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Pierpaolo Bibbo

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Pierpaolo Bibbo Diapason album cover
3.52 | 25 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cercando una terra fantastica (5:18)
2. Contaminazione (3:40)
3. Incantautore (3:47)
4. E dalle mie macerie (7:51)
5. La macchina del tempo (9:37)
6. Suoni, echi, voci (3:44)
7. Possessori della mente (2:54)
8. Incantautore (reprise) (4:17)

Total Time 41:08

Line-up / Musicians

Pierpaolo Bibbo - bass, guitars, vocals, synthesizer
Adriano De Murtas - organ, synthesizer, piano, electric piano
Franco Medas - drums, percussion
Giacomo Medas - violin (one track)
Antonello Severino - flute (one track)
Leonardo Tummolo - un tocco di classe in piu

Releases information

LP: La Strega Records, LSP-801, 1980
CD: Mellow Records, MMP-201, 1994

Thanks to finnforest for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PIERPAOLO BIBBO Diapason ratings distribution

(25 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PIERPAOLO BIBBO Diapason reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Solid lesser-known symphonic gem

Many prog fans feel there was a dark winter in their favorite genre from sometime in the late '70s until the resurgence began in the '90s. But the truth is that despite the conscious sell-out of many groups putting sales ahead of art- the gems still existed, you only needed to dig a bit more. In Italian prog there are plenty of hidden gems from every period that need more exposure and Pierpaolo Bibbo created one such album, "Diapason." Recorded in 1979 and released on a small label in 1980 the album was composed and carefully crafted by multi-instrumentalist and studio whiz Pierpaolo Bibbo. Bibbo handles guitars, bass, synths, and vocals with good command and employed a second keyboardist Adriana De Murtis and drummer Franco Medas to assure a good band sound. Flute and violin are also present but quite sparingly. "Diapason" is a unique sounding album to be sure. While it surely features the beautiful, traditional Italian symphonic backdrop of a PFM/Locanda Delle Fate in general, Bibbo's rather adventurous approach to the instruments, his irreverence to any fixed notions toward the palette of sounds, gives "Diapason" a personality all its own. Because of his knowledge and comfort in the studio (Bibbo's career is in the recorded arts production and he now owns his own studio) one senses that he took plenty of time laboring in the construction of these tracks. This is busy music with plenty of layering going on throughout, multiple keyboards, multiple guitars, clearly an enjoyment for the process of recording is present. Many of the songs are linked together with similar themes occurring more than once giving the album a more conceptual feel.

The first time you listen to "Diapason" you may well think it is one strange sounding album. After a few listens you begin to appreciate Bibbo's sense of aesthetic. At the core are melodic symphonic tracks of 3-10 minutes in length with heartfelt vocals. And then you begin to notice the *way* the instruments sound and the layering taking place. You begin to notice the sound effects and the way each track has many interesting changing sections rather than just one or two. The keyboards are weighed about equally to Bibbo's guitar playing with both being very prominent. The synths are modern sounding for the time and multi-layered with other synth, piano, or organ, though mostly synths dominate. The synths are frequently fuzzy sounding, manipulated with a "phasing" effect, and often run in loops to create their own distinct color. The same is true with the guitars that are often right there with the synths, more often together than taking turns. The electric guitars are often played through effects of some kind and they are layered often with two distinct parts and sometimes I noticed three parts. And the most distinct thing which gives "Diapason" its own sound is the positively wired, high-pitched range Bibbo often plays in. He's WAY up there at times to the point where the album could be sub-titled "Music for Dogs" because only they can hear it. I'm joking of course but the range is something that stands out right away, a unique sound choice that was gives this album an eclectic edge. The longest track "La macchina del tempo" (The Time Machine) features a two-minute opening of spacey guitar notes reverberating with a harpsichord-like keyboard sound sprinkled around the edges. It leads later to a punchier rock section and then evolves slowly to a fairly grand and majestic conclusion. The experimentation in his sound that Bibbo was obviously going for might irritate some listeners as the looping effects especially can drone on. But he successfully counters this by mixing in enough traditional symphonic grandeur to balance it: beautiful acoustic guitar and piano, a bit of flute and violin, warm and optimistic vocals, a stable and reassuring rhythm section. It is this balance which makes the album easily accessible and enjoyable while not sounding the least bit stagnant to my ears, the charge of stagnation being something that was leveled at many prog acts in this period.

Pierpaolo Bibbo made only one album in the progressive vein but he made the most of it. He deserves credit for delivering "Diapason" during the cold winter of prog and Mellow deserves credit (again) for its reissue on CD. The sound quality is generally good though perhaps a bit light on low end for my taste. "Diapason" is a solid recommendation for fans of Italian Prog and could be recommended to any fan of symphonic or Neo-prog. The CD booklet comes with full lyrics in Italian and a nice period photo of Bibbo but unfortunately with no Bio.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 for sure

Pierpaolo Bibbo is one of the most unknown musicians in prog rock realm, not only in Europe , but also in Italy is rather unnoticed by many prog listners. Working as musician from mid '70's he manage to release only one album in 1980 named simply Diapason. This album overall is quite good and little known in prog filed, and at the time of the issue was very unpopular, mainly because of the year of release 1980 - when prog music was almost out of date, with exceptions of course. The album has simple plain blue cover who goes hand in hand with the music, sometimes quite dark and very sobre. The music is symphonic prog with some very nice keyboards passages made by him as like almost all instruments bass, guitar and vocals aswell helped by Franco Medas on drums and ocasionaly on synth and piano by Adriano De Murtas. Some very good and well balanced moments between guitar and synth, specialy the opening track Cercando una terra fantastica , the longest one La macchina del tempo and the instrumental Contaminazione are perfect examples of great symphonic prog moments. The voice of Mr Bibbo is ok, well nothing over the top but is melting very well with the rest, he has a melacholic voice, very dark sometimes, but always smooth. So avery pleasent album, quite a lost little gem in places, but don't expect to somthing close to a masterpice, 3-3.5 for Diapason, who has some very good moments, but overll nothing realy exciting. Definetly worth some spins, the RPI lovers will enjoy this album but aswell the more lesser symphonic orientated listners will find some good moments here and there. My CD is re issued by Mellow records who has again a white ball from me and I guess from many of you for releasing lost albums, but each one with their own contribution to progressive rock.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From 1980 comes this lovely prog inspired album from Pierpaolo Bibbo. It's a mainly song based album with Bibbo himself handling guitars and vocals, ably accompanied by a keyboard player and drummer. There's also a flautist and violinist guesting on one track each. By all accounts Bibbo spent some time on the recording of the album and it certainly shows. The overall sound is warm and lush, with much use of multitracking and effects. However, what I like is that there are also occasional background sounds between some tracks, which gives the impression of a band playing live in the studio. The tracks also tend to segway into one another making the album seem like one long suite of music.

The album opens strongly with the beautiful Cercando Una Terra Fantastica. The instrumental section midway through this song features a chord progression that reminds me of Seven Stones from Nursery Cryme by Genesis... no bad thing. Track 2, Contaminazione, is the only instrumental piece on the album. It begins slow in tempo with spacey synths and guitar, then the tempo quickens when the rhythm section join in. This pattern repeats itself, then the track leads into Incantautore. This is another lovely song featuring violin, celesta, bubbling synths and acoustic guitar. Bibbo's voice is good throughout the album, but on this track he excells. His voice is a very nice lyrical tenor, perfectly suited to this song. Track 4, E Dalle Mie Macerie, is quite a long piece at 7.51. It starts out as a piano led ballad before developing into a more upbeat piece with a very infectious melody and angst-ridden vocals.

The second half of the album is arguably of more interest to prog fans. At 9.37, La Macchina Del Tempo is the longeast track here. it is also the centrepiece of the album. It features many different sections, tempo changes, vocal and instrumental parts. Track 6, Suoni, Echi, Voci, continues in similar vein with more tempo and mood changes. Possessori Della Mente is a short, up-tempo rocker... ok, but nothing startling. However, the album finishes strongly with a reprise of Incantautore. Bibbo sings one verse before the song finishes with an extended instrumental passage featuring one of the most beautiful melodies on the disc.

My one criticism of this album is that, texturally, there is a bit of similarity between some songs. Fuzzed guitars, synths and celesta seem to be omnipresent, although the other side to the argument is that this provides continuity and adds to the band feel. Despite this one small criticism this is a gorgeous album and is highly recommended, especially to fans of RPI.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars An Italian songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Cagliari,Pierpaolo Bibb˛ was born in 1954 and started his career along with Giampiero Melosu on the Country/Rock duo Distilleria M.B.,which released only two singles,''Spettatore di un'idea/Camilla'' in 1976 and ''Il ricordo dei tuoi si/Dolce Silvana'' the next year,both on La Strega label,specialized on artsits from Sardegna.After this Bibbo worked on his first solo work at his own Diapason studio.The album,which carries the name of the studio as a title,was recorded in 1979 and released the next year on La Strega.

Along with Hopo's ''Senti'',''Diapason'' is one of the most well-arranged and respected works of Classic Italian Prog appeared in early 80's.The album flows into a melodic Symphonic Rock style with heavy vocal content but also plenty of intricate harmonies and dreamy soundscapes with only a couple of tracks being more into a melodic ballad-pop style.Bibbo handles all guitars,bass,synths ans sings on the album along with Adriano De Murtas on piano and organ and Franco Medas on drums.Most of the arrangements are in a high compositional level,dominated by the keyboards of Bibbo and De Murtas' piano in a light and ethereal symphonic style and Bibbo's vocals are quite expressive and balanced.Guitar work is also very melodic,though it only appears in moments.''Diapason'' could reach a higher level,if it wasnt for its mediocre mix,where keyboards sound too cheap with the other instruments being rather very low.

After ''Diapason'',Bibbo joined the rock band Segno,with whom he released the single ''Il Segno/Pianista'' in 1982,again on La Strega.In late 80's he worked at the ''Mixer'' studio of di Giancarlo D'Amico,participated in the group Colors since 1993 and constantly worked as an arranger and composer at his ''Diapason'' Studio until today.

''Diapason'' succeeded little fame back in the days of its release,but the album was fortunately re-issued on CD by Mellow Records.It remains a rare underground album of early 80's Italian Prog,but its content will please any fan into progressive rock with a highly melodic approach.Strongly recommended.

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