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LORENZO MONNI

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Lorenzo Monni biography
LORENZO MONNI was born in Cagliari on the 2nd March 1986 and lives in San Donà di Piave, a small town near Venice. He is a multi-instrumentalist and composer with a classical background and his aim is to blend classical music with rock and electronic (at the moment he's also a student in electronic engineering at Trieste University). In 2007 he released his first album "Death Of Future Men" and in 2008 the second one, "Debris". Both albums have been released under Creative Commons license and should be of special interest for lovers of the early works of Franco Battiato (they can be legally downloaded for free from the official website). Lorenzo Monni is also involved in other projects like the "electro duo" Dunkelblau and Superio.

In 2010 came his third full-length release "Grey Swans of Extremistan."



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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Death of Future Men
2007
3.49 | 3 ratings
Debris
2008
3.33 | 7 ratings
Grey Swans of Extremistan
2010

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LORENZO MONNI Reviews


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 Grey Swans of Extremistan by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.33 | 7 ratings

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Grey Swans of Extremistan
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In 2010 Lorenzo Monni released his third album, 'Grey Swans Of Extremistan', on the independent label Lizard Records. It was recorded with the help of Luca Visentin (drums, production, mixing, mastering) and Luca Ricci (drums) and, according to the liner notes, it's a kind of concept album inspired by The Black Swan, a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Lebanese American essayist whose work focuses on issues such as randomness and probability. The overall sound is guitar driven and recalls post-rock or math rock atmospheres without being derivative. This time Lorenzo Monni avoided 'the cascades of synths' that you can find on his previous work but the final result is quite good anyway.

The album is completely instrumental and is divided in two acts. The first act is titled 'The Landscape of Extremistan' and features three tracks linked together. The suggestive opener 'Cascade' begins softly and sets a mysterious atmosphere with Middle-Eastern flavours, then a steady marching beat starts pulsing... 'Contrary Winds' and 'Doggered Of The Deep' follow mixing experimental passages and interesting melodic lines with interesting results.

The second act is titled 'Grey Swans' and features six tracks. It begins with the dynamic, cheerful 'The Mysterious Cyclist Of Cyclette', then comes the dreamy, ethereal 'Amarcord' followed by 'The Act Of Being Amazed' where you can find some nice, particular Latin American touches. The short 'Mosquitos Will Defeat F.B.I' and the experimental 'Zeitgeber' (where Lorenzo Monni 'plays' also an hairdryer) in my opinion are not completely convincing but the conclusive 'Once Upon A Time In Extremistan' is an excellent track full of energy. On the whole a good album but probably the nice art work by Bridget Farmer describes this album better than my words...

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 Grey Swans of Extremistan by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.33 | 7 ratings

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Grey Swans of Extremistan
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian composer and multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo MONNI only turns 25 this year if the biographical information on him is correct. And yet he's already crafted and released three full-length albums, of which "Grey Swans of Extremistan" from 2010 is the most recent. Like his previous two efforts, it has been issued under a Creative Commons license, and besides being available as a CD this production is also available as a legally free download on the artist's webpage.

Lorenzo Monni's third full-length production "Grey Swans of Extremistan" is a hard to define, instrumental art rock album of good quality and with quite a few inventive and creative twists to it. World music, post-rock and jazz fusion appear to form the outer boundaries in terms of stylistic expression; classical music and psychedelic rock might be appended to such a description as well. If instrumental art rock with quirky details, sophisticated features and a certain emphasis on showcasing the creative possibilities the guitar is capable of in the hands of an inventive mind sound intriguing this is a CD that should prove appealing. As it is downloadable for free from the artist's website, head over there and find out for yourself.

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 Grey Swans of Extremistan by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.33 | 7 ratings

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Grey Swans of Extremistan
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Grey is the colour and more guitar-centric

Lorenzo Monni is a composer and multi-instrumentalist born in Cagliari in 1986. After studying classical music as a child he switched to guitar and became interested in sound experimentation. Now in college he already has three full original albums to his credit. His latest work is 2010's "Grey Swans of Extremistan" and this one seems even more influenced by Fripp and Belew. It was recorded at Artisound Studio in Venice and released on the Lizard Records label.

Whereas the previous album "Debris" seemed to be more open-ended, the music of Grey Swan seems more deliberate and the songs more unified in vision. Where "Debris" was more a collection of diverse vignettes, Grey Swan focuses much more on the guitar. There is more rock here as well as Monni has brought human drummers on board for the new material, and his playing seems more biting and less laid-back. Some songs of Grey Swan take a darker and more dissonant tone than the often playful daylight feelings of "Debris." Here the material can drift into somewhat harsh droning loops and cloudier chord progressions, although there are some lighter moments as well, like "The Mysterious Cyclist of Cyclette," a pop-shuffle that reminds me of "Walk Like an Egyptian" of all things. That one is a real departure however, and most of the album focuses on slowly building guitar and rhythm pieces of variable mood. "Zeitgeber" is quite heavy, almost industrial sounding, a bit of Toby Driver. My highlights would veer to the more atmospheric playing on "Amarcord" and "Doggerel of the Deep." The former features beautiful leads over bright chords and bass guitar, to some hand percussion, before changing to acoustic strumming. The latter "Doggerel" could be a track from "Insurgentes" starting somewhat moody and fairly quiet, then adding handclaps and drumming, building to some forceful sections before ending in a droning haze.

This is another impressive step for Monni as he continues what promises to be a very eclectic career. For my tastes though I much preferred the previous album (see my Debris review) which just had more variations and a bit more whimsy. I would like to see Monni work with a great Italian language vocalist in the future, perhaps do something in the avant-classical vein like Opus Avantra, given his classical background. But wherever he goes next I'll be dying to check it out.

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 Debris by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 3 ratings

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Debris
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Eclectic, modern musical impressionism

Lorenzo Monni was born in Cagliari in 1986 and is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of modern sound. He is still in college at the moment and already has released his third album of original material . He studied classical music for years but eventually switched to the guitar and the quest to create completely original forms of sound. This, his second album, is a great example of that ambition and a fine recording. Monni seems to be looking to blend post-rock and electronic music with some classical influence, ambient, and a dose of avant-garde experimentalism. While firmly rooted in the modern some older RPI artists come to mind when trying to describe Monni, who is a true musical chameleon. Micky had mentioned Battiato, and I would add Rocchi for his works like "Essenza" mixed with later electronic work, and Basso for his classically infused 2nd album. Mappe Nootiche comes to mind for their colorful ambient soundscapes. I think one could also mention Steven Wilson the solo artist. "Debris" is more abstract than "Insurgentes" but there are some style similarities at times. The solo work of Fripp and Belew may also be influences, this album reminds me of "Desire Caught by the Tail."

The tracks are richly developed pieces covering a variety of moods, almost always with luxurious melodies and only occasionally dissonant. The backgrounds are constructed with keyboards and simulated orchestrations, or, droning guitars and programmed (but good) drumming. Leading work is primarily the work of Monni's guitar and he is a gifted guitarist. He uses his guitar for painting colors and emotions, sometimes in rhythmic patterns, and occasionally will peel off some very nice solos. The tracks will then be dressed by all manner of sound effects, acoustic guitar, hand percussion, and sampled choir, operatic vocal, strings, and there's a bit of what sounds like church organ on one track. If it sounds to you like all of this could add up to one of those messy albums with lots of sound but little heart, think again. While the album takes a while to fully absorb it's clear he has a talent for making it accessible to people who may not be huge fans of impressionistic music. Monni is a gifted sound architect with a promising future.

Do take the time to check out his music, available in several format from his website.

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 Debris by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.49 | 3 ratings

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Debris
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

3 stars "Debris" is the second album released by Italian composer and multi instrumentist Lorenzo Monni. It's an interesting blend of rock, electronic and classical music. Perhaps it's a little bit difficult to appreciate this work on the very first listening but if you like the complex "soundscapes" of Robert Fripp, the unconventional and challenging ethno-folk of bands like Oregon or the scary atmospheres of bands like Goblin I'm sure you'll find it pretty good. The album is completely instrumental and the sound quality is good, even if it's a self produced work. There are less melodic and symphonic passages than on Lorenzo Monni's previous album "Death Of Future Men", but don't worry the result is not pure avant-garde or concrete music and you'll find here some very good musical ideas...

In my opinion the highlights are the mysterious and exotic "I Met The Craftsman", the hypnotic "The Dawn Of The Young Dolls" (almost baroque with an Eastern flavour), the acoustic, delicate and dreamy "Naked Dialogues", the solemn and mystic "Mont Saint-Michel (featuring church like organ and a sampled monks choir) and the long and haunting "Gone". Nonetheless the other tracks are also worth listen to, like the bizarre "Ciel Brouille" (featuring in the background the sampled voice of the Italian singer song-writer Giorgio Gaber), the opener "Embrace" or the dark and creepy "Shapeless"...

"Debris", like its predecessor "Death Of Future Men", has been released under Creative Commons Licence and can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the artist. Have a try!

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 Death of Future Men by MONNI, LORENZO album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Death of Future Men
Lorenzo Monni Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Lorenzo Monni is a young Italian artist who lives in San Donà di Piave, a small town near Venice. He is a multi instrumentist with a classical background and his aim is to blend classical influences with rock and electronic music. In 2007 he released his first album "Death Of Future Men", self produced, where he proved to be a brilliant and original composer. It is a completely instrumental work and it should be of interest for fans of Franco Battiato, Goblin, King Crimson, Pink Floyd...

The opener "Dust" is excellent. There's a strong classical symphonic feeling and a peculiar exotic flavour on this track. In my opinion it gets along very well with the art cover and it could be a perfect soundtrack for a video based on Pierre Benoit's beautiful novel "L'Atlantide" (translated in English as "The Queen Of Atlantis")... Dust, sand, water, a forgotten oasis in the Sahara, mysterious and dangerous women, adventure, the myth of the lost continent Atlantis that comes true and appears like a mirage where love, dreams and nightmares are mixed up together...

Next tracks "Visions", "Last Touch" and "Humans Against Alien-Cats" every now and again could slightly remind of some works of Pink Floyd or Alan Parsons Project, but there's no plagiarism at all and all you have to do is close your eyes and let the music stir your emotions and set your imagination free... Then comes "Anatomy Of Water Phobia" that could mirror the atmosphere of some Dario Argento's films featuring Goblin soundtracks and that is my favourite track on this album along with the opener. Next piece "Viale Notturno" has a dark and crepuscular feeling, while the last track begins with a classical guitar intro leading to another musical journey in exotic territories... A very nice finale for a very interesting good album!

The album has been released under Creative Commons Licence and it can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the artist. Have a try, I'm sure you won't waste your time!

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Thanks to micky for the artist addition. and to Finnforest for the last updates

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