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STRANAFONIA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Stranafonia biography
STRANAFONIA was an Italian symphonic group. Very little is known of this group because they released only one album in the nineties and vanished shortly after that. The group consisted of Manuel Bedetti (keyboards, lead vocals), Ruben Maria Soriguez (guitar, vocals), Andrea Bondi (bass, vocals) and Roberto Alessi (drums). Their music is similar in style to the seventies Italian masters. From the new Italian progressive scene they are comparable to groups such as FILORITMIA and NUOVA ERA.

The debut album �Per un Vecchio Pazzo� was released in 1997. It is a very good symphonic album with stellar keyboard and guitar work throughout. The music is in the seventies Italian tradition but with a more prominent electric guitar presence than what was common for the seventies groups. Overall, the compositions are competent with the better Italian groups of the nineties.

They followed up with "Acrobazie" (2004) and "Stranafonia" (2008).

: : : Markus Mattsson, FINLAND : : :

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STRANAFONIA discography


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STRANAFONIA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.02 | 3 ratings
Per Un Vecchio Pazzo
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Acrobazie
2004
3.95 | 2 ratings
Stranafonia
2008

STRANAFONIA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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STRANAFONIA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Per Un Vecchio Pazzo  by STRANAFONIA album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.02 | 3 ratings

BUY
Per Un Vecchio Pazzo
Stranafonia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Little-known group from Bologna, Italy, originally established in 1990 by keyboardist/singer Manuel Bedetti, guitarist Ruben Maria Soriquez and bassist Andrea Bondi.They were joined by drummer Roberto Alessi to form a stable quartet, which would lead them to their debut ''Per un vecchio pazzo'' in 1997.The album was released on Pick Up Records.

The band claimed to have been infuenced by the 70's movements of Progressive and Psychedelic Rock in the beginnings and their sound incorporates obvious influences from the era.Stranafonia sound a lot like a modern BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO minus the Classical inspirations, ARTI E MESTIERI or complex OSANNA, though their style is more quirky and groovy.The tracks are characterized by complicated time signatures, sudden changes as well as some melodic parts and have a very balanced sound between guitars and keyboards.Their sound is strongly led by the electric passages of Soriquez and the monster organ moves of Bedetti, though they seem to use the 70's only as a reference point, as their approach sounds quite modern.Vocals are in Italian with a dynamic and highly expressive color.Structurally the compositions are more than efficient with a very tight playing and an awesome rich sound with solos, grooves and complex instrumental themes constantly changing.

Adopting the Darwin theory of evolution and after a short undeground period, the group released a couple of more albums with a totally different sound, mixing Singer/Songwriter, Jazz and Piano Music stylings, obviously very far from their previous style.

''Per un vecchio pazzo'' has a certain place in the collection of every fan of Italian-spiced Progressive Rock, while its flexible sound makes it also a welcome addition ..3.5 stars.

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 Stranafonia by STRANAFONIA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.95 | 2 ratings

BUY
Stranafonia
Stranafonia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars If you love Filoritmia and D.F.A., take note!

Today is a day to remedy an unfortunate oversite which occurred in 2008, a busy year in modern RPI. In that year Stranafonia released their 3rd album which was not only overlooked here but on many other music websites as well. Tis' a shame for this is one fine album which deserved much more attention. While I've only heard samples of their two previous albums it seems quite obvious that "Tre" is a significant leap in maturity and vision. This is a talented trio of finesse who on this work recall Lagartija, DFA, and Filoritmia. They could resemble the Aja era smooth chops of Steely Dan through the filter of their own prog and psych tendencies, all the time draped in an Italian marinade courtesy of those warm vocals and melodic piano sections.

Noting their home base as Bologna on their MS page, the guys list influences like Baudelaire, Pink Floyd, Robert Fripp, Alberto Fortis, Area, Matching Mole, Walt Whitman, Fabrizio DeAndrč, Genesis, and Gentle Giant. Their last web activity seems to date to 2010 so I hope this band has not called it a day.

Here you have a trio who come close (though not quite) to the chops of a DFA or Dan yet fall somewhere between in approach. While very capable and nimble musicians who effortlessly slide into jazz-rock territory they do not stay in long instrumental jams like DFA. They prefer a shorter songs-based approach with vocals both skillfully arranged and pleasing on the ears. A bit of their 60-70s prog/psych/pop affections along with a casual and unpretentious love of experimentation bleeds into the material. The result comes off as a very fresh take on modern RPI. What appeals most to me is that the chops are not mired in heaviness and noise, rather, there is a lightness and beauty and "space to breathe" inhabiting every track. There is clear RPI beauty in the piano passages and some very light avant touches without things ever going off the rails. Highly listenable to any rock fan, the album's tracks feel cohesive and provide a satisfying listening experience.

"this is not the place for sterile regressions in an ideal golden age, rather we are in the presence of a genuine search. Often led by guitar sometimes biting which stands threateningly over rhythmic pressing, the Stranafonia reveal similarities between classicism sometimes decadent and a psychedelic soft and never intrusive. They also rediscover the roars of the early '70s progressive, the chaotic aspirations of the great festival season, an escape to the east and a gradual jazz." -Arlequins (translated clumsily, apologies, but you'll get the drift)

I feel great regret that I missed championing this album in 2008 and apologize to the band for the oversite. The bands website linked here has a player with lots of samples. I strongly suggest you get to know Stranafonia. You may be kicking yourself as I am today. Let's hope the story is not over for them. 3 1/2 stars rounding up.

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 Per Un Vecchio Pazzo  by STRANAFONIA album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.02 | 3 ratings

BUY
Per Un Vecchio Pazzo
Stranafonia Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Yet another Italian 90s band that intends to revive some of the special magic of their own native 70s prog tradition, Stranafonia manages to do a very decent job at it. Solid performances, genuine energy and cohesion: these are the most notable elements that make "Per un Vecchio Pazzo" a very interesting album. This band's musical style is mostly focused on the influence of the hard rocking facet of old Italian prog (Biglietto per l'Inferno, Il Rovescio della Medaglia, "UT"-New Trolls, Alphataurus) with a tight melodic orientation, not unlike their fellow countrymen of Malibran and early Calliope. Generally speaking, the material's structure is only moderately complex, but the melodic lines and textures are noticeable demanding - in many ways it reminds me of Nuova Era's first album, albeit less somber. The namesake opening track sets the mood for all the remaining repertoire, and it serves properly as an initial showcase for the energetic interplaying between guitar and keyboard (Soriquez and lead singer Bedetti, respectively), as well as the robust rhythm section. Track 2 is a bit slower but equally energetic, while track 3 stands a bit closer to the typically frontal explosion of Deep Purple-ish hard rock with a prog twist. 'Che non sia Prigionia' brings a somewhat more ethereal mood, although Bedetti's vocal impetus and the use of some slightly dissonant chord shifts during the interlude help to maintain an unhidden harshness for the music. Tracks 5-7 lay out a fluid sequence that stands out as an epitome for Stranafonia's style. 'Sulla Baia' is a mysterious instrumental painting elaborated with synth layers punctuated by magical lines on oboe (guest Francesca Durussel does a beautiful job on this one); then, 'Il Oceano' (another instrumental) and 'Nel Buio Balla la Brace' go to more dramatic places, with the four musicians moving confidently through all mood and tempo shifts. 'Il Viaggio verso il Oriente' is a mid-tempo relaxing song in which the acoustic guitar arpeggios state the main harmonies while the mellotron layers enhance the laid-back atmosphere. The closing number brings back the frontal sonic power of tracks 1 & 3 for the stronger passages, which are seamlessly alternated with mellotron- centric languid passages for the sung parts. Just like the sequence from 'Sulla Baia' to 'Nel Buio.', this piece is paradigmatic of the album's musical outline, and as such, serves as an appropriate closure. In short, a very good prog album that deserves a 3.4 star rating.

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