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Ske Insolubilia album cover
4.16 | 115 ratings | 6 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sudo (3:44)
2. Insolubilia I (6:24)
3. Tor Cia (1:38)
4. Insolubilia II (6:54)
5. Lo Stagno del Proverbio (3:07)
6. Akumu (6:06)
7. La Nona Onda (7:00)
8. Scogli 4 (2:46)
9. Insolubilia V (6:56)
10. Insolubilia IV (3:50)
11. Insolubilia III (7:08)

Total Time 55:33

Line-up / Musicians

- Paolo "Ske" Botta / organs, electric pianos, synthesizers

- Fabio Pignatelli / bass (9)
- Luca Calabrese / pocket trumpet (1,5,9-10)
- Lars Fredrik Fr°islie / harpsichord (6,8)
- Keith Macksoud / bass (11)
- Tommaso Leddi / mandolin (1,11)
- Nicolas Nikolopoulos / flute (1,4,6,9)
- Evangelia Kozoni / vocals (4)
- Vitaly Appow / bassoon (2,7,10)
- Simen ┼dn°y Ellingsen / saxophones (7)
- Thea Ellingsen Grant / voice (5-6,11)
- Alessandro Cassani / bass (1,5,7)
- Martino Malacrida / drums (1-2,4,6-7,9,11)
- Francesco Zago / guitars (1-2,4,6-7,9,11)
- Maurizio Fasoli / grand piano (2,4-5,11)
- Valerio Cipollone / clarinets (2,4,6,8-9,11)
- Elia Leon Mariani / violin (2,4,9-11)
- Jacopo Costa / vibraphone/marimba/xylophone/glockenspiel/cymbalom (1-2,4-7,9-11)
- Maria Denami / vocals (1,6,11)
- Massimo Giuntoli / harmonium (1,9)
- Pierre Wawrzyniak / bass (2,4,6)
- MÚlanie Gerber / vocals (10)
- Guillaume Gravelin / harp (2,4,6,11)
- Pietro Bertoni / trombone/euphonium (1,9,11)
- Tiziana Armonia Alessandra Azzone / theorbo (4)

Releases information

Cover: Davide "Longa" Longaretti
Label: Self
Format: CD, Digital
July 11, 2021

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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SKE Insolubilia ratings distribution

(115 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SKE Insolubilia reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Blessed with an all-star lineup of collaborators--a vertiable who's who from the now defunct AltrOck Productions record label--Paolo Botta has once again produced an astonishing collection of songs expressing his eclectic and extraordinarily diverse musical roots and interests. Creativity of the very highest degree! An album that definitely takes several spins through in order to begin to make sense of all of the gifts inherent within.

1. "Sudo" (3:44) angular, heavy, symphonic, avant prog that sounds very much of an amalgam of all of the artists who contribute the realization of Paolo's composition(s). After the music of 2011's 1000 autunni, the opener comes a bit of a surprise--much more in the vein of Not A Good Sign and Camembert than I was expecting. (8.75/10)

2. "Insolubilia I" (6:24) brilliant, theatric, classically-infused prog. Again, the directions and styles incorporated 'under one roof' are quite surprising to me--quite a revelation. I love the use of female vocalise within the weave of the music--as if it's another instrument integral to the whole. Brilliant! On this exploration of the Insolubilia themes we are treated to strings, horns, and Jacopo Costa's brilliant mallet work (as well as the contributions of the Not A Good Sign rock ensemble). (9/10)

3. "Tor Cia" (1:38) an interesting experimental synth Útude. Reminds me of Larry Fast's Synergy work. (4/5)

4. "Insolubilia II" (6:54) "old" sounding organ, flute mellotrons open this before guitar, harp, theorbo, marimba, and Ciccada's vocalist and flute player take over the leads in this folky song. The Not A Good Sign quartet provide the full rock baseline for most of the rest of the song while a wide variety of other instruments lend their intermittent and collaborative talents to the fore- and backgrounds. Cool song. (13/15)

5. "Lo Stagno del Proverbio" (3:07) part classic Italian folk song, part experimental jazz sound testing. Piano, glockenspiel, and trumpet seem to provide much of the foreground here. (8.75/10)

6. "Akumu" (6:06) pensive yet beautiful--kind of a cross between Mike Oldfield, Not A Good Sign, and Aranis. Love the effect of Thea Ellingsen Grant's Annie Haslem-like voice vocalise being used as a principle instrument throughout the song. Brilliant! A top three song for me. (9.25/10)

7. "La Nona Onda" (7:00) Quite symphonic with its wide diversity of instrumentation (especially the prominent vibes and bassoon) yet, at the same time, very heavy prog. (13.5/15)

8. "Scogli 4" (2:46) harpsichord, winds, and weirdly effected bass (clarinet?). Unusual, interesting, and humorous in a Markus Pajakkala kind of way. (4.5/5)

9. "Insolubilia V" (6:56) part Keith Emerson (organ, keys), part MAGMA (bass), part Yugen avant/RIO (many-layered orchestral jazz feel), part RPI (mellotron) with some powerful drumming and surprising dynamic shifts. Another top three for me. (13.75/15)

10. "Insolubilia IV" (3:50) opens with old Mike Oldfield like organ (almost Farfisa) with MÚlanie Gerber's airy folk vocals embedded within. Quite nice--though feeling quite British! Love the almost mediŠval, North Sea Radio Orchestra feel, as well. (9/10)

11. "Insolubilia III" (7:08) Using piano, I can hear the chordal and melodic similarities to several of the "previous" Insolubilias--especially #s IV and I. Once again, I feel a strong allusion to some of Mike Oldfield and Renaissance's music from the 1970s from, only a bit jazzier this time. The sparse soundscape is, again, something that I really like about this one. My final top three song. (13.75/15)

Total Time 55:33

Though I am tremendously impressed by the heavy, prog rock forms on this album, it is the more spacious, more Renaissance-like constructs that I found easiest to enjoy. However, ever single song here is so heavily nuanced with such a large number of diverse instrumental contributions that I can see discovering little gems within the music for years to come. Bravo, Paolo (and friends)! Your work and dedication continues to show how serious your are: you have delivered yet another masterpiece of fresh music to our artistically homogenized world. Thank you!

A-/4.5 stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and definitely one of the most creative albums of fresh, new music from 2021. True prog lovers are going to want to add this one to their collection as it is sure to give years of enjoyment revealing its many treasures. I have no doubt that this, like 1000 autunni, will long be praised and cherished for its complex, masterfully-crafted and virtuosically rendered compositions. A treasure that will certainly grow on the listener over time.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Never one to rush things, Paolo Potta who goes by the peculiar pseudonym SKE has been content releasing just two solo albums outside of his duties as Yugen's eccentric and wildly avant-garde keyboardist. His first release bedazzled avant-proggers worldwide with clever compositions that took the listener to angularity paradise but also went well out of the parameters of the avant-prog antics of Yugen. The debut "1000 Autunni" covered the prog spectrum with influences from Anglagard, Gentle Giant, Henry Cow, French TV, National Health, jazz-fusion and of course fortified with all the extra helpings of Rock In Opposition inspired avant-garde rock that Yugen has crafted so very well over the years.

Well an entire decade after album #1 comes the much anticipated followup in the form of INSOLUBILIA. While technically SKE is a solo artist, this album is more like a gathering of a who's who party for all of modern prog. I mean just look at this list! In addition Potta's organs, electric pianos and synthesizers, this roster of raw talent joins forces to create one of the most intricately designed prog specimens of 2021!

Fabio Pignatelli (Goblin) ~ Bass

Luca Calabrese (Isildurs Bane) ~ Pocket Trumpet

Lars Fredrik Fr°islie (Wobbler) ~ Harpsichord

Keith Macksoud (Present) ~ Bass

Tommaso Leddi (Stormy Six) ~ Mandolin

Nicolas Nikolopoulos (Ciccada) ~ Flute

Evangelia Kozoni (Ciccada) ~ Voice

Vitaly Appow (Rational Diet, Five Storey Ensamble) ~ Bassoon

Simen ┼dn°y Ellingsen (Shamblemaths) ~ Saxophones

Alessandro Cassani (Not a Good Sign) ~ Bass

Martino Malacrida (Not a Good Sign) ~ Drums

Francesco Zago (Yugen) ~ Guitars

Maurizio Fasoli (Yugen) ~ Grand Piano

Valerio Cipollone (Yugen) ~ Clarinets

Elia Leon Mariani (Yugen) ~ Violin

Jacopo Costa (Loomings, Yugen) ~ Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Cymbalum

Maria Denami (Loomings) ~ Voice

Massimo Giuntoli (Hobo) ~ Harmonium

Pierre Wawrzyniak (Camembert, Oiapok) ~ Bass

MÚlanie Gerber (Camembert, Oiapok) ~ Voice

Guillaume Gravelin (Camembert, Oiapok) ~ Harp

Pietro Bertoni (FEM) ~ Trombone, Euphonium

Thea Ellingsen Grant (Juno) ~ Voice

Tiziana Azzone (Il Giardino delle Muse) ~ Theorbo

INSOLUBILIA is a near 56-minute journey through 11 strong tracks, 5 of which are all different parts of the title track although in a rather curious order :/ Overall this second album is a lot different than SKE's first offering of ten years prior. While that album was steeped with angularities that would make Yugen proud, INSOLUBILIA is a bit easier on the ears for those unconditioned to the demanding turbulence of modern avant-prog run amok. This album has its roots much firmly planted in the world of symphonic prog with compositions smoothed out with melodic touches albeit complex ones more in the vein of Anglagard or All Traps Earths rather than the world of Henry Cow, Present or Potta's home turf in Yugen. Of course solo albums are all about venturing out of the comfort zone for many artists and that's exactly what Signor SKE achieves. Despite the differences, SKE remains as eclectic as ever.

While "Sudo" begins things much in the vein of "1000 Autunni" with crazy time signature chops on steroids, the album begins to chill out on the first allotment of the title track and continues through most of the album's run. Gone is the complexity for the sake of complexity and in are intricate tapestries of tones, timbres and musical motifs that conspire to craft subtle melodic shifts. Just one look at the instrumentation involved on this one will tell you all you need to know about how rich the spectrum of sound is. This is a substantially less frenetic album than the debut where the tracks rely on twists in the texture and complex polyrhythmic grooves that sustain a fascinating yet somewhat accessible chain of events. Topping it all off is a crystal clear production where each album finds its space to display its proper voicing. Despite the tamping down of the brutal prog aspects, make no doubt about it, this is progressive rock with a capital P.

Lots to love about this one. Lush choral vocals for example haunt the smooth and silky instrumental breeziness. While "1000 Autunni" was like a prog equivalent to a cloudy day, INSOLUBILIA is more like a nice sunny spring day that pushes the serotonin levels to the max. The atmospheres are calm and relaxing and pacify any moments of prog gymnastics. While personally i prefer SKE's debut album over this one, i cannot deny that this isn't some ridiculously cool and outrageously fascinatingly composed progressive rock. It has a little of everything really. The tracks can be as placid and pastoral as a summer breeze but then can add a bit of guitar driven heft to offer a bit of turbulence but for the most part this one utilizes the symphonic aspects of prog to create smooth sailing. Considering SKE is best known for all those crazy hairpin turns that Yugen delivers so well, i'll admit i'm a bit disappointed that there isn't more crazy complex brutal prog on board but when the music is this good i really can't complain too much!

Latest members reviews

4 stars A very interesting album in the field of classical symphonic progressive. SKE is the solo project of Italian keyboardist Paolo Botta. His first work, very good, was published in 2011 and it took 10 years for this second album to see the light. A work in which a lot of musicians participate who ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636828) | Posted by DiversionConVinilos | Thursday, November 25, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Many people think that creativity and originality can no longer exist in a cultural landscape where everything seems to be done only to honor and pay homage to the works of the past. We all know very well that culture is the result of past experiences as well as from teaching and studying , and th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2586007) | Posted by AncientAfternoons | Saturday, August 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Exactly 10 yeas after "1000 Autunni" Ske came back with a superb effort: his last album "Insolubilia". Quite difficult to frame the proposal, surely less RIO that Yugen, but also quite different from Not a Good Sign. Surely it has more symphonic and canterbury elements, but you can listen a lot o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2585529) | Posted by bungle77 | Thursday, August 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ske is the solo project of Paolo "Ske" Botta, a superb Italian keyboard player, composer, and arranger. The music on "Insolubilia", Ske's second album, is not avant like his band Yugen nor is it similar to his other band, Not a Good Sign. Kind of a mix of the two but only better to my ears. "Ins ... (read more)

Report this review (#2578616) | Posted by Grumpyprogfan | Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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