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Proteo Republikflucht! ...Facing East album cover
3.91 | 22 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Echoes Mankind (Pt.2) (9:22)
2. Berlin (12:55)
3. Eastern Fields (11:52)
4. Funny Girls Playing Double Dutch (3:04)
5. Four-Leaf Clover (10:37)
6. Republikflucht (10:54)

Total Time 58:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Matteo Copetti / Guitars
- Marco Paulica / Guitars, Vocals
- Alessandro Surian / Bass
- Fabio Gorza / Drums

Releases information

CD Ma.Ra.Cash Records (November 29, 2013)

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PROTEO Republikflucht! ...Facing East ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(68%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

PROTEO Republikflucht! ...Facing East reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by andrea
4 stars Proteo's second album, "Republikflucht! ?Facing East" was released in 2013 on Ma.Ra.Cash Records and in my opinion is more refined and mature if compared with its predecessor. Here the song-writing is bolder and the music, yet still rooted in eighties pop rock forms, perfectly fits the concept and helps to take you back in time. In fact, according to an interview with the band, this is a concept album inspired by books such as Anna Funder's C'era una volta la Ddr or Ryszard Kapuscinsky's Imperium, it's a reflection about the cold war and a way to look over the ruins of the Berlin Wall, facing East. A fatherland with a hand of fire and another hand of snow that hurts your heart when you try to embrace it, as sings Wolf Biermann in one of his best lieder. Well, here the music is a far cry from Wolf Biermann's but it successfully contributes to set the right atmosphere while the lyrics do not try to tell a story but just draw evocative images focusing on the hopes and feelings of the common people rather than on politics.

The opener "Echoes Mankind (Part II)" is a sequel of the last track on Proteo's debut album and depicts military plants and barbed wire along the border, a barrack-like homeland where people are kept as prisoners without consciousness, where bureaucracy rules but where there's still room for hope and where in spite of everything flowers can still break the ice. Next comes the long, complex "Berlin", a surreal musical painting of a city that could resemble to a museum of modern art and where the free sky is blotted out by disquieting grey clouds. Then the dreamy "Eastern Fields" follows drawing images of a farmland on the edge of time where you risk to get lost in your thoughts, facing east, far away from home...

The lively "Funny Girls Playing Double Dutch" is the shortest track on the album and describes some innocent children merrily playing in a courtyard, unconscious of their destiny and scrutinized by men wearing uniforms. "Four-leaf Clover" is another long track dealing with feelings such as faith, hope and love under the iron curtain. "Republikflucht" concludes the album with a come back from this strange trip through time and space leading to mysterious and shadowy places, over fake theories and disused liturgies, underneath lost memories and black and white pictures.

All in all this is a very good album. Through the distillation of a myriad of influences Proteo have achieved a singular sound and if you like modern progressive rock with a melodic approach, you really have to check this album out.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An Italian band of seasoned veterans have here put together quite an excellent oeuvre. I hear so many wonderful sounds familiar to me from so many other bands (The Fixx, Steely Dan, The Dream Academy, Prefab Sprout, Rush, Art in America, Gino Vanelli, Ozric Tentacles, Unitopia, Aisles) and eras (the 80s), all blended together subtly, unassumingly, into a very fresh and original (and welcome!) sound. And it is all packaged in great sound engineering. Favorite songs: "Eastern Fields" (11:52) (9/10); "Echoes Mankind (part II)" (9:22) (9/10); "Four- Leaf Clover" (10:37) (with its gorgeous SANTANA-like last three minutes!) (9/10); Berlin" (12:55) (love the sound big shift at 3:30!) (9/10), and; the FIXX-like "Republikflucht" (10:54) (8/10).

A very solid four star contribution to the annals of progressive rock of which this band should be quite proud.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Two things influenced my decision to order this album and subsequently enjoy it. Firstly, as a child refugee from Communist Hungary, I have always had a morbid fascination for the German Democratic Republic (aka East Germany, aka DDR), devouring books and movies on the subject of an insane society with the highest ratio of citizen to snitch in recorded history (one in six worked for the Stasi secret police). From 1948 to 1989, dissent, travel and western influences such as music and fashion were strictly 'verboten' (illegal). The country was totally subservient to Moscow's authority. Secondly, Camel's Andy Latimer devoted an entire album to the life in the socialist paradise with his 1984 work 'Stationary Traveler', a remarkable effort that attempted to depict the GDR and its gloomy hypocrisy. French band Pulsar also did the GDR justice with the brooding Gorlitz album, another thrilling Trabant ride into grayness. There is a great joke about the hilarious PVC automobile, a donkey and a Trabi are next to one another in a parking lot and the ass asks 'What are you?', the Trabant answers 'a Car!' , to which the long-eared animal replies smirking 'yeah and I am a horse!' . One can throw in the Oscar winning movie 'The Life of Others' (2006) as another eye opening glimpse into crass human stupidity, among many others cinematographic insights ('The Prize', 'Torn Curtain', 'Der Tunnel' and 'Barbara' among many more).

So when Italian (from Trieste) band Proteo launched this 2013 album to critical acclaim (two respected reviewers gave this a great thumbs up), I took the merry plunge into this 'Escape from the Republic' which was the word used by many to leave the GDR unlawfully, as emigration was considered a crime against the state. Also intriguing were the various mentions of musical influences ranging from the Fixx (a huge non-prog favorite) as well as my beloved Roxy Music. Also hints of Gino Vannelli (the vocals), Santana (lead guitars), the Police (rhythm guitars) and Rush are evident. There are two axemen, one (Matteo Copetti) with a clear Carlos Santana lead guitar style and the other (Marco Paulica) with an Andy Summers/Jamie West-Oram (the Fixx) rhythm riffer technique, and the two are simply tremendous together. The sneaky bass is held firmly by Alessandro Surian and Fabio Gorza handles the technical drums. Throw in some delightful saxophone and some unaccredited keyboards and you get the full deal.

The opening salvo 'Echoes Mankind' is a complex, cinematographic and harrowing piece that has somber tones, loaded with innumerable sound and voice effects, blaring alarm sirens, vibrating beats, all meshing together until the bass, drums and slashing guitars announce the vocal line. The suave juxtaposition of the two guitar styles are brought to the forefront and instill a pace that will continue on until the very end of the album. Drummer Gorza in particular uses that choppy Stewart Copeland style to great effect.

The other tracks are pure bliss, like the marvelous epic 'Berlin', a 13 minute excursion through a divided city, sliced by a harrowing wall of barbed-wire, snarling dogs, mine fields, guard towers, searchlights and snipers. The contrast between the grey and dark East with the brightly illuminated West was incredibly obvious to anyone on either side of the divide. The Police/Santana mood is thrilling and exalting, driven by furious rhythms and choppy vocals. The attitude is 'wunderbar' and upbeat, just like the Kurfuerstendam on a bright summer day. The scintillating and extended guitar Copetti solo is simply masterful. This breathtaking formula is repeated on the funkier 'Eastern Fields' with Paulica doing a passionate imitation of Cy Curnin (the Fixx' rather sensational lead vocalist), fully loaded with soaring electric guitar soloing, changing moods and thrilling technique.

The brief 'Funny Girls Playing Double Dutch' sounds like a throwback to Dexy's Midnight Runners or Prefab Sprout, presumably to offer a bit of levity, as well as some humor. The intricate 'Four Leaf Clover' is another highlight track, a 10 minute+ epic that certainly has a jazzy sheen, hinting at Steely Dan, with a delectable guitar interplay that will blow guitar fan boys sideways. The adamant vocals will recall TFF leader Roland Orzabal but the sustained lead guitar licks from Copetti will really stun a few out there, rapid, technically dazzling and insistently soaring.

'Republikflucht' is the final piece and again offers a sexy intro with shifting guitars and determined beat, a true joy for the ears, head and feet. Lots of mood changes, softer sections colliding with raging passages, the arrangement palpitates endlessly. Copetti sizzles along with his extended electric frenzy, unyielding and obstinate.

While the Police or the Fixx might seem odd bedfellows, truth is there is not many who dare to plunge into that odd direction. Proteo is a delightful band and this album certainly has multiple merits. I urge you to escape the Vopos and flee to the other side.

4.5 Erich Honneckers

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