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COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Cooperativa Del Latte biography
Some lush 70's style Italian prog concocted in the XXIst century, with a production the old masters could only dream of. This foursome's material is highly melodic and refined, and their album "Il Risveglio" makes for the ideal introspective journey. The band consists of Gabriele Benfetto on guitar and vocals, Sergio Contin on bass and lead vocals, Claudio Farnetti on flute, drums and percussion, and Pierluigi Piccoli on piano and synthesizers.

With their album "Il Risveglio", the band clearly favours the overall effect over individual displays of virtuosity, yet each musician offers a solid, if modest performance. With prominent analog keyboard sounds (lots of organ), the tracks alternate between tense passages and moments of pure serenity, with some interesting interplay between electric and acoustic guitars, the latter adding a rich texture to the sound. The album is partly instrumental and partly vocal (lyrics sung are in Italian), and the rhythms are dynamic yet rarely heavy or explosive.

If you can't get enough of those romantic/symphonic Italian gems, this band's album ranks among some of the best and comes highly recommended.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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Il RisveglioIl Risveglio
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3.74 | 18 ratings
Il Risveglio
1998

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COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE Reviews


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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Italian quartet from Gorizia with a brief late-90's appearance, featuring Gabriele Benfetto on vocals/guitar, Sergio Contin on lead vocals/bass, Claudio Farnetti on flute/drums and Pierluigi Piccoli on piano/keyboards.They were signed by Mellow Records and released their sole album ''Il Risveglio'' in 1998.

The album follows the tradition of 70's Italian Prog as performed by modern bands such as DIVAE, LOTHLORIEN, NUOVA ERA or GERMINALE, even the album's length does not surpass the 40-minutes mark.Short and semi-long tracks with an evident symphonic vibe, based mainly on keyboards as well as guitars.There are some good attempts by the band to blend soft and more vocal-based moments with intense keyboard-driven instrumentals and the result is pretty satisfying.Especially the keyboard passages are very nice with swirling organs, flashy synthesizers and grandiose church organ parts.The guitars create either soft grooves or melodic solos when appearing and the vocals are decent but a bit less passionate than most of the bands regarding the style.In general the arrangements are sufficient and the performance of the band is fine.The later tracks have a stronger Medieval/Folk feeling, characterized by Picolli's harpsichord, Farnetti's flutes and Benfetto's acoustic tunes.

There are no further signs of a sophomore release by Cooperativa del Latte or any information about the members' traces after this album.''Il Risveglio'' remains a hidden gem of 90's Italian Prog with a strong vintage attitude, likely to please any fan of Classic Prog, Symphonic Rock and of course Italian Prog.Recommended.

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have run across several RPI albums from the nineties that really resonate with me. I mean I feel transported and my mood is altered all in a matter moments. This album certainly is included in that group. A "one off" released in 1998 that captures the magic of a by-gone era.

"Verso I Cancelli Della Memoria" opens with laid back organ before the keyboards, guitar and drums take over and build. Nice. Vocals join in too. It's heavier before 2 1/2 minutes but settles back 3 minutes in. Great sound 4 1/2 minutes in. So good. Vocals are back just before 5 minutes then a calm follows to end it. "Contemplazione" is my favourite. Acoustic guitar and piano to open then a beat and vocals join in after 1 1/2 minutes. Beautiful stuff. It kicks in before 3 minutes with pulsating organ and more. A change as bass and drums start to lead then synths join in followed by vocals. Incredible section. It kicks in again around 5 1/2 minutes with some great sounding bass. Vocals are back as themes are repeated. Killer track. "Notte Volante" opens with flute as strummed guitar join in then reserved vocals. It picks up before 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. I like the fuller sections a lot.

I find the first half much stronger than the second half. "Il Respiro Dell'alba" opens with piano and flute as whispered words join in. It changes 2 1/2 minutes in to a fuller sound to end it. "Tantazioni" has some killer bass to start as the drums pound. Keyboards join in then it settles back some with vocals. Contrasts continue. The heavy sections remind me of GARDEN WALL (it's the guitar tone). The last half of the song is much better in my opinion. "Maggio" is a short acoustic track with flute. "Indagazione Strutturale" opens with vocals only then acoustic guitar and flute come in. I like how this sounds. It picks up 4 1/2 minutes in with flute leading.

This one's a keeper and I highly recommend it to RPI fans.

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cooperative del Latte were formed in the mid nineties in the province of Gorizia and in 1998 released a beautiful debut album, "Il risveglio" (The awakening), on the independent label Mellow Records. The line up features Gabriele Benfatto (guitars, vocals), Claudio Farneti (flute, drums, percussion), Sergio Contin (bass, vocals) and Pierluigi Piccoli (piano, keyboards) and their sound largely draws upon seventies influences but despite the vintage sounds the song-writing is good and rich in ideas. I had the chance to see them live on stage, opening a concert for Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, and I was favourably impressed by the band. I think that the excellent art work by Ivan Crico, a painter and writer born in Gorizia, perfectly describes with autumnal colours the reflexive and crepuscular mood of this work...

The opener "Verso i cancelli della memoria" (Towards the gates of memory) is like a kind of dive into the past for a swim against the tide, against the doubts of an empty reality. A church-like organ sets the atmosphere, then rhythm takes off... "Running after myths of wind / Looking for a living star / Overcoming a world of falsity and appearances... Listening to the silent voice of a timeless truth...".

"Contemplazione" (Contemplation) is a long and melancholic track that begins softly, with a simple and nocturnal acoustic guitar arpeggio, then a light turns on and soaring thoughts begin to fly in the wind... A sudden change of rhythm and the call of an ancient time is rising from dreamy organ chords inviting you to set your mind free... "Who do you think your greatest enemy is? / It' your own home, it's your own body / It's your own mind, it's you / Get free from the monsters fed by your pride and by your stupid vanity / What is the road you think will lead you to the Right? / Even your brain is getting lost on the paths of the solitude...".

"Notte volante" (Flying night) begins on the dreamy notes of a flute and of an acoustic guitar... "I've been walking for you / In the nights of the dream / Among breathing plants I followed the road smelling of forest / Towards far bonfires / I was still sane...". In the dreams you can play even with death but remember that dreams could turn to nightmares... "Now there's nothing but pain / Just powder shut in a little box / You are my death / I live for you just because you know how to make me laugh...".

The cathartic "Il respiro dell'alba" (The breath of the dawn) is introduced by a delicate pattern featuring piano and flute. Vocals are just whispered... "I would like to go down to the stream / In the early morning silence / When everything comes to a new life / To find again the warmth of life into the cool water...". The references to Le Orme are strong and on the second part of this piece there's even a vinyl sound...

"Tentazioni" (Temptations) is more aggressive and complex and features also some jazzy passages. Love can be deceiving and cruel, your unfaithful lover could make you fall into the breath of an icy abyss... "Your hand pushes me in the mud / Setting your thighs free for a new trick...".

"Maggio" (May) is a short instrumental introduction to the beautiful last track, "Indagazione strutturale" (Structural investigation). This piece has a strong Renaissance flavour and starts "a cappella"... "Like a tree in the forest of time or a cloud living in the sundown / I'm looking for something I feel I belong to...". Lyrics are about the eternal search for knowledge while music could remind of some works of Angelo Branduardi with some "deep red" acoustic passages... "I feel the weight of my pride / But I'm walking with the curious pace of man... In front of every knowledge I feel my heart pulsing...".

On the whole a very good album and an excellent addition to every Italianprog lover's collection

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can only agree with Marcelo and Tszirmay about this release. A definite must own for those of you who are deeply in love with the beautiful Italian symph genre. And again, it will be a one shot only from this band (which is a pity as far as I'm concerned).

The music sounds as if it were recorded in the early mid seventies and seriously leans towards "Genesis". The opening number ("Verso I Cancelli") might even sound derivative but it is so "bello". One can recognize some "Supper's Ready" influence amongst others. Great keys as well; totally in line with Tony's ones. A very good track to start.

Vocals are warm and sweet as the intro for "Contemplazione". Almost pastoral for a while, the theme changes to induce a more upbeat section during which bass is a solid companion to a superb key passage. Moving by all means. As the best Italian bands could provide. Emotional, poignant. Splendid really! To be contemplated...

These musicians must have been full of admiration for the great seventies. To release such a vintage album at the turn of the century clearly indicates their roots or influences. It offers to an old nostalgic guy as I am some excellent feel from my teenage days. Do I need to mention that I am particularly touched by the delicate flute play in "Notte Volante" ?

Some more Crimsonesque implications for "Tentazioni" lead the band into a more jazzy territory. Quite different from the other pieces present on this album even if the closing section is fully symphonic and bombastic.

Folk aspects are not ignored either: "Maggio" and "Indagazione Strutturale" are a confirmation. The latter holding some definite Tull orientations. It indicates that this work is not only a "Genesis" tribute but shows several different styles which are nicely combined and form a superb entity.

I quite like this concise album. Four stars for this very good work. What a pity that the band didn't released any more albums after "Il Risveglio"!

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars How do you improve upon the eclectic fantasyland of 70s RPI? You start by not trying to, but instead distilling its essence and embellishments while eschewing its excesses. After all, 2000 is not 1972. Add in modern production and a nutritious dollop of period vocals and instrumentation, both acoustic and electric, and you have a disk that I had first viewed as a lost masterpiece from that long shrouded decade, only to discover its relatively recent eminence.

The group is aptly named at least in the sense of being a cooperative, with an accent on ensemble playing. Keyboards tend to take the highly melodic lead role, particularly vintage organs and bass in tandem, but delicate acoustic guitars lay an organic surface below. "Contemplazione" is the longest cut and illustrates most of these strengths, highlighted by ponderous and sensitive vocals by Sergio Contin enhanced by Pierluigi Piccoli's atmospheric backing, and is an enjoyable listen from start to finish.

"Notte volante" is a lovely flute and acoustic guitar oriented piece with alternating pastoral and more upbeat sections. "Il respiro dell'alba" is even mellower, with divine piano work, more flute, and hushed vocals. It ends in a carousel of scratchy vinyl, a clear and respectful homage to the group's many forbearers.

The album closer sounds like it owes as much to folklore - it reminds me of Quebecois folk of the 70s - as it does to the prog movement, thanks to a haunting traditional styled tune, and harpsichord-sounding keys and more flutes. While it's one of my favourites, some might find it a bit too slow moving and not heavy enough for their tastes. But if you enjoy the more sunny propositions by HOSTSONATEN, but wish they for a more spirited take, this is yours.

The most 70s sounding piece is "Tentazioni", and leaves me the coldest, although enough is happening to save it from getting sucked into the recycle bin, chiefly in the ever tasteful vocal work. The album opener is taken down a notch by its verbatim theft of a passage from "Musical Box". I know they are not trying to hide it, but why bother at all?

RPI is a style that I would expect to love from its description; I more often end up enjoying it well enough while feeling somewhat disappointed by a seemingly deliberate highbrow attitude. "Cooperative Della Latte" sets me at ease from the first, and is one of my recent musical "cash cows", one that I plan to milk for some time to come.

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars One of the most frustrating aspects of recent Italian progressive releases is the propensity to dish out one marvel and then disappear into oblivion. The list of such one shot-wonders is endless (Lothlorien, Foglie di Vetro, Floating State, Aufklarung, Minstrel, Secret Cinema, Bondage, Il Trono dei Ricordi, Divae etc.) but that's the way it is in Italian Progland . So here comes another resplendent and unexpected jewel , Cooperativa del Latte with a masterfully evocative series of typical ISP prog , with all the usual condiments: seductive guitar work from Gabriele Benfatto who doubles as singer (and a good one at that), the incredibly active Pierluigi Piccoli on keys , Sergio Contin on bass and drummer/percussor/flutist Claudio Farnetti. The opening salvo showcases all the above members with Piccoli's rousing organ (stealing a few lines from a famed Genesis song) in particular fine form, some exquisite acoustic guitar work exit. The longest piece and perhaps the highlight here, the nearly 10 minute "Contemplazione" is a masterpiece composition that, as the name implies, is an extremely reflective musical reverie that gently breezes through softer moments, buoyed by some fine galloping bass into some sultry waves of string- synthesizer orchestrations, some superb yet brief church organ while the bass bangs away and some ornate Mini-Moog soloing. Very contemplative, to be sure. "Notte Volante" provides initial emphasis on that magical flute, so synonymous with Italian prog, weaving a breathtakingly beautiful melody taken immediately up by Benfatto's gentle voice and then some more upbeat chorus to return to the flute's enchanting ballet. The acoustic guitar adds to the seductive "canzione" aspect, giving this an almost prog-folk touch holding back on the keys as much as possible , but keeping the soloing playful and pleasurable . The next piece unites the fluid piano with the romantic flute, "Il respiro dell'alba", with whispered voices in the background, the ivories evoking melancholia and serenity. Suddenly, vinyl record scratches turn the piece into a somewhat muted and dim prog carousel, as if evoking a distant memory. "Tentazioni" is more upbeat organ fueled poly rhythmic meter changes, burping bass, wailing vocals in a rather angry delivery, the organ raging and the guitar chaperoning through the angst , while drums seem to be chugging along, highly percussive. Benfatto finally cuts loose on electric lead in a rather jazz-rock style, then handing over the spotlight to Piccoli's sensitive piano playing, folding it all into organ and synth patterns that match the overall groove. This is a roller coaster track that has to be heard a few times to really appreciate, loaded with assorted twist, turns and deviations. "Maggio" is flute and what seems as harpsichord (I am a severe sucker for that baroque instrument), too bad its only a minute long. The final composition is another tour de force, featuring wondrous vocals and enchanting flute that morph into an acoustic guitar section and back to the original simplicity. The placid piano intrudes ever so gently into the overall brew, but this is a flute fest like no other, creating an almost festive like feel. The magical music the Italians can create with so little. As usual, our colleague finnforest has expressed the charm of this album perfectly, I wish only to confirm..... A most impressive debut that begs for an encore future release. 4.5 milk cartons

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One of the 90s fine Italian gems

Cooperative del latte has many things in common with the legendary '70s Italian bands. They dropped this one beautiful gem into our lap in 1998 and broke up just months later. Very sad because this is a wonderful little symphonic album that compares in quality with Finisterre and stands out among the 90s traditional prog albums. It hearkens back to the likes of PFM and Genesis with remarkable affection and without seeming cheesy or copycat-ish. In fact, despite their appeal to fans of '70s prog they have an original sound and their own quality songwriting. And with the more updated production and sharp performances the album is just mouthwatering to the ISP fan. "il risveglio" (The Awakening) is an apt title because the album emanates feelings of a long buried special time that are being unearthed for the prog fans of the late 90s. This band is certainly an important link that kept the traditions of Italian symphonic alive and moving forward. Mellow again shows their knack for finding music worth preserving. The band features the work of Gabriele Benfatto (guitar, vocals), Sergio Contin (bass, lead vocals), Claudio Farneti (drums, percussion, flute), and Pierluigi Piccoli (piano, synthesizers). It was recorded in 1998 at Sonica Studios in Rovereto.

Their sound derives from vintage ingredients to be sure: loads of vintage keyboards, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, Italian vocals, and of course.flute! Themes range from the frail and beautiful to the bold and dramatic. The 10 minute "Contemplazione" features wonderful synth runs over acoustic guitars and mellotron. Vocals are quite average in quality, not among the Italian greats but certainly not poor as to hurt your enjoyment of the music.just decent enough. The band is not a showy one in terms of individual soloing, preferring to work in unison to achieve an atmospheric sound.as they say on their website "Right from the start the band aimed at the creation of a strictly personal music, trying to stir up the listener's emotions, without resorting to a strong musical impact. The essential means used, instead, to leave a trace that should last even after the listening, is the atmosphere of the melodies, together with their expressiveness." There is plenty of this expressive atmosphere on "Notta Volante" with its lengthy flute play and sparse arrangement early on, building to a nice PFM styled ending. "Il respiro dell'alba" is a real favorite of mine with gorgeous solo piano over flute and whispered voices. Then suddenly you hear vinyl scratches as someone throws on a favorite album and we hear a bit of the ending of a song. Their music is mostly introverted and non-confrontational. They rarely hit you over the head with it preferring simply to lead you to the water.

Cooperativa could perhaps be described as one of the missing link band of the 90s, those groups which passed on the '70s spirit to the bands of today, who with their new twist on this sound and modern technology are birthing the current fruitful period in Italian music, prog and otherwise. For me it's a definite keeper but 3 stars for this site because I think the title is of most interest to the ISP fans with only limited crossover potential. 7/10

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 Il Risveglio by COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.74 | 18 ratings

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Il Risveglio
Cooperativa Del Latte Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Il Risveglio" is a contemporary album, but if it would has been edited in the seventies, could be a classic. Brilliant symphonic rock during, sadly, only forty minutes. Influences from GENESIS -Gabriel era-, PFM and some folk melodies, lots of vintage tics and a delight for every prog fan, especially nostalgics. Here is a brief track list description:

"Verso I Cancelli Della Memoria": A beautiful piece with lots of synths and rythmical changes, always melodic.

"Contemplazione": Plenty of surprises, it's one of those songs that take the breath away. Ten fantastic minutes (keyboards lovers: you have a party here).

"Notte Volante": Another beauty, starting with superb flute and acoustic guitar and changing from pastoral to absolutely symphonic moments.

"Il Respiro dell'Alba": Almost instrumental theme, very nice and emotive. At the end, there are some "noises" reminding a vinyl player (evoking?).

"Tentazioni": Very GENESIS inspired, adding some jazzy elements, fine and energetic.

"Maggio": Short and beautiful medieval piece.

"Indagazioni Strutturale": Another really nice medieval melody to close an excellent album.

This only COOPERATIVA DEL LATTE stuff keeps alive the best Italian tradition. Extremely recommended.

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