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AUFKLARUNG

Neo-Prog • Italy


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Aufklarung biography
The name translates almost literally as enlightenment (naturally, this is a concept someone with the nickname of bhikkhu can get on board with). It also specifically refers to a philosophical/social/political movement that swept through Europe in the eighteenth century. Generally it is referred to as the Age of Reason. In Germany it was called Aufklärung. The band says that this movement was a cultural break, and they are making a similar break by revisiting a musical movement from the past. However, why a group of Italian guys chose the German form of this term is anyone's guess.

The band was formed in 1990 from members of a band called The Eclipse, and the prototype of AUFKLÄRUNG. The main lineup for the band would consist of Fabio Guadalupi on guitars, Marco Mancarella on keyboards, Michele Martello on guitars, Massimo Migini on drums, Luciano Rubini on bass, and Edoardo Lecci with vocals and flute. They recorded their first demo, "Jetho Van Hall" in 1990. By 1994, they had enough material for an album, and recorded "De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere." Nine CD copies were made, and strategically distributed. One was given to collector Marco Barcarotti, who then made a tape for Alberto Nucci from Arlequins. Nucci then wrote an article about it. Elio Ribotta followed suit, and wrote an article for Nobody's Land. Nothing pays off like good press, and they were contacted by the likes of Vinyl Magic, WMMS, Pick Up, and Cygnus Records. That fall, the band was also honored to perform at the Amnesty International prog festival in Terni.

Pick Up records ended up releasing the album, but there would be a shake up in the band. Lecci had a problem concerning military service, and would only be represented as a flautist on the album. The lead vocalist for the band's only album to date was Asgard's Kikko Grosso. The current lineup consists of Marco Mancarella, Luciano Rubini, Massimo Migini, and singer Massimiliano Gargiulo. However, the group is currently without a recording contract.

Mancarella's description of the band and its music are quite eclectic, and philosophical. He also sites just about every style of music, and classic prog band as influences. My take is that you could probably narrow it down to somewhere between Genesis, ELP, the classic Italian bands of the '70s, and a touch of Pink Floyd. It may have begun in the '90s, but the sound is classic '70s.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

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De La Tempesta L'oscuroDe La Tempesta L'oscuro
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AUFKLARUNG discography


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3.83 | 71 ratings
De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
1995

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AUFKLARUNG Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars This cult Italian band was brought together in 1990 from the merger of two different groups, the original Aufklarung of Fabio Guadalupi (guitars), Sandro D'Ammacco (drums) and Giampaolo Di Totero (bass) and The Eclipse of Marco Mancarella (keyboards) and Michele Martello (guitars).D'Ammacco and Di Totero were replaced by Massimo Mignini and Luciano Ribini respectively and with Edoardo Lecci on vocals/flutes the band recorded a first demo soon after.By the time of the recordings of their debut at Studiolab in Cascina, Lecci was stuck within his military obligations and participated only on flute.The result was the appearance of Chico Grosso on vocals, who had a respectable career with Asgard and had already begun his new challenge with Germans Ines.''De' la tempesta..... L'oscuro piacere'' was eventually released in 1995 on Pick Up Records.

Aufklarung played a GENESIS-influenced Neo Prog with evident references to the music of early MARILLION and traces of Italian legends PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI in the acoustic parts.The album offers four long tracks, around 10 minutes or more each, with notable Classical and symphonic inspirations but with a contemporary touch in general, mainly due to the heavy use of synthesizers.The musicianship is pretty rich with plenty of different segments, split nicely between melodic and more atmospheric moments.The lyrical passages along with the fiery keyboard textures recall the best of FISH-era MARILLION, while the presence of Grosso draws reasonable comparisons with the music of ASGARD, though Aufklarung are definitely less darker.The basic elements of all compositions seem to be three: The poetical mood, led by Grosso's incredible FISH-like vocals, the delicate acoustic interludes with the flutes in evidence and the overall very Italian, folky atmosphere and the bombastic keyboard-based instrumental parts with the discreet use of organs and the loads of synthesizers and melodic guitars.Originality is an issue.All aforementioned groups come to mind listening to the album, while at moments the music flirts dangerously with some of the most familiar MARIILION tunes.Still there is plenty to like in here, from the well-crafted melodies to the great keyboard runs to the mellow waves of the folky tunes.

Aufklarung were not destined to play much longer.The lack of a secure contract seems to have affected the band, which left no further traces after this release.''De' la tempesta..... L'oscuro piacere'' is definitely a fantastic listening for any dedicated Neo Prog fan, but the absence of personality might bother some listeners.Yet the contained music is pretty cool and thus the album comes as warmly recommended.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by BORA

5 stars Phew! This album just blew me out immediately, so much so that I had to replay it again. It's not very common that I am sold on any work at first listen, but this one is a rare exception. I just hope that the excitement will remain - and also that the artists too, remain active in the music scene.

Undoubtedly, this work sounds like Peter Hammill is just leaving the studio to let Fish and Hackett have a great time together with Gabriel dropping in for a quick hello and all this is backed by Marillion on a very good day. No suggestion about plagiarism here, it's only the style that's perfectly re-created. Admittedly, I am not a connoisseur of Italo-Prog and generally I have a preference for instrumental music, but even the vocals here are delightfully pleasant and indeed I am looking forward to hear more from this singer and the rest of the band.

Four longish tracks (none under 10 minutes) delivered with admirable ease and precision with no hint of trying too hard, a common pitfall of many who try to impress beyond their abilities. My limited German knowledge translates "aufklarung" as "enlightenment". This music befits that term perfectly without any hint of New Age style (musical) boredom that could send you to sleep bordering on coma. Not here. Wholesome synth/organ-work supported by a great rhythm section, nice rhythm changes reminiscent of early Camel alongside the heartfelt singing keeps me alert and very receptive, yet able to lose track of time. Somewhat of a paradox adding to the magic I experience with great delight.

The production is also excellent and my only gripe is that nearly 45 minutes of playing time appears to pass so quickly that I had to check if my copy was correct. The work is that engaging and I am not quite a novice to music appreciation.

There is no way that I would offer this remarkably intelligent work anything under 5 big ones here in return for the pleasure I receive from this album. Not really groundbreaking, but seamless delivery ensures due recognition.

Anyone who is not adverse to Genesis, Marillion should check this one out before the limited copies become expensive collector's items..

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is an extremely impressive neo-prog album from this Italian one album wonder act. With Asgard's Chicco Grosso on lead vocals doing an absolutely pitch-perfect reproduction of Peter Gabriel's Genesis-era delivery, nostalgia is obviously the order of the day, but Aufklarung spice up the typical Marillion-Genesis hybrid with ideas borrowed from musical genres ranging from New Age to the very verge of heavy metal.and industrial music. With compositions packed with surprises, the album is far more inventive than many other bands' debuts, and it's a very great shame that we don't have any more music from this mysterious and enigmatic act. Very highly recommended indeed to all prog fans, unless Genesis influences are a complete turn-off.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Aufklarung (that means from german language, light or often used as enlightenment) is a neo prog band from Italy with only one album released in 1995, issued at small label Pick Up Records. To tell the truth I was very pleasent surprised what I heared here, is one of those neo prog albums, that are instant catchy and above all is very rich in arrangements and is more elastic in manner of composing that more then half of the neo bands on the market in last 20 years. They sung in english, even they have a german nam and are from Italy, and sung very well, the vocalist Chicco Grosso from another neo prog band from Italy Asgard done a very good job here, his voice is perfect for such music and doesn't have that italian feel to it in the singing, I could swear is a british singer, very nice. The instrumental passages are killer, really, I like it a lot, are very well performed, with plenty of intristing moments, guitar and keybords comes in front, being very well arranged. 4 long pieces, all aver 10 min long shows a very mature and carefuly arranged parts even is only the first and turned to be their last album aswell in prog world. I said before that this album is more elastic in compostions then many bands I've heared before in this field, they are not followers of '80's neo prog zoe, they have their own identity, showing a very solid musicianship on all 4 pieces. The duel between guitar and keybords are excellent, they are not useing the same formula in arrangements as many bads did before and after them only to copy the great neo british bands from mid to late '80's they infuse very solid parts, where can easy be heared fantstic and inventiv parts, both on more releaxed parts as on most up beat ones. Not a weak moment here, all 4 tracks are excellent and worth to be investigated for sure for any prog listner not only those who are more into neo prog. I like it a lot, a because of that easy 4 stars, one of the front neo prog albums that goes rather unnoticed in prog circles, even sounds 100 times better then most of the bands from this field, really great and almost forgotten jewel from Italy, recommended for sure.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's kind of strange having an Italian band with a German name singing in English isn't it ? This was their sole release back in 1995. The liner notes are all in Italian except for the English song lyrics. I never thought i'd be giving this 3.5 after my first couple of listens but this really grew on me. Still not quite 4 stars in my opinion.

We have four long tracks beginning with "Red Shift". It opens with samples of someone walking and nature sounds.Thunder and rain follows. Vocals and synths before 2 minutes. Drums join in then guitar around 4 minutes. Great sound here. Drums get heavier and become the focus before 6 minutes. Lots of synths too. The guitar starts to solo. Church organ after 9 minutes. A calm follows with flute and acoustic guitar. Vocals are back 12 minutes in as it picks back up.That song is the highlight for me. "Jetho Van Hall" again opens with nature sounds and someone walking. Gentle guitar takes over as vocals join in. Drums and synths follow. It picks up 2 1/2 minutes in. A good section around 5 minutes with vocals, electric guitar and drums.The organ comes in when the vocals stop.

"Il Funeralle Della Luna" opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals come in. Drums after 2 minutes. It picks up after 3 minutes as it gets heavier with lots of synths. A calm with reserved vocals 5 minutes in. It's GENESIS- like when the vocals stop. Very pastoral. It then kicks back in before 7 1/2 minutes. "Eclipse / Echo's Wave" opens with what sounds like mellotron then synths. Lots of atmosphere after 2 minutes. Acoustic guitar 3 minutes in. It picks up after 4 1/2 minutes. Vocals 6 minutes in. Vocals stop when it settles and flute comes in. Vocals are back before it ends with nature sounds and someone walking.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars What if Genesis was played on a stormy day?

You'll end up with this record. I did enjoy it the very first time, especially the flute/ acoustic guitar segments that reminded me what would Hackett sound like on heavy clouded day. I did felt a bit of sadness when I heard the singer with his very Gabrielish style of singing...well, another one to add in the voluminous pile. Some things are what they are; and lots of singers seem happy with imitating Peter. Why moan about it anymore? Why not simply enjoying it? That's what I thought, and it paid: I enjoy this record a lot.

The mood is set for a dark and stormy afternoon, a tad depressing I might add (apart for the second track! Sunny sunny flower and bee). The singer is melancholic, and so is the acoustic guitar/mellotron/flute combo. But in that gentleness sometimes lightning strucks with great riffs and keyboard solos (reminding Contagion of Arena at moments). The whole things floats rather gently and with harmony, without rushing the ideas or feeling like bits of copy/paste instrumental segments. Hold on, this is in the néo-progressive bin? Well, good classification or not, Néo-progressive never sounded that and profound.

I recommend this record eyes closed; it's easy to find, it's the only Italian band with a german name singing in English.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by infandous

3 stars I got this album because I loved the singing of Grosso on the Asgard albums. Here, however, he is much less powerful and evocative, and I get the feeling that the band asked him to restrain his singing and to try hard to emulate Peter Gabriel from the 70's. I suppose, in that sense, he succeded somewhat. But to me, the singing lacks conviction, passion, and fire which he demostrated so brilliantly on the Asgard releases. In any case, the songs here are not bad at all. Something of a mix of Gabriel era Genesis and more modern (for the mid-90's anyway) ambient sounds, as well as some nylon string guitar and flute folkyness. I find Il Funeralle Della Luna to be the most interesting song, with the final number being also fairly strong. But the whole thing is pretty consistent. It sounds like a band that never had a chance to grow beyond their obvious influences (mainly Genesis), but still managed to develop something of their own sound. It would have been interesting to hear further albums from them, but this is the only one. Most dissapointing for me would be that this was the last I would hear of Grosso.

An average album, only required for Asgard fans and proggers with vast collection. 3 solid stars.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I must admit,this is not pure 5 stars album(4/5),but I like it very much.This is mixture of MARILLION/GENESIS best era styles with a strong touch of Folk Prog (wonderful acoustic guitars and medieval flute).Grosso sings in very Gabrielesque way,and I like this way of singing! Despite few ordinary and boring moments,the whole album sounds very nice and pretty symphonic.That's the music I like most!!! Recommended to all Neo/New Symphonic devotees!

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by chessman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I bought this after listening to the free download on this site. This album is an unassuming piece which exuded surprising class. Yes, there are Genesis influences, especially the third track, where the vocals are Gabriel-like, and the keyboards reminiscent of Mr Banks. But the album stands up well in its own right. Track three is probably the strongest song here, with wonderful keyboards, and a deliciously melodic ending called "Silence In The Darkness". This is credited as an extra track on the cd, but belongs at the end of the third song. Beautiful stuff this. The opener is also strong and, in fact, there is no weak tracks here at all. Dominated by acoustic guitar, flute, and passionate vocals, this whole album should be a pleasant surprise for anyone who takes a chance on it. Yes, some of the early Italian bands come to mind as well, and even the quieter moments of King Crimson, but the group have there own identity as well. It's a pity they didn't do a second album, as anything as good, or better, than this, would have been quite special. A worthy addition to any collection. Three stars today, but, on some days, worth four.

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 De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere by AUFKLARUNG album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.83 | 71 ratings

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De' La' Tempesta ... L'Oscuro Piacere
Aufklarung Neo-Prog

Review by ziofulvio

4 stars to submit a review for this record is a great pleasure for me. In 2003 I've been member of this band (unfortunately for a very few rehearsals) and I could appreciate the sound, the groove, and their professional approach to anything dealing with music. De' la' Tempesta... is at the same time the cause and the product of these skills. It's the essence of this ten years old band, which nevertheless several line-up switching, keeps on going on the rails of values like hard work (balancing music and personal jobs),honesty and professionality. Keep Going Guys,Good Luck

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