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DEDALUS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy


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Dedalus biography
DEDALUS - not to be confused with another Italian 'DEDALUS' who mix folk with jazz - were a most enterprising 70's jazz-rock quartet from Turin who still keep a high public profile among collectors. Evoking SOFT MACHINE but with an emphasis on keyboards, they use the violin, synthesizer, guitar, sax, cello, bass and drums; their style is more experimental and spacer than other Italian jazz-rock bands (KALEIDON, DUELLO MADRE, PERIGEO). After a first album in 1973, they lost their bassist and went on as a trio for a second album; they then lost their drummer and split up. In 1990, they reappeared for a third album that featured the original line-up minus the drummer. After many personnel changes, the keyboard player reformed the band under the name The BONANSONE DEDALUS GROUP who released a fourth album in 2004.

The eponymous first LP was their most SOFT MACHINE-like album, featuring some particularly spacey experimentation. "Materiale per Tre Esecutori e Nastro Magnetico" (1974) contains some highly complex music in a contemporary classical vein à la John Cage or Edgar Varese; it is also marked by a stronger use of electronics (no doubt due to the loss of their drummer). The privately released "Pia Visione" (1997) tried to revive the original spirit of the band but with a very minimalist approach. As for "Nomos Apache Alpha" (2004), it has a strong classical chamber music feel as it is mainly cello and flute based.

Fans of SOFT MACHINE and ARTI E MESTIERI should find the first, and particularly the second album, quite enjoyable.

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

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Buy DEDALUS Music


Tom Johnson: Rational MelodiesTom Johnson: Rational Melodies
New World Records 2010
Audio CD$12.10
$10.50 (used)
Dedalus Materiale Per TeDedalus Materiale Per Te
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$202.50 (used)
DedalusDedalus
Light in the Attic 2014
Vinyl$25.19
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DEDALUS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.23 | 73 ratings
Dedalus
1973
2.40 | 23 ratings
Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pia Visione
1997
2.00 | 1 ratings
Nomos Apache Alpha
2004

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

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DEDALUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Just who are those four dudes hiding behind the clocks on the album cover? Must be DEDALUS! This band emerged from the Turin, Italy scene in the early 70s and delivers some of the most varied and interesting jazz-fusion from the era on their eponymous debut album. The name DEDALUS apparently comes from Daedalus who was the inventor of the labyrinth in Greek mythology. Like their namesake, this band delivers a labyrinth of extremely well-crafted jazz- fusion that holds up well after many decades. This was another good find for the short-lived Trident Records which also hosted some other greats like Semiramis and Biglietto per l'Inferno. There was another folk rock band with the same name from Italy just to confuse everyone!

This album is really a brilliant concoction of steaming jazz-fusion laced with healthy doses of space rock. In fact at times they drop the jazz-rock all together and venture into Krautrock territory. This is an all instrumental album that finds Fiorenzo Michele Bonansone (keyboards, cello, vocals), Marco Di Castri (guitar, sax), Furio Di Castri (bass) and Enrico Grosso (drums) synergizing their energetic and eclectic talents to create a nice mix of styles that takes a little from the jazziest sounds of the Soft Machine and mixes in some highly eclectic avant-garde jazz, psychedelic freak outs and energetic solos. The sound despite the tempo is always warm and inviting and can range from frantic Mahavishnu Orchestra type workouts to subdued Weather Report passages.

This one has really been a grower. Although i liked it a lot upon first listen, it has managed to burrow deep into my psyche. It just incorporates enough diversity and technical prowess to keep me thoroughly entertained upon repeated listens. If dreamy syncopated rhythms with tasty solos and tight group interaction is what you're craving in your jazz-fusion experience then you should look no further than this debut album by DEDALUS. This delivers for both jazz lovers and progressive rock lovers alike. Unfortunately they would never release another album like this again and moved into even more experimental musique concrète for their second release. If you have one of the newer remastered versions of this you will find the second album tacked onto the end. In my case it's not even listed as being on the album. It's just a surprise! 4.5 rounded up!

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 Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico  by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.40 | 23 ratings

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Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars Well one thing is for sure. DEDALUS showed on their debut album that they were certainly open-minded and willing to take risks and experiment but absolutely no one, especially the jazz-rock-fusion fans of their debut could have seen this one coming. For some reason, DEDALUS decided it was time to move on after one album of primo jazz-fusion workouts and go to even stranger pastures. In this case they took on a real career killer and tackled musique concrète and pointillistic surrealism. The result is an album that gets almost universally panned for it sounds absolutely nothing like the debut and i can only imagine how many jazz-fusion lovers over the years have fallen for the debut only to scratch their heads after listening to this one!

Part of the situation was that the bassist Furio De Castri parted ways after the debut. Instead of the sensible decision of replacing him, the remaining four members decided to let their freak flag unfurl full staff and really go for it in the experimental department which pretty much destroyed all momentum they had built and pretty much ended their musical credibility. Instead of syncopated jazz rhythms mixed with solo tradeoffs and spaced out freak outs, we get a series of clanging cans, breaking bottles, piano sweeps and various other noises such as cats meowing, operatic meanderings and whacked out outbursts. There are still traces of jazz here and there with drum rolls, sax runs and even violins but they appear sporadically. There are also scant outbursts of melodies that are fleeting but nonetheless present themselves.

For anyone to enjoy this they must really have had some exposure to some of the avant- garde music of the 50s and 60s. There reminds me a lot of John Cage and his surrealist musical vision and the strange musique concrète of Edgar Varèse but most of all i get a Karlheinz Stockhausen vibe whose pointillistic musical impressionism is the main focus here. Like a good impressionalist painter, DEDALUS paints sonic textures with bloops and bleeps and scant traces of an underlying motif. I like to think of this in general as a ride in a canoe with the chaotic swirls and eddys of water that surround the canoe as the main focus that lead to an underlying object but only as indirect evidence that has to be mounted to come to the final conclusion.

Yes, this is ridiculously convoluted and complex and most listeners will not give this the time of day, but i personally find this kind of music stimulating on rare occasions. I think of this as the musical equivalent to those rare nutrients that the body needs like molybdenum that are only needed in the smallest of doses but yet are essential for the overall health of an organism. There is something about listening to this on the rare occasion that is kind of like defragging your computer. It just kind of makes melodic music sound better! Maybe i'm just a disturbed individual for finding any joy in this whatsoever, but being familiar with the avant-garde classical artists that preceded has aided in my understanding. Admittedly, WTF were these guys thinking?!!! This pretty much ended a promising career and they should have at least put out a couple more stellar jazz-fusion releases before doing anything this alienating to their fans.

As a litmus test you can ask yourself if you can tolerate Area's "Caos" from Maledetti and if the answer is yes, then you can take that track and make a whole album out of it and it will give you a hint of what's going on here. I certainly wouldn't call this essential but this certainly is more than random noise going on. Like the invisible canoe on the flowing stream that creates wakes and hydrologic distortions, this music is the impression of an underlying unheard musical structure that demands your full attention and multiple listens to discern. There are occasional classical motifs that just briefly bubble up from the underworld. This album is tacked on to the end of remastered versions of the debut album. It may not be essential but is well worth it if it's a freebie and can satisfy one's utmost strangest musical urges when the mood hits, at least it does for yours truly.

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Italy's Dedalus featured on their debut album an energetic, fast style of jazz fusion which (particularly in the rhythm section and the synthesiser work by Fiorenzo Bonansone) seems to draw a lot on the jazzier end of the Canterbury scene - like a perkier, more manic version of Soft Machine's Third at points. Marco Di Castri takes his tenor sax and electric guitar and wrings some absolutely dynamite solos out of them, making him a particular standout player, and the group's broad command of fusion styles makes the one of the more impressively diverse units from the era. Definitely worth listening to if you like your fusion twitchy and hyperactive.

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars What led me to try this album is the cover. It coulda been Michael Buble but because of the cover I'd have given it a shot. When my ears heard subdued fusion of the classic '70's variety I was hooked. Sax and keys seem to drive the music, however there is a lot of guitar and cello.

This record sounds like it exists in a universe a half octave out of tune with our own. It has aged like premium cheddar and sounds nothing like its contemporaries. The sound transcends jazzrock, fusion, and progressive fusion labels, establishing an undiscovered sonic template that remains largely unexplored.

The only other experience I've had like this is when I listened to Shuggie Otis' "Inspiration Information" the first 25 or so times. It's a record that is of it's time, but doesn't belong to it. It's groundbreaking without really breaking any new ground.

4.5 stars a real find for adventurous fusion fanatics - even house and fans of party music will find something to like. It's a fun album saddled with unfun labels.

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

4 stars Presdoug is right: This is an album that deserves much more attention and recognition than it has (thus far) received. The other reviewers aptly cover the comparable bands though some of the uses of electronics reminds me of a less-avant DEODATO, too. Everyone seems to want to give Soft Machine or Weather Report credit for the style and sound of this band, but I think this group has far superior planning and less jamming, plus the instrumentation sounds are often quite different (the keys' sounds are much more diverse than Ratledge, more strings-oriented than Zawinal & Co.) Also, the guitarist sounds much more "straightforward" jazz, not at all like John McLaughlin (to me). I love the combination of the Coltrane, Freddy Hubbard/Cjick Corea and Eumir Deodato feel of "C.T. 6" and the beautiful "Leda" and "Brilla." Side 2 definitely feels more jazz-oriented than Canterbury or Avant/RIO to me.

For now I'll give it four stars--especially as I'm not sure how "proggy" this is--despite the avant use of space, electrified strings, and diverse keyboard sounds. Maybe further familiarity will cause it to climb to masterpiece status. I will add that it has incredible engineering/production for its time!

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 Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico  by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.40 | 23 ratings

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Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dobermensch

1 stars My God... what on earth happened to these guys within a year?

'Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico' is far more avant garde and dissonant than their first album after which their bass player departed. Even so, this sounds like an entirely different band, left with no grounding or clear ideas whatsoever.

Discordant saxophones, mandolins and bottle tops are blown for all they're worth in this hideously tuneless album. I'm always open to something new and unusual, but I have to admit that this is one of the most annoying albums I've heard in a long time.

Sounding nothing like their self titled, wholly acceptable, and occasionally enjoyable debut, this one sucks big style. A rotten way to spend an hour of your time as various acoustic instruments bleat, squawk and stab in the most tuneless of ways reminding me of a paralytically drunk guy staggering down an alleyway before he throws up.

The only comparison I can think on is 'Biota' - but they're far more playful, atmospheric, full of life and enjoyable. Even the unusual' 'Moroccan oboe' doesn't help amongst the sparseness of tune on display in this torturous recording.

'La bergera - con più frequenza - accordanza ' (What a mouthful!) is probably the best of the lot simply because I'm safe in the knowledge that it's all gong to end shortly. My hopes were so high coming into this through it being included on the 'Nurse With Wound' list, but I have to say, they were well and truly dashed with the ineptitude on display.

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 Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico  by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.40 | 23 ratings

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Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guldbamsen
Prog Reviewer Retired Admin

3 stars Tennis shoes inside slippers and boots with diplomas

How old are you? Tanzania! That just goes to show how many children it takes to build 4 Eiffel towers, when you're feeling like a cowboy toast on the rise.

If any of this gibberish makes sense to you, then you should probably take a closer look at Dedalus second album called Materiale Per Tre Esecutori E Nastro Magnetico, which translates into something as mundane and trivial as Material for 3 artists and magnetic tape - whatever that means. Well to take an educated guess, I think this title reflects a band that wanted to take things to the extreme, and here I am talking waaaay out there on a ledge, where only mad musicians like the David Helfgotts and surreal Amadeuses of the world venture, and then perhaps the fact that this release incorporates a fair deal of electronic meandering. -Maybe that is what the magnetic tape means? I am not so sure...

The music on offer here is totally unstructured, or else the crazy three Italians here managed to cook up the most convoluted album I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. It is like walking into a room where the music is so loud and in the middle of everything, that you struggle to make heads or tales of any of it. This is essentially free-jazz. It wobbles along like a confused renegade on acid throwing loose fragments of sound into the air - hoping for it to land on something - anything really. As a result of this, the listener, and here this term is somewhat lacking in meaning, because one really needs to be involved and fighting like one of those turtles that some people from Asia pay big bucks to see fight, - anyway, you really need to be in there with your kamikaze headbands on, swinging your uppercuts and low blows like a regular Mike Tyson of the avant guarde. This music will quite simply drop you like a bad habit, if you don't put up a fight.

It is bizarre worming snuffling electronic beats and cacophonous drumming where cello, piano, Fender piano, accordion, synthesizer, soprano ocarina, electric mandolin, plastubofono, bottle, tenor & soprano saxophone, guitars, harmonica, flute, Moroccan oboe and strange voices coalesce like some kind of unorthodox musical scarecrow made up of a hundred different musical tastes all crammed into one little album.

This is Allen Ginsberg's most out there ramblings put into sounds and noises. It is the soundtrack of going mad inside a carousel that runs on jet fuel. It's like listening to a jazz record from a mental asylum - only backwards, but first and foremost is it a record that only speaks to a small fraction of the adventurous music seekers, which is why I feel 2 stars is the right rating. This is bunkers in so many different ways, that you need to have sown your head on with bubblegum and stardust to fully grasp its full-blown insanity, and then it doesn't even begin to describe how much nonchalance it takes to actually appreciate the overt carelessness of the tracks. Oh yes this music takes prisoners - spits 'em out and goes on like a raving lunatic in cellophane and banana peels. I actually like listening to it when I work out, but I am not so sure what that says about me in the end... Maybe that I am mad enough to actually award it with 3 stars, because of how much unadulterated, inexplicable and unhinged enjoyment I get out of it?

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars What a pleasant surprise! Debut album of Italian band sounds very ... "non-Italian"! Differently from very melodic, well arranged, polished and symphonic music so characteristic for Italian bands, this album sounds as slightly psychedelic Canterbury release (influenced by Hancock 's Mwandishi spacey fusion). Excellent electric piano, plenty of almost free form sax soloing, well balanced, but experimental sound...

During last few days I listen it again and again. Can't believe - such a nice music! I never heard this name before, and now I just enjoy this rare release, coming from early 70-s. Great electric violin sound - experimental, not predictable as you heard from JL Ponty or Michal Urbaniak. Ascetic guitar - but always in place, excellent jazzy drumming. In many moments their music reminds early Weather Report works (but with electric guitar added).

Almost masterpiece - very recommended for 70-s experimental fusion lovers!

My rating is 4+!

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars An impressive debut from Italian avant-jazz rock band Dedalus. Released in 1973, this eponymous release perfectly captures their experimental jazz rock, not unlike Soft Machine around 1973 ish which sometimes drifts into avant sections.

There's excellent musicianship on display with a strong presence from electric piano, sax and electric guitar, complimented by a versatile rhythm section equally at home holding down a solid groove or more swinging jazz patterns. Being a consistently solid album highlights are hard to pick but I've a preference for the more conventional jazz rock over the avant sections which feature far more on the excellent BTF re-release as bonus material. Attention will no doubt be drawn to the 14 minute C.T.6 which takes up a large chunk of the, by today's standards at least, relatively short album. Moving from a fluent up-tempo electric guitar dominated opening it eventually locks into a repetitive mid paced groove with stabbing electric piano and the band taking turns to solo over the top. The more experimental close of Santiago features a cello not entirely dissimilar to the less bombastic parts of Jimmy Page's violin bow on electric guitar routine he used on Dazed and Confused. There the comparison ends. Conn is perhaps the most experimental track overall with an insistent and repetitive rimshot snare drum pattern laying the foundation for random ambient textures overlaid on top.

Some of the bonus more avant sections on the re-release are a little tedious but judging the album on the format of the original, Dedalus is worthy of a strong 4 stars.

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 Dedalus by DEDALUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.23 | 73 ratings

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Dedalus
Dedalus Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars These Italians really hit a home run with this their debut from 1973. A SOFT MACHINE flavour is prominant, although there's lots of cello and percussion here. I like how experimental and spacey these guys get as well.

"Santiago" is uptempo Jazz to start out and when the distorted organ comes in we get a Canterbury vibe. It calms right down before 1 1/2 minutes then picks back up with sax and electric piano. It settles again after 4 minutes and turns experimental with cello. This is an avant- garde section that continues until it kicks back in late to end it. "Leda" is spacey to open before it kicks in with a great sounding passage with bass, sax, electric piano and drums leading the way. It settles before 2 1/2 minutes like the intro only sounds echo here. It kicks back in but without sax this time. "Conn" opens with all these intricate sounds. A melody settles in before a minute as sax and percussion come in with electric piano and bass standing out. It's experimental after 2 1/2 minutes as the cello comes in.

"C.T.6." is the 14 minute epic. An electronic intro with other sounds until it settles into a Jazz mode. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. Sax a minute later as it settles. A change before 3 1/2 minutes as sax, electric piano, bass and drums take over. Piano takes the lead 5 minutes in. Some distorted guitar before 7 minutes. Cello after 8 minutes. Drums and bass continue when the cello stops. A change before 12 minutes as piano takes over and the rhythm stops briefly. It's back with sax after 13 minutes to end it. "Brilla" has this laid back melody with sax and piano as the bass and drums support. The tempo picks up with cello coming in too. Great sound. Guitar after 3 minutes. It's angular at first and then he proceeds to rip it up. The song then settles with sax as it ends just like it began.

There's so much here to like if your into that Jazz / Fusion style with an experimental twist. Incredible album !

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