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ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Architrave Indipendente biography
Oscar Larizza and Emanuele Palumbo are two men on a mission. Several missions, actually. They are big believers in analog sound/vinyl and intend to release their work without compromise. They intend to teach the world a little something about the evils of destructive agricultural practices in Italy and elsewhere, and to promote the understanding of sustainable agriculture. The theme of environmental degradation is duel-pronged here with a parallel commentary on the state of the music industry, where music that is authentic and meaningful too often takes a back seat to utter commercial tripe, musical pollution if you will. Last but not least, they have succeeded in the mission of delivering a RPI masterpiece as good as the classics of the 70s. Oscar has been studying the 70s RPI scene since he was 12 years old. His influences include De De Lind, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Paese dei Balocchi, Battiato, Osanna, Cervello, Pholas Dactylus, and many others. He shares my own conclusion that the bands least influenced by the English scene were the most interesting ones. It is a common misconception that the Italian scene was just an imitation of the English scene. While some bands are guilty as charged, the great Italian groups may have loved the English scene but clearly created their own sounds. When I asked Oscar to describe AI's sound, rather than trying to worry about genre labels, he just said "genuine" and I can safely say they are on the right track.

Oscar and Emaneule formed the band in the spring of 2004 when they were 16 years old. The idea was to speak about the social issues affecting their town of Rutigliano and to play live at festivals and nearby venues. Compositions began as Oscar was engrossed in a book called Azezio by historian/poet Sebastiano Tagarelli. The band has had personnel changes over the years but persevered to record this superb album on 8 tracks and using vintage instrumentation along with guitar, cello, and percussion. Oscar plays guitar, bass, synths, lute, glockenspiel, and tapes, while Emanuele plays piano, Hammond, synths, and flute. Alessandro Mazzacane (cello), Piero Palumbo (drums), and Stefano Renna on guitars filled out the ranks of the recording band. Gaston, canine of great character and wisdom is the band's mascot, and also contributes his nuanced barking briefly on the recording. Their album is available for purchase from the band via the link on this page, or from Synphonic on vinyl or CD-R. [Ji...
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3.54 | 10 ratings
Azetium A Otto Piste
2009

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ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE Reviews


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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Interesting Progressive Rock band from Rutigliano in the Puglia region.Architrave Indipendente's driving force was their love for 70's Italian Prog, leading to their formation in mid-00's with a line-up of two multi-instrumentalists, Oscar Larizza and Emanuele Palumbo, along with guitarist Stefano Renna, cellist Alessandro Mazzacane and drummer Piero Palumbo.Their debut ''Azetium a otto piste'' was entirely recorded in analog equipment and was only released on vinyl format in 2009.Only a very limited number of CD-R's was also distributed by the band for those more into modern sound technologies.

Architrave Indipendente played an intricate Progressive Rock with a bizarre musicianship, that could be both smooth and rich at the same time.The instrumentation is huge, including glockenspiels, flutes, recorders, cello, percussions and a spectrum of vintage keyboards among the usual rock instruments.Thus the result is very eclectic with the group using the 70's as a source of inspiration and managing to create a fresh album, despite the strong presence of analog equipment.Their style recalls diverse bands of the Italian Prog movement, such as E.A. POE, SALIS, IL VOLO, PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI or ERRATA CORRIGE, groups that produced a very chalenging sound through balanced and smooth arrangements.There are constant changes between folky acoustic textures with violin and flutes in evidence and electric moves with deep keyboards and evident Classical and Jazz influences.The material is very satisfying, ranging from calm soundscapes with jazzy and symphonic parts, led by piano interludes and various keyboards to more energetic showering, full of electrified atmospheres, characterized by its sharp synth flights and heavy organ waves.Moreover the album contains two long pieces, each divided in three movements, the 18-min. ''Emplecton'' and the 16-min. ''Azezio'', definitely a prog fan's paradise, where the group's talent comes in full shape, cleverly combining Classic Italian Prog with Folk and Jazz.

I am afraid this was the first and last album of the band.A little internet search reveals the fact that one of the band's leaders, Emanuele Palumbo, has moved on with his music studies, experiencing new forms of music and having relocated in Milan.

''Azetium a otto piste'' is destined to become an obscure album in the near furure due to its original vinyl pressing.A must-have for fans of Italian Prog and a nice example of challenging, flexible, multi-influenced Progressive Rock.Warmly recommended.

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars This young and upbeat band came out of nowhere three years ago with a wonderfully inventive and exciting debut that is essentially like every Italian prog release you've ever heard all at once, played with youthful vigor and confidence. It's amazing for a band so young to have such a firm grasp and understanding of the Italian progressive greats and be able to add their own individual stamp to come up with something fresh and full of life. The fact that they originally only released this album on vinyl just enhances their vintage and analogue appeal!

`Architrave Independente' wear their hearts on their sleeves and relish in their love of the classic 70's RPI works, with a small dose of the Canterbury Scene and a pinch of the booming classical elements of E.L.P and Focus also thrown into an intoxicating and original stew. It's an exhausting and frequently disjointed release that may drive some listeners mad with the constantly changing directions, but it's wonderful to hear a band take a lot of chances in attempt to see what works!

Opener `La Spinta' is a blur of spacy keyboard effects, heartfelt Italian vocals, warm energetic acoustic guitar and murmuring bass. Wonderfully for me, the atmospheric violin and fuzz organ solos throughout sound a lot like `Plump In The Night'-era Caravan! The rest of the first side is comprised of the three part 18 minute `Emplecton', full of a dozen fragmented and addictive ideas. The first section is a haze of E.L.P/Le Orme organ, warped loopy effects, gentle acoustic plucking and romantic flute before a twisted messy ending full of aggressive upfront bass and psychedelic noise. Grand piano swirls around passionate ranting vocals before dirty scraping violin, creepy organ, wild colourful keyboard solos and forceful electric guitar chords finish the piece in a slightly downbeat acoustic manner.

Lovely gothic and prancing organ, mourning cello and madrigal acoustic guitar open side B's three part almost 16 minute`Azezio'. A somber and occasionally treated voice soon joins in, easily the most successful vocal section of the whole album with a warm and commanding tone. The piece soon alternates between ragged electric guitar attacks and dreamy acoustic guitar/flute passages backed with thick whirling Le Orme-style Hammond. A haunting acoustic guitar solo for the middle bridging piece before harsh electronics, eccentric tape effects, crashing drum solos and dancing quirky keyboard melodies fly through. The albums brings back the light Canterbury sound on finale `Gli Altarini...', full of flighty jazzy guitar runs, twinkling piano and snappy drum-work before a slightly sinister sounding climax only lifted by the very late Caravan-like bubbling and playful keyboard solo. Pay attention to the lovely underwater-sounding bass work throughout too!

OK, so once in a while the over-ambitious vocals fall a little flat, but if there's one proper complaint about the album, it would be the endless ideas - which is really it's greatest strength as well as a negative! It's frequently difficult to tell where one track begins and ends unless you're paying close attention because every track jumps back and forth between styles and ideas over and over. There's very little in the way of musical/theme reprises, which might have helped give the album a more cohesive format. Each individual fragment and idea sounds terrific, but I think the band could work out how to better arrange all their little ideas into more fully developed extended passages. This will likely come with maturity and continued work, so I hope we get a follow up album from them sometime in the future. Far too much potential and talent to go to waste on a single, though wonderful album.

Four stars.

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by seventhsojourn
Special Collaborator RPI

3 stars The creative energies of Architrave Indipendente are dedicated to addressing the issues that affect traditional Italian rural life and to preserving faithfully the analog sounds of the seventies; Jim's bio highlights that their manifesto incorporates a direct and bipartite attack on environmental degradation and the state of the music industry and as such is the perfect antidote to these deficiencies. So, first and foremost, their debut album 'Azetium A Otto Piste' (2009) has integrity. What the guys in Architrave Indipendente say is in perfect harmony with what they do; they put their money where their mouth is; they practice what they preach.

The conflict between destructive and sustainable agricultural practices is reflected in 'Azezio' where the sound of machinery contrasts with the barking of dog-come-mascot Gaston. What this track seems to demonstrate is that the quality or tone of particular sounds is as important as the actual melodies and to this end the band employs legions of instruments to enrich the sound.

As for the Italian lyrics, and I can make neither heads nor tails of them, but from what I can gather, the perils facing traditional grape-farming underlie the texts and on this troubled foundation Architrave Indipendente build a musical labyrinth of anxiety and complexity. This capacity for complexity reaches its culmination with the improvisatory 'Emplecton', a dizzyingly fragmentary 18-minutes that is at times close to the edge of dissolution. This piece is full of eccentricities with, for example, an impressionistic piano section followed by a passage for cello and marimba. The slight downside to all this is that it does intermittently sound like a disordered work-in-progress, with the band feeding ideas to the listener like buns to a bear. But that's just me being picky.

This is some album to be just one album and it'll take many more listens for me to get my head fully around it. Produced in the old fashioned way, it's an album that endeavours to invoke the ghosts of the seventies RPI greats while scoffing at the more generic examples of the species. It's an important album, with an important message, that shouldn't be hidden away or reserved for only a small handful of listeners.

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Architrave Indipendente is an Italian prog band from the province of Bari. The band was formed in 2005 by five young, skilled musicians in love with vintage sounds and analog recording techniques. The line up features Oscar Larizza (electric bass, lute, classical and acoustic guitars, flute, synthesizers, organ, glockenspiel), Alessandro Mezzacane (violoncello), Emanuele Palumbo (piano, flute, organ, synthesizer, harmonium), Piero Palumbo (drums, percussion, xilomarimba) and Stefano Renna (acoustic and electric guitars). In 2009 they released an excellent debut album, "Azetium a 8 piste", self produced and published only on vinyl. The album was proudly recorded using only analog techniques but despite the vintage sounds it is by no means a nostalgic operation or a "regressive work". On the contrary, the sound is fresh and the music and lyrics rich in ideas. The result is an interesting concept album dealing with ecological issues where the members band express the need to rediscover a wealthier way of life in harmony with mother nature. The art cover, the extended liner notes and the pictures in the inner fold contribute to explain the subject matter...

The opener "La spinta" (The thrust) starts softly, you can hear in the background the wind blowing and singing birds. Then the rhythm rises and from a strummed guitar pattern the notes of a violin soar embroidering evocative melodies. This piece is about the need to go back to your roots to find your own identity because the people who don't know what happened in the past can't grow up. The lyrics and music depict a small town where people don't care about anything but money... Anyway there's also a man strolling around who does not conform, who has travelled abroad and raises doubts suggesting that changing is possible. The doubts push you to investigate the history of the town... "There are some who believe and others who don't...".

The first track leads to "Emplecton", a long suite in three parts that in some way tries to describe the effects of the lack of a collective identity. The first part, the instrumental "Incipit, regressione e cerimoniale", features a delicate acoustic guitar arpeggio, soothing keyboard waves and colourful flute passages. It sets a dreamy, bucolic atmosphere... On the second part, "Vassallo ignorante", the dream becomes uneasy, the rhythm rises and you can imagine some ghosts dancing on the notes of a fiery tarantella just before a sudden stop and a nocturnal piano passage... The title of this suite refers to a building technique developed by the ancient Greek architects, who used it to build the walls of their cities. Now of the ancient walls of the town there's nothing left but some scattered ruins. The vestiges of an old civilization had to give way to new vineyards and intensive crops and there's no respect for the ancestors and their way of life anymore, threatening clouds of pesticides appear on the horizon and people don't realize that ambition and greed can kill... "The soil under your feet pleads for mercy / It can't give you more fruits / Fossilized county, wake up!... In your grapes the environment is drowning and you are still afloat, ignorant vassal!". The third part of the suite, "Scherzo (di cattivo gusto) e ripresa" is a tasteful, complex instrumental coda, rich in ideas and featuring many changes in mood and atmosphere where the music seems to evoke the clash between the ghosts from the past and the dangers of modern life. It closes the first side of the album and you have to turn your vinyl now...

Side B opens with another complex suite in three parts, the excellent "Azezio". The title refers to the ancient name of Rutigliano, the hometown of the band. The first part, "Calura d'agosto", evokes a hot summer day in August and a beautiful bucolic landscape that invites you to dream and to think about the glorious past of this land... Slowly in your mind the old town with its customs comes to life again in antithesis with the modern hectic reality... "From the countryside I can hear a voice singing / The prosperous red soil tells stories of ancient flourishing civilizations...". The second part, "Sagra dell'uva", is just an instrumental acoustic bridge where you can hear the voices of some people arguing in the background while an acoustic guitar carelessly weaves its arpeggios, indifferent to what is going on all around. Then comes the darker third part, "Ossa puto", where the evocative music invites you to keep on dreaming all day long until the night falls...

The title of the last track "Gli altarini di San Rocco" (The little altars of Saint Rocco) refers to an old tradition of Rutigliano. On August 16, the inhabitants use to set some little altars in honour Saint Rocco and the band sarcastically compares the cult of the saint with the reckless exploitation of the soil and with the cult that now some people tribute to their brand- new tractors that they park "even in their living-rooms". This piece features many changes in rhythm and mood and concludes a very good, committed album full of musical inventions and surprises...

Despite some ingenuities, on the whole I think that this work could be an excellent addition to your prog collection!

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The debut album from this Italian combo.

This album is two years old and released on LP only. Which is probably the way to go now. I have a turntable attached to a big computer through a USB contact. Good quality. Forget CDs; LPs is the future.

The sound is also pretty much like 2009. This band, whose name is too long for me, is though paying tribute to the 1970s Rock Progressivo Italiano scene on at least half of the album. This album is as the LP a game in two halves. Side A is mostly the old Rock Progressivo Italiano sound and style. Side B drags the listener over to the jazz/fusion. It seems like the band is in two minds about where they want to go. Rock Progressivo Italiano or Fusion ? Or perhaps both styles or a fusion of both styles ? This is a debut album and I hope they find the answer on a hopefully album # 2.

The overall quality is very good throughout. The vocals are great, the band know how to play their instruments and the sound is very good (even on my turntable). There is no killer tracks here though and I get a bit confused about this two faced record with the two different styles. This is a very promising, good album though. It is well worth checking out.

3.5 stars

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE are a young band out of Italy who like doing things "old School" right down to distributing vinyl LPs instead of cds. I knew from the first listen this was going to be a tough one to get into. Time has helped but i'm not there yet.The thing I kept thinking in my head when listening to this album was that the music isn't in a hurry. Yet it's also complex at times and carefully arranged. The great thing about this album is that it keeps revealing new things.

"La Spinta" opens with samples including what sounds like a motorcycle taking off. Strummed guitar and cello are prominant when the music kicks in. Vocals 2 minutes in followed by floating organ. More cello after 3 minutes. A change before 4 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. "Emplection" is the final suite of side one and is divided into three sections. First "Incipit, Regressione E Cerimoniale" opens with acoustic guitar, organ follows.The tempo shifts a lot. Synths come in as organ continues. Nice bass too. It settles and running water can be heard. Flute, then it kicks in before 4 minutes as the bass stands out. "Vassallo Ignorante" opens with huge bass lines as keys and drums join in. Piano follows then it settles to a calm 3 1/2 minutes in. It's kind of jazzy then the vocals come in. "Scherzo (Di Cattivo Gusto) E Ripresa" opens with acoustic guitar then 1 1/2 minutes in we get keyboards and cello. Piano only a minute later. Acoustic guitar is back before 4 minutes, synths follow. It settles before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Side two opens with the "Azezio" suite consisting of three songs. "Calura D'Agosto" features cello and keyboards early before the organ leads around a minute. Acoustic guitar then takes over followed by synths and reserved vocals a minute later. Mournful cello too. Piano leads after 4 1/2 minutes. Vocals are back after 6 1/2 minutes as the sound changes. Great section ! Flute too. Guitar 8 1/2 minutes in. "Sagra Dell'Uva" opens with samples of people talking. Acoustic guitar before a minute but the samples continue throughout. "Ossa Puto" opens with acoustic guitar and we get more samples. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes briefly then the tempo does pick right up. Great sound 3 1/2 minutes in. "Gli Altarini Di San Rocco" opens with a motor running as drums come in and take over. Piano and vocals after a minute. Turns jazzy 2 minutes in then the vocals return. Chunky bass too. Lots of piano in this one.

A good album without a doubt.

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by LinusW
Special Collaborator Italian Prog Specialist

4 stars There are a whole bunch of stories being told on Azetium A Otto Piste, sometimes in isolation, sometimes intertwined in a grand scheme of things, sometimes familiar and safe, sometimes disturbing and ill-willing, but always with an environmentally or socially urgent message. That's the short story behind the album, being the debut of one of the most exciting and refreshingly genuine new RPI bands I've heard in quite a while.

Musically a very diverse escapade, evoking images ranging from hazy days under a forest canopy to decidedly more urban and barren experimental electronic landscapes, making it difficult to establish any sort of base line. If I had to pick one, it would have to be the delicate recurring guitar arrangements that are equally tasteful every time. Sometimes Mediterranean, sometimes something else completely. Never strongly emotional, but rather warm and comforting or mildly wistful, this is the album's safe ground, or its point of reference if you like. Other things sneak up even here though, as you might expect; wonderful flute and sounds of both nature and man give it a near folksy, rural and warm quality, but coupled to needle-sharp, angular electronic hisses, weird effects and samples it ends up in a near Battiato-esque scramble of past and present, much to the enjoyment of this reviewer. Tasteful understated organ and violin backing make some successful appearances. Reading this one might get the idea that it's a rather subtle and detail- oriented album. To some extent that's true, with almost minimalist qualities and precision at times, coupled with a great sense of space and nearness in the composition.

But there are also the other sides. A wild force that brings back the dark unpredictability and uncertainty of Il Balletto di Bronzo's Ys, dramatic, bold and swirling solo piano and grand, powerful classic RPI symphonic rock. Contrasting electronic effects eagerly fill out the gaps, a whiff of technically updated renaissance minstrelsy makes an exciting excursion. Great vintage synths and organ have a dominant, but not overpowering role in many of these more familiar-sounding parts and once again - there's piano playing to cry for here, in that wildly expressive, rollicking style best found in this scene. The last song even manages to bring some playful, warm, rich and slightly jazzed-up music to the table. One of the more up-close and personal compositions of the album, it's a nice touch to have it as an ending.

What I like most about the whole package is still none of these parts in isolation; it's the fact that despite the leaps and bounds between some of the different parts, it works so well together. There's always a smart, unexpected degradation or twist that manages to segue into what's to come. Sometimes quirky, but never in a way that distracts from the impressionistic and lush exuberance of the story-telling. As such, it's both an adventurous and mature effort.

Warmest recommendations.

4 stars.

//LinusW

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 Azetium A Otto Piste by ARCHITRAVE INDIPENDENTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 10 ratings

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Azetium A Otto Piste
Architrave Indipendente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A fine debut from Bari

Oscar Larizza and Emanuele Palumbo are two men on a mission. Several missions, actually. They are big believers in analog sound/vinyl and intend to release their work without compromise. They intend to teach the world a little something about the evils of destructive agricultural practices in Italy and elsewhere, and to promote the understanding of sustainable agriculture. The theme of environmental degradation is duel-pronged here with a parallel commentary on the state of the music industry, where music that is authentic and meaningful too often takes a back seat to utter commercial tripe, musical pollution if you will. Last but not least, they have succeeded in the mission of delivering a stellar RPI gem as good as the classics of the 70s. Oscar has been studying the 70s RPI scene since he was 12 years old. His influences include De De Lind, Quella Vecchia Locanda, Paese dei Balocchi, Battiato, Osanna, Cervello, Pholas Dactylus, and many others. He shares my own conclusion that the bands least influenced by the English scene were the most interesting ones. It is a common misconception that the Italian scene was just an imitation of the English scene. While some bands are guilty as charged, the great Italian groups may have loved the English scene but clearly created their own sounds. When I asked Oscar to describe AI's sound, rather than trying to worry about genre labels, he just said "genuine" and I can safely say they are on the right track. Architrave Indipendente's self-released work "Azetium a Otto Piste" is a warm and gentle feast of music that just knocked me out.

Oscar and Emaneule formed the band in the spring of 2004 when they were 16 years old. The idea was to speak about the social issues affecting their town of Rutigliano and to play live at festivals and nearby venues. Compositions began as Oscar was engrossed in a book called "Azezio" by historian/poet Sebastiano Tagarelli. The band has had personnel changes over the years but persevered to record this superb album on 8 tracks and using vintage instrumentation along with guitar, cello, and percussion. Oscar plays guitar, bass, synths, lute, glockenspiel, and tapes, while Emanuele plays piano, Hammond, synths, and flute. Alessandro Mazzacane (cello), Piero Palumbo (drums), and Stefano Renna on guitars filled out the ranks of the recording band. Gaston, canine of great character and wisdom is the band's mascot, and also contributes his nuanced barking briefly on the recording. Oscar recalls "the machines were: a FOSTEX R8 for multitrack on eight tracks, a ReVox A77 for stereo mix, echo effects and analog sampling, and later a Sony TC399 only for echo effects. Working on eight tracks was very complicated and wearing, especially if you want to give the best result without dirty digital tricks. We also would to use a lot of instruments to glean new sonorities, all acoustic and analog, or building them too: that's the case of my full custom DAVOLISINT with a homemade minimoog filter, oscillators and other artifacts." Other instruments noted in the booklet include descant recorder, Kawai 100f synth, solid state organ, electric pump harmonium, and GEM synth.

My personal description of the Architrave sound will take some effort. This is an amazing progressive blend of classic RPI sound with jazz, folk, and psych influences abounding. The woodland jazz collective Oregon come to mind although Architrave is much more fun, with just a bit of Tull, a bit more De De Lind, a bit of unplugged Deus Ex Machina, and a dash of Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast as the mood lighting. As Stefano Testa's 70s masterpiece is still fresh in my head I can also state AI brings that Testa vibe to my mind. Tasteful acoustic guitar passages flow freely throughout with vintage keyboard and piano accompaniment, the style of play ranging from prog-folk to almost avant-jazz, with occasional whispers of psychedelia. The vocals are very good with some nice arrangements. There are very sound instincts at play here, decisions to allow each instrument, each section, the space it needs to be effective on its own. The arrangements are such that these performances are not bogged down or buried into other stuff-performances are fresh and well displayed, particularly the many instances of fine acoustic guitar interludes, electric guitar leads psyched up with tape slipping effect, and my favorite: the gorgeous runs of plain old piano that send my heart aflutter. (I'm a sucker for piano.) "La Spinta" leads off with a somewhat conventional track, one that could even be a single I suppose, featuring some really monster bass impressions by Stefano Renna. After this the album will be less conventional longer suites broken into sections. "Emplecton" is the first filling the rest of side A with flute dreams, sound effects over acoustic jamming, some amazingly grandiose key excursions. In the middle section "Vassallo Ignorante" the piano is on full display and the solo is just lovely while also a bit quirky. The final section "Scherzo" features almost avant classical blasts of Alessandro Mazzacane's cello with strange keys and marimba is it? The effect is almost to put you off balance until it stops and another section of mournful, beautiful piano soothes its way in. (I'm even getting a bit of MiasmaCHH in this section, wild stuff!) The finale is a marvelous and climactic prog rock original.

Side B's main feature is the 15 minute "Azezio" suite which just blows my mind. Amazing renaissance folk vibe or perhaps feelings of ancient, lost times and places breathe in this music. Fabulous vocal arrangements both dramatic and soothing. Bold piano and soaring keys, washes of cymbals, shifting styles and eclectic rhythms. As Tom Hayes once quipped about Semiramis, it's almost like several different albums are colliding at once, and yet it makes perfect sense, being well written and executed. The middle part is an aural snapshot of Rutigliano, the town so dear to these young men, recorded during a summer Grape Festival it appears. In the final segment Gaston is immortalized with his barks sampled and morphed here and there around an acoustic piece with nice drumming and tape effects. Piero Palumbo is a fine drummer with a nimble touch and interesting fills. Following the "Azezio" suite the album closes with the 8 minute "Gli Altarini di San Rocco (The tiny altars of St Rocco). This track is a captivating experimental jazz (perhaps, God I don't know?calling it jazz always creates instant impressions that may not apply) number that simply sprouts enthusiasm from itself. The album was a 100% analog recording and is available on vinyl from their site. While not officially pressed in CD form, the group has indicated a willingness to make up a special CD-r for interested fans who may no longer have a turntable-you will need to make a special request for that and work with them. But the band strongly feel it should be heard the way it was meant to be heard and have taken great care in pressing their vinyl edition for optimal sound quality. If you love obscure and heartwarming RPI gems you will want to seek out this one, especially if you share the band's love of the analog/vinyl experience.

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