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Astrolabio / ex Elettrosmog

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Astrolabio / ex Elettrosmog L'Isolamento Dei Numeri Pari album cover
3.93 | 89 ratings | 5 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. E'Stato Detto Tutto (4:46)
2. 31 Aprile (5:04)
3. Brie-Collage (8:14)
4. Aurora (1:01)
5. Fotografie (5:29)
6. Sono io o Sono Te? (Parquet) (5:31)
7. Corso di Eurostima (1:04)
8. Servito (4:26)
9. Non Ricordo (10:29)
10. Un Minuto di Silenzio per il Sistema Bancario Internazionale (Bancomat)
11. Pugni Chiusi (3:48)

Total time: 52:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Michele Antonelli / vocals, guitars, flute
- Massimo Babbi / keyboards
- Paolo Iemmi / vocals, bass
- Alessandro Pontone / drums

- Raffaello Regoli / lead vocals (11)

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD Andromeda Relix ‎- AND 038 (2014, Italy)

Thanks to Aussie-Byrd-Brother for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ASTROLABIO / EX ELETTROSMOG L'Isolamento Dei Numeri Pari ratings distribution

(89 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ASTROLABIO / EX ELETTROSMOG L'Isolamento Dei Numeri Pari reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With a replacement drummer brought in back in 2009, Verona proggers Elettrosmog have now morphed into Astrolabio, and it's very exciting to discover that their debut album (after a practice demo recording back in 2012) is without question one of the most exciting Italian prog albums of the year! `L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari' is full of colour and variety, the band defiantly incorporating modern influences while remaining respectful to several important 70's Italian bands, and all of the eleven tracks on offer display pinpoint precision song-writing with the dazzling instrumental qualities that progressive music fans demand. Astrolabio consider their music `degressive rock', meaning lovingly retro flavoured while refusing to over-produce and polish their music to pristine perfection. Therefore, the band have a frequently raw sound, with all the compositions being performed with incredible confidence. Prepare for a modern take on the unexpected direction changes of De De Lind, the rough charm of Biglietto per L'Inferno and the pleasing style of P.F.M.

With a title that translates to `The Isolation of Even Numbers', I was expecting some grand elaborate concept theme woven through the album! Turns out every even numbered track on the CD is merely 6 seconds of silence before the CD clicks over to the next track - interesting, and kind of silly! Asking the band about this, they responded that they merely wanted to be unconventional and determined to do things in their own unique and different way, while offering a sense of humour too, something frequently absent from the progressive genres. Going by the sense of fun the band show throughout many spots on the disc, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were actually secretly hoping stuffy prog fans will tear their hair out trying to work out the grand concept of the disc - and guilty I was of this, I must admit...and I can't afford to lose any more hair!

The album blasts off right from the start with `E'Stato Detto Tutto', a punchy little rocker with wild acoustic/electric bursts, huffing flute, nimble piano, delirious warping keyboards and frantic stop/start percussion. Michele Antonelli's devilish vocals cover everything from snarling temptation to other-wordly treated Le Orme-style weirdness. This cracking and addictive track is simply the greatest opener on a prog album all year, needed to be heard by those listeners who like their RPI reckless and spiky. `31 Aprile' then takes a surprising turn into a debauched sweaty electronic groover in the style of Gary Numan, all hip shaking beats and Michele's repetitive saucy guitar riffs! So many unexpected diversions for `Brie-Collage'. The band wanders through a wilderness of swampy guitar licks, Massimo Babbi's gentle synth breezes, dusty singer-songwriter introspection and bluesy smolder, then the piece lurches to life with a disorientating psychedelic stomp. This one gently unfolds over eight unhurried minutes, and the unpredictable turns remind of the classic vintage RPI album from De De Lind.

`Aurora' is a fleeting and delicate acoustic guitar lament, `Fotografic' a drowsy country ballad with some strangely Marillion-styled trilling keyboard solos throughout and cheerful P.F.M rollicking runs too! Michele's raspy vocal almost resembles alt-rock country icon Ryan Adams, and his lazy slide guitar gives it a blissful acid-fried early Floyd sound. `Sono...' mixes driving rock with loopy psychedelic colour, with some classical piano bombast and boisterous group vocals, then `Corso di Eurostima' is a stirring acoustic guitar ballad with a gentle violin backing that brings a soothing P.F.M quality. Very upfront synths constantly bombard `Servito', but it's the ten plus minute epic `Non Ricordo' that deserves more attention. A placid dreamy acoustic opening around subtle synth washes and a soothing vocal, then the piece snarls to life with heavy grunting electric guitars and Alessandro Pontone's forceful drumming. The band then burns through a perfectly executed improvisation with jazz-fusion guitar licks, glistening electric piano and Paolo Iemmi's swallowing bass, the synths taking on an almost ethereal droning tone behind them. The finale has a delightful flute outro that enters lonely and quickly turns hopeful and reassuring, and it's a sweet, surprising way to close a piece where the entire band demonstrates supreme taste and restraint. There is a quick cover of an Italian beat-pop era song with special guest Raffaello Regoli of vintage RPI band Cormorano to follow, but it's really more of a cute bonus track.

With eye catching and colourful artwork that instantly reminds of P.F.M `L'Iisola Di Niente', Astrolabio have delivered a grand and impressive work that I truly believe has a timeless quality, an album that instantly leaves a strong impression and shows off the talent and diversity of the band to great effect. Along with the recent albums by Logos, Entity and Il Fauno di Marmo, they've delivered one of the defining Italian progressive releases for the first half of 2014. Exceptional work all round, and if Astrolabio are already this good, imagine how much potential they have and the possibilities they may still deliver in the future?

Five stars.

(Oh, and any band who has the cheek to sneakily work in guitar licks from King Crimson's `21st Century Schizoid Man' and Jethro Tull's `Aqualung' during their own tunes are either pranksters, or have plums the size of planets! Bravo, gentlemen!)

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I had to bide my time with this one as well, reading all the glowing critiques with unfettered jealousy, waiting for its arrival into my collection, as this album is being vaunted as the next great RPI thingy. I am also a sucker for the powdered lime green album cover/inner art, a delicious forecaster of the moody music that may lurk inside (Think PFM and Robin Trower's Bridge of Sighs), plus the band is from Verona , one of Italy's many urban jewels.

As my dear Aussie colleague pointed out, humour is are commodity in prog (thank goodness for Jethro Tull and Uncle Frank) and these Italians certainly know how to shovel a fair amount of it with utter glee. The title means "the isolation of even numbers", so every second track lasts 6 seconds and is bathing in silence, a goofy little trick whose only purpose is not to take their craft too seriously. Secondly, there are prog winks to King Crimson and nods to Jethro Tull, a mischievous show of respect and cheek. They can get away with it because their inherent chops are quite imposing too, no hint of Gorgonzola anywhere!

Each track targets a differing mood, showcasing a wide palette of inspiration and technique that spans the entire RPI spectrum from folk to space, psychedelic to symphonic with slivers of blues, rock, jazz and electronic. Perhaps my expectations were too high but I somehow did not really get into the stark sound, the rawness did not really inspire me. I prefer the more melodic side of RPI and have difficulty with the growlier options such as Museo Rosenbach (which I still can't get into), De De Lind, and such?..

"E Stato del Tutto" is a slinky affair with a bopping bass, intricate drumming and a raw synth that somehow acts like some sonic serpent, coiling and hissing along the way, winking at Manfred Mann in a salacious relationship with Gary Numan (Thanks Michael) . The guitar is fresh and rambunctious, certainly in paralleling a famous KC riff just to remind us who their icons are.

The same applies for the reptilian "31 Aprile" with its 'like a dead duck' Tull riff, a little "My Sharona" ?like guitar montage, while the olive oily synthesizers carve boldly above, juicy and colorful. Stop and go prog this is, punky and brash.

Humor, you ask? The magnificent "Brie-Collage" is a play on words (love that stuff!), the French word 'bricolage' means a hobby but also serves as a cute wink to the famous Polish neo-prog band and the lovely French cheese associated with the genre! The 8 minute affair is way moodier and atmospheric, the Paolo Iemmi bass showing bold moves! Guitarist Michele Antonelli has a gruff style, even when in a blues mood with the wah-wah pedal, but his vocals are imperial. Keyboardist Massimo Babbi has a retro-modern style that is quite effective in keeping ones guard vigilant.

"Fotografie" is another slow burning bluesy dream work, rollicking bass shovels forward like some deranged snow plow gone berserk and Michele emotes on the microphone with alternatively howling, hushed, echoed and gravelly abandon, on a diversified platform of sonic experimentation that will include some judicious use of flute. Babbi does his Emerson/Premoli interpretation (winks at 'Celebration') to stamp more RPI glory onto their craft.

"Sono Io o Sono te" is more upfront and splashy, choppy organ tribulations and raunchy guitar that verges on hard, while the voices slip into raging and angry mode. Drummer Pontone provides some serious bashing to the mix in order to better ascertain that a sense of dissonant neurosis rules supreme. Balls.

A brief musical interlude, time for some gentle pastoral respite from all the previous tornadoes, before returning into Dante's Inferno , as the nasty "Servito" pillages forward like some horde of Huns heading to conquer Rome, agile yet utterly brutal. Antonelli's axe thrashes hard-edged riffs like Thor hurling thunderbolts (the 'Akkerman on Hocus Pocus' guitar is obvious), swerving this into a delirium that cannot leave one cold.

The epic piece here (and the highlight really) is the 10 minute + "Non Ricordo", a fluttering ride of haunting vocals built on a careening theme that is both vast and manly, the musicians preferring a muscular approach that is hard not to like. I am once gain impressed by the engulfing and overt bass guitar, as it sets the mood with both confidence and conviction. Antonelli is not just a chop-maestro but can also emote on his axe, as his meaningful solo is both bluesy and intricate, a real eargasm of the finest order, his licks clanging, searching and desperate. His tired voice does wonders on the receiving end, a heady mixture of exhaustion and grace. The mercurial flute is perfectly penciled in to provide some sense of distant hope. Fantastic stuff!

"Pugni Chiusi" ends this affair on a more upbeat note, playful in music and theatrical in voice (Cormorano's Raffaello Regoli), sounding almost like some hit song from the Italian pop world gone prog. Though not my cup of espresso, it's fun to see and hear musicians who do not take themselves too seriously especially in the ornate world of prog.

It took me a few spins to find my way into their astral laboratory but the patience has been rewarded with some serious appreciation. This coming from one who prefers the more moody aspects of RPI and prog in general. The gorgeous cover work only enhances the reputation of this fine newcomer on the Italian scene, I am looking forward to their next work.

4 Binary Incarcerations

Review by b_olariu
4 stars The italian band Astrolabio is a continuation of another band from italian scene named Elettrosmog, practicaly is almost same band with diffrent name. Astrolabio is present on prog scene since 2009 and so far they released one album in 2014 named I'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari. Well the music is typicaly for italian school, influences from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso or Delirium. There are nice solid instrumental sections, with keyboards, flute as main role. Pieces are quite short around 4-5 min, but that is not a problem, all are filled with nice intelligent arrangements, twists and turns as must sound a prog band. Maybe the longest tune from here Non Ricordo clocking around 10 min is the highlight from excellent vocal parts to catchy yet complex prog, Astrolabio really did it with this album, a nice dubut under this name for sure. Very good the art work , from me 4 stars all around.

Latest members reviews

4 stars If some of you are waiting for another great Italian release, this is one for you. It hasn't been so many this year, after last year's explosion of Italian prog. The band "Astrolabio" comes from Verona and has released two studio records. Their first studio album was "Monologando" 2006 when they ... (read more)

Report this review (#1274434) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Oh yeah! The italians got sent away in the 2014 world cup football, but in the world of progressive rock they're still on the field and they got 3-0 before halftime. Astrolabios album "L'isolamento dei numeri pari" shows me all the reasons why I love progressive rock. It's agressive, calm, hot, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1199758) | Posted by Andis | Monday, June 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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