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ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Astrolabio / Elettrosmog picture
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog biography
The story of ASTROLABIO begins with ELETTROSMOG, an Italian prog band from Verona. ELETTROSMOG was formed in 2003 by Michele Antonelli (vocals, guitar, flute), Francesco Delli Paoli (bass), Alessandro Pontone (guitar), Massimo Babbi (keyboards), Cristian Maselli (drums) and Alessandro Savalli (bouzuky, banjio, mandolin, acoustic guitar). In 2004 they recorded their first demo EP, "Buona la prima" and started performing live. Later Francesco Delli Paoli and Alessandro Savelli left and were replaced by Michele Fiori (vocals) and Paolo Iemmi (bass). In 2006, after two years studio work, Elettrosmog released their first full length album, the self-produced "Monologando". Elettrosmog were clearly influenced by Italian prog bands of the early seventies like PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI, BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, LE ORME or DELIRIUM (on their official website you can even find a short history of "Rock Progressivo Italiano") but also by hard rock, jazz, blues, reggae and some Italian singer songwriters...

In 2009, the band changed their drummer (Alessandro Pontone entering at this point) as well as name, re-emerging as ASTROLABIO and recording a demo in 2012 titled "Temperato Demo(de)". After playing several gigs throughout that year, the group won the "Tregnago Rock Contest" which gave them the opportunity to open for the historical RPI act LOCONDA DELLA FATE.

In 2014, Astrolabio signed a record deal with Andromeda Relix and released their debut album "I'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari", an album influenced by the golden era of Italian progressive rock with modern styles and a welcome sense of humour! Plenty of emphasis is placed on flute and keyboards, with wild direction changes, and a refusal by the group to overproduce their sound or rely on the clichéd and stereotyped arrangements often found in modern prog music. This new album sees the sound of the band comparable to DE DE LIND, BIGLIETTO PER L'INFERNO and again P.F.M, and is one of the standout Italian progressive releases of 2014.

Elettrosmog bio by Micky, Astrolabio updates by Michael H (Aussie-Byrd-Brother)

Astrolabio / Elettrosmog official website

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ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG discography


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ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 4 ratings
Monologando (as Elettrosmog)
2006
4.38 | 16 ratings
L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari
2014

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ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Buona la prima (as Elettrosmog)
2004

ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG Reviews


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 L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.38 | 16 ratings

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L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars If some of you are waiting for another great Italian release, this is one for you. It hasn't been so many this year, after last year's explosion of Italian prog. The band "Astrolabio" comes from Verona and has released two studio records. Their first studio album was "Monologando" 2006 when they called themselves Elettrosmog. "L'Isolamento dei numeri pari" from this years has a lovely green cover with prophets looking down from the sky. "Astrolabio" is Michele Antonelli(vocals, guitars, flute), Alessandro Pontone(drums), Massimo Babbi(keyboards) and Paolo Iemmi(bass,vocals).

The sound of Astrolabio is similar to many other prog bands and just as many other giants the use the orchestral flute in their music. That works fantastic and to hear this record is a lovely experience I promise. The compositions are varied and intricate. Judge by yourself but I think you will agree with me. "E'Stato detto tutto" is a tough and progressive start and this hit kind of the closer "Pugni Chiusi" are the frames of this record fill with so much. "Brie- Collage" for example starts with a sound of space rock but evolves to symphonic rock and "Fotografic" has similarities with the symphonic masters Premiata Forneria Marconi. "The long Non Ricordo" has many fine parts such as a wide guitar riff. "31 Aprile"s melody is also something unique you will find.

As a unite this record holds a high position and it will get a high rating as well. Even if it doesn't feel totally new, it doesn't feel reused. There is something fresh still in these compositions and melodies. I would indeed recommend this record for you as one of the most interesting released from this year. The best song is perhaps "E'Stato Detto Tutto", "31 Aprile" or "Non Ricordo". Four stars!

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 L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.38 | 16 ratings

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L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andis

4 stars Oh yeah! The italians got sent away in the 2014 world cup football, but in the world of progressive rock they're still on the field and they got 3-0 before halftime.

Astrolabios album "L'isolamento dei numeri pari" shows me all the reasons why I love progressive rock. It's agressive, calm, hot, cool, complex and beautiful. All at the same time. This bands take a time machine back to 1975, let their hair down and just starts of where Biglietto per l'inferno left off. It's full of great guitar and keyboard chops and there are tons of all these cool and strange typical italian passages that just no other than the italians can do. The albums has lots of influences, all from the rockier side of Deus ex machina to the mellow parts of Pink floyd, but the closest I can think of is Biglietto per l'inferno, also not far away from Museo rosenbach. The band are mostly uptempo with agressive guitars and cool supporting keyboards with great vocals.

I also like that hidden within the songs are small parts from Tulls's Aqualung, some ELP and some other stuff. Cool.

Finally, what makes me love this albums is that it's fun to listen to. Few bands that I listen to gives me energy and makes it really fun. This albums makes it fun to listen to great progressive rock.

I only give 5-star ratings to timeless masterpieces, so I'll give this album a 4.5 star rating. It's not a masterpiece, but it's darn close. If you like italian progressive rock, get it! No, don't just get it, RUN to get it. FANTASTIC!!

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 L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.38 | 16 ratings

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L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars With a replacement drummer brought in back in 2009, Verona proggers Elettrosmog have now morphed into Astrolabio, and it's very exciting to discover that their debut album (after a practice demo recording back in 2012) is without question one of the most exciting Italian prog albums of the year! `L'Isolamento dei Numeri Pari' is full of colour and variety, the band defiantly incorporating modern influences while remaining respectful to several important 70's Italian bands, and all of the eleven tracks on offer display pinpoint precision song-writing with the dazzling instrumental qualities that progressive music fans demand. Astrolabio consider their music `degressive rock', meaning lovingly retro flavoured while refusing to over-produce and polish their music to pristine perfection. Therefore, the band have a frequently raw sound, with all the compositions being performed with incredible confidence. Prepare for a modern take on the unexpected direction changes of De De Lind, the rough charm of Biglietto per L'Inferno and the pleasing style of P.F.M.

With a title that translates to `The Isolation of Even Numbers', I was expecting some grand elaborate concept theme woven through the album! Turns out every even numbered track on the CD is merely 6 seconds of silence before the CD clicks over to the next track - interesting, and kind of silly! Asking the band about this, they responded that they merely wanted to be unconventional and determined to do things in their own unique and different way, while offering a sense of humour too, something frequently absent from the progressive genres. Going by the sense of fun the band show throughout many spots on the disc, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were actually secretly hoping stuffy prog fans will tear their hair out trying to work out the grand concept of the disc - and guilty I was of this, I must admit...and I can't afford to lose any more hair!

The album blasts off right from the start with `E'Stato Detto Tutto', a punchy little rocker with wild acoustic/electric bursts, huffing flute, nimble piano, delirious warping keyboards and frantic stop/start percussion. Michele Antonelli's devilish vocals cover everything from snarling temptation to other-wordly treated Le Orme-style weirdness. This cracking and addictive track is simply the greatest opener on a prog album all year, needed to be heard by those listeners who like their RPI reckless and spiky. `31 Aprile' then takes a surprising turn into a debauched sweaty electronic groover in the style of Gary Numan, all hip shaking beats and Michele's repetitive saucy guitar riffs! So many unexpected diversions for `Brie-Collage'. The band wanders through a wilderness of swampy guitar licks, Massimo Babbi's gentle synth breezes, dusty singer-songwriter introspection and bluesy smolder, then the piece lurches to life with a disorientating psychedelic stomp. This one gently unfolds over eight unhurried minutes, and the unpredictable turns remind of the classic vintage RPI album from De De Lind.

`Aurora' is a fleeting and delicate acoustic guitar lament, `Fotografic' a drowsy country ballad with some strangely Marillion-styled trilling keyboard solos throughout and cheerful P.F.M rollicking runs too! Michele's raspy vocal almost resembles alt-rock country icon Ryan Adams, and his lazy slide guitar gives it a blissful acid-fried early Floyd sound. `Sono...' mixes driving rock with loopy psychedelic colour, with some classical piano bombast and boisterous group vocals, then `Corso di Eurostima' is a stirring acoustic guitar ballad with a gentle violin backing that brings a soothing P.F.M quality. Very upfront synths constantly bombard `Servito', but it's the ten plus minute epic `Non Ricordo' that deserves more attention. A placid dreamy acoustic opening around subtle synth washes and a soothing vocal, then the piece snarls to life with heavy grunting electric guitars and Alessandro Pontone's forceful drumming. The band then burns through a perfectly executed improvisation with jazz-fusion guitar licks, glistening electric piano and Paolo Iemmi's swallowing bass, the synths taking on an almost ethereal droning tone behind them. The finale has a delightful flute outro that enters lonely and quickly turns hopeful and reassuring, and it's a sweet, surprising way to close a piece where the entire band demonstrates supreme taste and restraint. There is a quick cover of an Italian beat-pop era song with special guest Raffaello Regoli of vintage RPI band Cormorano to follow, but it's really more of a cute bonus track.

With eye catching and colourful artwork that instantly reminds of P.F.M `L'Iisola Di Niente', Astrolabio have delivered a grand and impressive work that I truly believe has a timeless quality, an album that instantly leaves a strong impression and shows off the talent and diversity of the band to great effect. Along with the recent albums by Logos, Entity and Il Fauno di Marmo, they've delivered one of the defining Italian progressive releases for the first half of 2014. Exceptional work all round, and if Astrolabio are already this good, imagine how much potential they have and the possibilities they may still deliver in the future?

Five stars.

(Oh, and any band who has the cheek to sneakily work in guitar licks from King Crimson's `21st Century Schizoid Man' and Jethro Tull's `Aqualung' during their own tunes are either pranksters, or have plums the size of planets! Bravo, gentlemen!)

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 Monologando (as Elettrosmog) by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.52 | 4 ratings

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Monologando (as Elettrosmog)
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Elettrosmog began life in Verona in 2003 with a first line up featuring Michele Antonelli (vocals, guitar, flute), Francesco Delli Paoli (bass), Alessandro Pontone (guitar), Massimo Babbi (keyboards), Cristian Maselli (drums) and Alessandro Savelli (bouzuky, banjo, mandolin, acoustic guitar). They were clearly influenced by Italian prog bands of the early seventies such as Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Le Orme or Delirium (on their official website you could even find a short history of Rock Progressivo Italiano) but also by hard rock, jazz, blues, reggae and Italian canzone d'autore. After an interesting demo recorded in 2004, they started performing live on the local scene. Later, Alessandro Savelli left the band and in 2006 Elettrosmog self-released their first full length album, "Monologando". According to the liner notes, it's a concept album dealing with the difficulties that human beings can experience when they have to communicate with each other in different situations. Well, probably the beautiful art cover by Andrea Sbrogiò describes the content of the album better than my words.

The opener "Trappole per topi" (Mousetraps) is a nice track full of obscure energy. The music and lyrics depict a man who's on the verge of folly, a dreamer who desperately search for a shelter from the daily grind. He's surrounded by people he can't understand and who show off a false serenity... "Enough is enough! My head is blowing up / I have to run away from here / A stereophonic madness completes my mania / It reverberates and swings for me...".

The following "Economania" is a caustic track about the "New Economy", where money rules and the marketing laws decide what you have to do. So, you have to stop thinking of social ideals, nothing matters but your ego... The new economy ethic becomes a silly and vain vicious circle where men act like marionettes stumbling on the threads of the Euro-autarchy, pushed by ambition and materialism.

"Fiore di carta" (Paper flower) is a melancholic, introspective track where the music and lyrics depict a man who gets lost in a labyrinth of madness and who's burning out like a paper flower, stranded and poisoned by a nightmarish solitude. Suicide or hypocrisy can't save his soul...

"Dialogo" (Dialogue) is a short acoustic, instrumental interlude that leads to the following "Quanto costa un litro di benzina?" (How much does a litre of gasoline?), an ironic track that blends reggae and Jethro Tull. The music and lyrics tell about a man obsessed by the ever growing cost of oil who decides to buy a bicycle and ride it feeling like Fausto Coppi.

"Non è così (Il mio regalo per te)" (It's not so ? My present for you) is a complex track featuring many changes in mood and rhythm. It begins softly, the atmosphere is dark, melancholic then the rhythm rises and at some point Focus and Jethro Tull could come to mind. A man realizes that he's adopting ideas that he doesn't share just to get along with his sweetheart and he's getting tired to live as a hypocrite. The breaking up is traumatic, his last present might be mischievous and dishonest... Just his voice recorded on a tape: slow, magnetic words that will take him away forever.

The following "Monologo" (Monologue) is a short, delicate instrumental piano solo track that leads to "Compromesso storico" (Historic compromise), a powerful, complex track that draws in music and lyrics the portrait of a cynical politician who's good for every season, a demagogic media metastasis who knows how to use democracy in spite of ethics.

"Tu ti senti meno" (You feel less) is another track that describes the crises of a relationship in an effective way. A woman wants too much from his man, but she can't have everything and the game is over and there's no room left for words... The final track "Rootood" is a short instrumental where you can hear a telephone call and the recorded voice of an answering machine. A good conclusion for a very interesting album that in my opinion is really worth listening to.

After the recording sessions bassist Francesco Delli Paoli left the band and Paolo Iemmi stepped in. Unfortunately, the new line up didn't last for long and in 2007 Elettrosmog split up. Anyway, two years later a new band called Astrolabio came to life from Elettrosmog's ashes... But this is another story!

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 Monologando (as Elettrosmog) by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.52 | 4 ratings

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Monologando (as Elettrosmog)
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The two years that follwed ''...buona la prima'' were very intense for Elettrosmog, featuring both line-up changes and series of live performances.Bassist Francesco Delli Paoli and guitarist Alessandro Savalli parted ways with the band and were replaced by lead vocalist Michele Fiori and bassist Paolo Iemmi.Meanwhile, in an attempt to become more well-known, Elettrosmog participated in several music competitions with good results and performed a huge amount of live shows.In 2006 the band finally recorded the self-produced concept full-length debut ''Monologando''.

An interesting blend of complex Progressive Rock and powerful Heavy/Hard Rock with over the top vocals is what Elettrosmog had to offer in their first official album, coming as a cross between the energetic style of IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA and the lyrical and melodramatic approach of 70's legends JUMBO.''Monologando'' is mostly a guitar-based Hard/Prog album with strong vintage references but also a fair amount of diverse musical breaks.Dynamic and passionate guitar workouts with nice grooves and complicated textures are combined with powerful and theatrical singing by Michelle Fiori.But all tracks contain some diverse passages and flexible instrumental themes, such as jazzy bass lines, funky moves, acoustic passages, organ-driven symphonic leanings, flute-based folk parts (a bit limited compared to the demo of the band) and more fresh-sounding use of synthesizers.All these lead to a multi-influenced and very attractive style, not quite tight, but at the end succesfully played and well-executed.

The band unfortunately seems to be inactive nowadays, propably due to the limited praise of ''Monologando'', but be sure to check out this work.This is quite decent and dynamic Italian Prog with occasional first class moments that deserves your attention.Recommended.

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 Buona la prima (as Elettrosmog) by ASTROLABIO / ELETTROSMOG album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2004
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Buona la prima (as Elettrosmog)
Astrolabio / Elettrosmog Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars ELLETROSMOG are one of the newest entries in progarchives,a band consisting of young musicians which style of music lies somewhere between eclectic and italian symphonic prog...''Buona la prima'' is their first effort,just a demo,with four tracks between 3 and 7 minutes...The music of the band is an interesting combination of classic rock,art rock and heavy sounding symphonic prog...Heavy use of keyboards,careful use of the guitar but mainly even heavier use of flute are the most obvious characteristics of ELLETROSMOG...But I could notice that the flute doesn't sound close to the traditional symphonic sound of the italian bands but it reminds more of JETHRO TULL,a sometimes fast flute play with sudden breaks...

The whole result isn't bad but nothing special either,we have to deal with a rather mediocre effort...However I have a feeling that this guys have the talent to do a lot better than this demo...So my true rating 2.5 stars but I''ll raise it up to 3 believing in this band's brighter future...

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Thanks to micky for the artist addition.

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