album, but I deplore such a difference of sound between the album original and the live bonus track, especially the recording level. In spite of such heavy flaws I spoke out throughout my review, this album still has some very recommendable moments, but not enough to make this album a sure and clear nod. I think it's best you listen to this carefully before deciding on it.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars This second album opens on a long piece of music which is quite difficult to apprehend: it is a combination of beautiful melody, symphonic music, experimental parts.

Some sort of combination between early PFM, Trespass and Moonchild. Evenly distributed. As far as I'm concerned, they could have focused more into the sweet and quiet melodic part and just forget the one. Or maybe expand the former a little more. It even turns into an ethnic piece with some African drumming which are rather unexpected. The last five minutes are quite hard to digest, at least for me. Dull is what best describes my feeling.

Aragon opens on a pure jazz and disjointed section, moving into a fully Crimsonesque atmosphere (but the intro could have been performed by KC as well). The band is then again investigating (?) into some improvisation (avant-garde?) part which is really unnecessary. I don't like this track.

Then comes Katmandu. Difficult to explain, really: it is obviously influenced with some local sounds during the intro: so far so good. But then comes the body of this song. Totally dreadful and disgusting. Be quick to press next; it is really an unbearable track.

Actually this album is rather weak. I was not considering their debut as a masterpiece but this one holds very few good moments (the short Noter De Berghem just confirm the boredom).

Bonus live tracks are a nice add on (especially the long Pinto Suite), but the quality level on these recording is not top notch (to say the least).

If you are into jazz improvisations, experimental musical experiences, you might find this appealing. It is not my case. This album has a very, very thin link with the Italian symphonic style. It is somewhat misleading to have this band featured in this category. They only have released one great song which fits the genre (Mandrax) from their debut.

Two stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mid-70's found Madrugada at their most prolific period.The trio had a great live activity, playing alongside Area, Claudio Rocchi and Biglietto per l'Inferno among others, and even abroad like with Kevin Ayers in Switzerland.Additionaly Pinto and Zanelli were involved in the great one-shot project Pangea and their very good 1976 ''Invasori'' album.In 1977 it was time for the band's sophomore effort and ''Incastro'' sees the light again on Phillips, featuring some guest musicians, among them future-P.F.M. violin player Lucio Fabbri.

''Incastro'' shows Madrugada at their most proggy phase and the long opening ''Romanzen'' is a good proof.Dreamy Soft Progressive Rock with Folk references, where synths and flutes lead the way along with ethereal vocals, still the ending section is trully experimental, featuring groovy percussion along with a dissonant piano improvisation in a very Avant-Garde BATTIATO-like style.''E'Triste il Vento'' was originally a composition of the already disbanded Perdio, which had strong links with Madrugada (members of both bands played with Terza Classe in early-70's).This is very romantic organ/violin-driven Italian Prog with a smooth atmosphere and excellent vocals.The all instrumental ''Aragon'' opens as a good Heavy Rocker, but soon becomes a Prog/Fusion type of composition with spacey keyboards and violin solos till' the very end, trully energetic but a bit repetitive stuff.The title of ''Katmandu'' suggests an Eastern vibe and the truth is close, being a psychedelic instrumental with sitar, percussion, which gives its place to a totally dull rocker with an awful chorus, definitely heading as the album's single for promotional reasons.''Noter de Berghem'' is an a cappella attempt by the band with choir-type of singing and ''Hobbit'' will close the album in a very strange way.Avant-Garde experiments with flutes, sax and keyboards improvisation until the middle, when a groovy part appears in a Fusion-type, led by the rhythm section, saxes and synths.

This meant to be the last contribution of Madrugada in the prog world, as the punk attack prevented the trio to record any further.Gianfranco Pinto continued his career as a session musician next to various well-known pop singers and in late-90's he was also part of the Perdio reformation.Zanelli and Rapelli seem to have left the music industry for good.

While ''Madrugada'' was just an introduction of the band to prog arrangements, ''Incastro'' shows a huge development in terms of composition, often bordering with experimental forms of music, not always conveincing, but definitely interesting.Go for the BTF CD reissue, which also contains three additional live cuts by the group.

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