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MOTHER FROM THE SUN

Marco Ragni

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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Marco Ragni Mother From The Sun album cover
3.96 | 62 ratings | 6 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (52:33)
1. Into The Wheel Of Time (9:13)
2. Sea Of Vibes (15:15)
3. Panting (1:04)
4. Haven Of Marble (17:46)
5. Faint Memory (4:41)
6. The Light Is Burning (2:23)
7. Get Out Of Here (2:11)

CD 2 (41:44)
8. Far Beyond The Line (22:06)
9. The First Time I Saw The Sun (1:20)
10. Skies Painted By The Wind (7:32)
11. In the Air (3:14)
12. Breathing (1:19)
13. Northern Light (4:00)
14. Mother From The Sun (2:13)

Total time 1:34:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Marco Ragni / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, Greek bouzouki, keyboards, Mellotron, bass, drum programming

With:
- Giovanni Menarello / acoustic guitar (2,7,8,12)
- Enrico Cipollini / electric guitar (2,4)
- Davide Gazzi / acoustic guitar (2)
- Enrico di Stefano / saxophone (1,4,8,12)
- Luigi Iaccobone / flute (4,10,11)
- Pamela Anna Polland / backing vocals (11,13)
- Alessandra Pirani / backing vocals (5)
- Silvia Mazzetto / backing vocals (11)
- The Bizarre Talisman Choir / folk voices (4)

Releases information

2xCD Melodic Revolution Records ‎- MMR CD 22109 (2014, US)

FLAC download - bandcamp.com

Thanks to angelo for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MARCO RAGNI Mother From The Sun ratings distribution


3.96
(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
20%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
38%
Good, but non-essential (22%)
22%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

MARCO RAGNI Mother From The Sun reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars What happens if you take the best things of almost 50 years of psychedelic music and space rock, a bit of jazz rock and add a bit of 21st century technology and composition techniques? Depending on who you are, it could go two ways: either it becomes a mess or you end up with something bordering brilliance. If you are Marco Ragni, you end up with an album called Mother from the Sun, that easily fits the second way.

When Nick Katona of Melodic Revolution Records asked me if I wanted to review the album, I had never heard of Marco Ragni. That's a risk of course - reviewing something you don't like is not a fun thing to do, and in cases like this, it likely doesn't help the person asking for the review. After listening to a single demo track (Into the Wheel of Time) I agreed to review, because I was surprised by what I heard. First of all because I really liked the music, but also because this happened around the time Pink Floyd's The Endless River was released. I was having discussions on what that band could have delivered if they had composed new material in 2014 instead of releasing recordings made 20 years ago. What I heard in that first track of Marco Ragni's album seemed to be one of the possible answers to that question. It was, and it wasn't, because of course Pink Floyd is Pink Floyd, and Marco Ragni is Marco Ragni. Reality is that Ragni does put down a fine piece of psychedelic progressive rock with this album, that addresses the struggle Man's dealings with Mother Earth. It is a double CD, of which disc one addresses the gradual destruction of our planet by human behaviour, and the rising consciousness of this fact, and disc two goes on about what happens once Man re-establishes the balance between his behaviour and the rest of nature, after going through a process of inner growth. All of this is laid down musically in a style that is related to, but different from that of bands like Pink Floyd and Eloy, that also shows some jazz rock influences , but is at times also a bit heavier than aforementioned bands - in a way that resembles Porcupine Tree at the time of The Sky Moves Sideways.

It is worth noting that Marco Ragni is a multi-instrumentalist, and takes care of all lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, mellotron and drum's programming (no real drummer on this album, unfortunately), and a large part of the electric and acoustic guitar playing. On acoustic guitar, Giovanni Menarello and Davide Gazzi play along on some tracks, while Enrico Cipollini plays electric guitar on two tracks. Enrico di Stefano plays saxophone on four tracks and Luigi Iacbone adds a flute on three others. Backing vocals, where applicable are taken care of by Marco's girlfriend Allesandra Pirani (who also wrote a large part of the lyrics), Pamela Anna Polland, Silvia Mazzetto and The Bizarre Talisman Choir.

The opening track of Disc One (The Rise and Fall of Human Heart) is the same one I heard as a sample of this album Into the Wheel of Time. It immediately feels like a modern era Pink Floyd, with the keyboard opening that develops into a solid guitar solo. The vocals are slightly high pitched, and maybe on the edge of Marco's range, but not unpleasant to listen to. At the end of the track, we are treated to very nice saxophone solo, with a slight jazz rock touch to it, accompanied by guitar and bass.

This is followed by Sea of Vibes, the first of three very long tracks (15+ minutes) on this album. This one does honour its title, it literally is a sea of vibes. The acoustic guitar intro and the first two verses reflect happiness and bliss, followed later by fear and a form of despair. All of this is reflected in the music - the acoustic guitar part is followed by a guitar solo, and a sort Porcupine Tree like soundscape in which guitar and keyboards guide us through the different vibes. The anger of the guitar at the end matches the despair of the last verse 'I haven't strength to face you, I haven't planned to change this flow'...

The acoustic one minute interlude Panting again brings to mind Pigs on the Wing, in terms of sound, but only slightly. It leaves Man catching his breath after a first realisation that something is going wrong.

I called Painting an interlude, because it separates Sea of Vibes from the second long track on the album, Haven of Marble. This one is about the damage Man does to our planet, and reflects some of the discussions between those involved and those opposing it. It starts on in a melodic, mellow way, but develops into another soundscape that ends with an angry guitar solo. The final verse, accompanied by acoustic guitar seems to bring hope, while the sound of a clock suggests time is ticking away. The ending is instrumental, with another saxophone solo accompanied by keyboards, leaving us in a slightly minor mood.

Faint Memory then is another short piece, with acoustic guitar as the main instrument, accompanied by background sound effects. Man starts to regain his feelings for Mother Earth.

The Light is Burning is the second short piece, which tells how Man realises his mistakes, accompanied by a late '60s guitar sound, and a matching psychedelic guitar solo. It is followed by Turning back the Clock, which features multiple voices (all Marco's) in the lyrics, accompanied by acoustic guitar. Man finds out what really matters: "Only now I realise, I've been wrong the whole time"

That is the bridge to Disc Two, entitled The Awakening of Conciousness. This disc opens with the 22 minute long track, Far Beyond the Line. Spacey keyboards and guitars accompany the vocals that describe Man's 'awakening of conciousness'. Once the vocals stop, the acoustic guitar and flute (or is it a synth on this track?) allow the listener to visualise for himself what man has done and has to do next. Then, a sudden electric guitar seems to reflect Man pulling out his own hair in despair while finding out how to continue. This leads to a 1980s Gilmouresque guitar piece accompanied by church choir like chants, which is then followed by Man's desperate confession of past mistakes, accompanied by acoustic guitar again. After the confession, a long instrumental part starts, with a slick guitar solo, and saxophone and keyboards building another psychedelic soundscape. The vocals and electric guitar return for a final verse, about Man returning to active duty as maintainer of our planet, and a somewhat trippy instrumental part. The multi-vocal chanting and screaming at the end is a surprising part, that does not and at the same time does fit the track.

After this challenging piece, a short instrumental The First Time I Saw the Sun with piano and electric guitar leading, brings us back to quieter atmospheres, paving the way for Skies Painted by the Wind. As the vocals tell how Man sees that his efforts to re-establish balance with nature are working, the flute underneath an acoustic guitar mimics the wind that paints the sunny sky.

The positive mood now continues into In the Air. The acoustic guitar is replaced by a picked electric one, but the flute remains, as Man walks through the fields and talks with the earth, the wind, the sun and the rest of nature. Marco Ragni's bio mentions his interest in the Californian hippie culture of the 1960s - this song would have fit in that time and place perfectly.

The walk through the fields ends with Man breathing and enjoying the air, in the short acoustic and electric guitar piece Breathing that again features some very nice saxophone work. With filled lungs, Marco continuous singing in a lower register (closer to his natural voice, from the sound of it) on Northern Light. The way this is sung, combined with the fuzzy guitar sound somehow bring the feeling of balance, man becoming one with nature again: "Feel me, I'm a part of you". This carries on into the short outro Mother from the Sun, in which programmed strings and a simple guitar accompany the closing lyrics.

The final word of the lyrics is "Begin", and that is what I did after the record ended - begin again, for another listen. Partly to make sure that I heard correctly what I heard, partly to find out if there was more to be heard. This album is so long, and so much is going on that it is easy to miss things, but also to discover new things on every listen. In a way, this is one of the nicest albums I've heard in the past 10 years, and it will get a lot more playing time for sure. Highly recommended for fans of Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, psychedelic rock in general, or Marco Ragni himself.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Italian composer and musician Marco RAGNI has been a presence in the Italian music scene for a quarter of a century or thereabouts, and following a couple of decades in various band constellations he decided to venture out as a solo artist a few years back, launching his first solo album back in 2010. "Mother from the Sun" is his fourth studio recording, released towards the end of 2014.

Marco Ragni is a seasoned composer and musician, and "Mother from the Sun" is an accomplished affair that comes across as a solid and well-executed production on just about all levels. The compositions can have a tendency to be a bit too loose in structure at times, although this will first and foremost be an issue for potential listeners outside of the progressive rock crowd, and hence a minuscule issue due to that. If you have a soft spot for artists seeking inspiration from Gilmour-era Pink Floyd this is most likely an album you should seek out, and in particular if music of this kind with a lighter mood and a few more gentle psychedelic details sounds like a good thing to you.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Marco Ragni is an accomplished Italian musician who prefers the psychedelic tendencies of Pink Floyd, which should not come as a surprise as Floyd is, after The Beatles, probably the most successful rock band anywhere. Besides Dave Kerzner's recent 'New World' release, this would be the finest PF styled recording on the market today, a clear and well defined opus that spans over 2 hours on 2 CDs. My esteemed friend and colleague Angelo has dissected the lyrical content, so I will refrain from paralleling his excellent observations and just focus on the music. The colossal set list is loaded with epic tracks that are woven with silkily smaller threads that act as bridges and intermezzos.

With a profoundly riveting bass line, 'Into the Wheel of Time' sets the controls to the heart of the Mother from the Sun, swooning electric guitar filaments weaving among the gentle rhythmic lilt, a bright sunshiny vocal from Marco and finally sliced open by a serene sax solo from guest Enrico di Stefano. This is most pleasant and utterly enticing 9 minute + psychedelic romp of the finest quality. The equally extended 15:15 long 'Sea Vibes' extols the virtues of glistening acoustic guitar interplay from guests Giovanni Menarello and Davide Gazzi, challenged by Enrico Cipollini's electric device and bolstered by Marco's now ballsier voice. The rhythm shuffles nicely, the bass guitar less prominent then before, all the focus is one the web created by the various 6 strings, and the complex vortex they create, harmonious one moment and suddenly despairing the next. The true essence of disquieting space comes across in the floating nature of the seamless arrangement, extremely deliberate and completely relaxed. One of the finest tracks ever, the sensationally distraught guitar solo is one for the ages, closer to Hendrix than Gilmour, raging and rabid as opposed to languid and pastoral.

'Haven of Marble' is another longer piece, this time clocking in at over 17 minutes, a thrilling platform that gives Marco a chance to comment on human stupidity in dealing with nature and finding crude (oops!) ways to screw the planet up perhaps permanently. The bass grumbles nicely giving a lot of gravitas to the subject matter (Marco does get theatrical in the vocal department) and launching a blistering explosion of pyrotechnics that sizzle slowly at first and then the boom-boom-tchak drum machine kicks in! Cipollini loosens a nasty rip, full of anger and disdain, tortuous and irate, a thrilling solo indeed. Ticking clocks, moody shifts and that darned saxophone blaring through the thick rain-soaked clouds, yes, there is atmosphere and creative expanse in these grooves.

A trio of short ditties, the first is 'Faint Memory' is mostly acoustic piece, guitar, keyboard special effects and voice. The second is 'The Light is Burning' and is more vocal oriented, upbeat and intense. Last is 'Get out of Here' and they all serve to expand on the story and offers no real musical journey as such. Not to panic, cosmonauts, the massive epic is coming up in the form of 'Far beyond the Line', a 4 part extravaganza that spans a whopping 22 minutes and change, with loads of detail and essence. A sparkling piano leads the way, gliding along a gorgeous melody and an angelic vocal that espouses an awakening of a conscience and some clarity in the road ahead. Acoustic guitars and flute intertwine like two perennial lovers for the longest time, until a jagged Gilmourian slide flight settles in, overtaking the spiralling vortex of sound and pulsating like a hurricane gone berserk. This is quality material indeed.

From here on in, the mood swerves into more acoustic realms, very trippy nevertheless with some late 60s brightness, contradicted by an absurd buzz-saw linear axe solo on 'Skies painted by the Wind' that has more Fripp to it than anything. A quartet of sparser songs finishes off the opus, a musical voyage of great value and character. As for finding some negatives, there are some but quite minor in the grand scheme of things: programmed drumming can be a distraction for some purists (I have no problem with it when it is well done), I would have liked more saxophone (but that just me) and on occasion Marco's voice can be tinged with a little overkill and sounds forced. But again, it's kind of normal to pick out nits in such a huge work.

Great cover art and a neat package that should please psychedelic rock fans of all stripes.

4 Solar mammas

Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you haven't heard Marco Ragni's music yet, then you might just be missing out. I have five albums of his (two EPs, two full-length albums, and one double disc) and he remains quite consistent, though by consistency I do not mean that he's in any way limited to a narrow soundscope. To give you an idea, think of the Pink Floyd albums A Saucerful of Secrets, More, Ummagumma, Atom Heart Mother (side two), Meddle, and Obscured By Clouds as major inspirations. Add to this the late sixties California hippy scene and the fact that Marco is Italian, and you have three strong foundations for a unique blend of psychedelic music with folk and funk and classic prog. Marco's EPs are more like tangents sprouting off his core collective of musical musings, while his full-length albums firmly map out his territories.

His 2014 double-disc release, "Mother from the Sun" was his magnum opus, he claimed around the time, though honestly, I see no stopping this guy, who just released his latest master work, "The Wandering Caravan" and is already composing something new. If you are going to get into Marco's music, perhaps "Land of Blue Echoes" or the latest album will be easier to digest, but if you are sure Marco's music is something you dig, then welcome into your home this double-disc heavy weight that is "Mother from the Sun".

I'll admit that the first two or three plays were a lot to properly digest. That's largely because I listen to music while commuting and that means a lot of walking and train riding, so it's easy to become absorbed in thoughts of upcoming must-dos or seeing what's up on social media to pass the time. Because some tracks are epics ranging from 15 minutes to 22 minutes with several changes in the music while many others run by in under two minutes, it's easy to become lost in the overall atmosphere and not really notice when a track begins or ends. At first, I felt it was like traveling through a musical world engulfed in a earthly haze while various solid objects appeared, captured my attention, then passed by. But this week I have been listening more carefully and I have found the true wonder of the musical landscape was laid out clear for me to enjoy all along!

Without describing each track in detail, you'll find beautiful cascades of acoustic guitar notes, funky classic seventies organ, psychedelic fuzz-toned slide guitar, sit-by-the-seaside hard-picked acoustic guitar, washing waves of classic Pink Floyd organ chords with echoing guitar notes, solidly driving psychedelic rock, and trippy passages. Marco can make you strut and sway, sit back and space out, groove to the music, float on a cloud, or see everything in quadruple. This is true for his music overall, but "Mother from the Sun" is indeed a musical trip that rewards the careful listener much more than the casual listener. I'd say that there's gold in them there hills, but that would be stealing a line from his "California" EP.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I think I have to agree with previous reviewers, this is not using just Pink Floyd as an inspiration but advancing a new era of Floyd sound without actually being the Pink Floyd themselves. It's almost as if Dave Gilmour and the band did this as their next album after the Division Bell! But hey ... (read more)

Report this review (#1361504) | Posted by Alucard Draco | Tuesday, February 3, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars These songs are so beautiful they make me fly with my fantasy. I love the variations in the rhythm, melody, that underline the different meaning of the lyrics. Indeed this is not new from this author however, I wish to know how he actually managed to accomplish such an opera and I wish to know m ... (read more)

Report this review (#1349123) | Posted by posterix | Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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