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CLAUDIO ROCCHI

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Claudio Rocchi biography
CLAUDIO ROCCHI was born in Milan in 1951. He is another of the artistically fruitful Italian solo artists whose career spanned multiple genres over the decades, making him difficult to categorize like his contemporaries Alan Sorrenti, Lucio Battisti, and Franco Battiato.

Rocchi started as part of the legendary band Stormy Six and participated on their debut before quickly moving to solo work. Early albums embraced folk music but in a unique way, with elements of Eastern influence, psychedelia, and the burgeoning RPI scene around him. He worked with many of the major RPI players of the day including Mauro Pagani, Elio D'Anna (Osanna), Mino Di Martino (Giganti), and Paolo Tofani (Area). After the early experimental-folk period there were albums veering toward Italian pop and also a very interesting period of experimentation in electronic sound. Then in the late 70s came more commercially oriented pop/rock before he retired to spend many years in a Hare Krishna community. Many considered his 1971 album Volo Magico N. 1 to be his strongest with its side-long suite, but he made several good albums including his gentle debut Viaggio, the improvised and meditative Essenza from 1973, the experimental electronic work Suoni di Frontiera from 1975 to name just a few.

He returned to music in the 1990s and in 2007 even directed a film called Pedra Mendalza, recording the soundtrack as well. He is certainly not a typical RPI artist but like many in the genre he was an important part of the 1970s musical movement in Italy, and he contributed some very interesting mélanges of Italian rock, psych-folk-Eastern, pop, and electronic music. The RPI team believes his work would be of great interest to fans of the genre and that the work deserves inclusion, even if does not check all the boxes of the more obvious anchor groups.

-Jim Russell/Finnforest

Claudio Rocchi official website

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La Norma Del CieloLa Norma Del Cielo
Import
2007
Audio CD$30.00 (used)
Pedra MendalzaPedra Mendalza
Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$22.62
$22.01 (used)
Non Ce Ne Per NessunoNon Ce Ne Per Nessuno
Import · Remastered
Polydor Japan 2007
Audio CD$33.19
$25.00 (used)
Suoni Di FrontieraSuoni Di Frontiera
Die Schachtel 2011
Audio CD$49.99
$89.46 (used)
FuocoFuoco
Import
Cramps Records Imp 2011
Audio CD$32.33
$39.65 (used)
In AltoIn Alto
Import
Cramps Records Imp 2011
Audio CD$62.05
$51.66 (used)
Non Ce N E Per NessunoNon Ce N E Per Nessuno
Import
Cramps Records Imp 2003
Audio CD$13.42
$43.56 (used)
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CLAUDIO ROCCHI discography


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

3.09 | 11 ratings
Viaggio
1970
3.71 | 20 ratings
Volo Magico N. 1
1971
2.69 | 13 ratings
La Norma del Cielo (Volo Magico N. 2)
1972
3.00 | 8 ratings
Essenza
1973
2.91 | 4 ratings
Il Miele Dei Pianeti Le Isole Le Api
1974
3.00 | 2 ratings
Rocchi
1975
2.95 | 3 ratings
Suoni di Frontiera
1975
2.91 | 3 ratings
A Fuoco
1977
2.00 | 2 ratings
Non Ce N'e Per Nessuno
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sulla Soglia
1998

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

CLAUDIO ROCCHI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CLAUDIO ROCCHI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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

2.05 | 2 ratings
La Televisione Accesa
1970
3.05 | 3 ratings
Cerchii/Grazie
1971
2.95 | 3 ratings
Vado In India
1972

CLAUDIO ROCCHI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Suoni di Frontiera by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1975
2.95 | 3 ratings

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Suoni di Frontiera
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

3 stars Shape-shifting

There are artists out there who shape-shift - metamorphose into something completely different than what they started out as. Pink Floyd did so - King Crimson continue to do as well, and well I could go on and on, but I guess you already know where I'm going with this. Often these acts shed their worn out shells like one of those migrating sea snails that trade in their empty portable houses for a new one every time they grow too big for the old one. Maybe music is not that different, and perhaps these artists simply grow out of their former sonic house, replacing it with a brand spanking new one with balcony and silver showers to boot.

I actually don't know what happens, and maybe the musicians have no clue either, all I know is that I was completely caught off guard, when I purchased this Claudio Rocchi release. The other albums I've got in my collection of his, which incidentally also are his earlier efforts, are Indian themed psychedelic excursions. They are RPI at heart with a strong penchant for earthy and warm sounding instruments, such as wooden styled conga drums and lots of acoustic guitars - bringing with them a certain whiff of the Italian folk music roots. Then I popped this album on the stereo, and I dropped my coffee-mug and jaw simultaneously. Talk about a change in style! It was like finding out your mother actually is Eva Braun, and she secretly enjoys shooting zebras on cold African nights as long as she's got enough heroin and avant guarde schlager music to go with it.

This album is a progressive electronic one. There are no hints to the Rocchi of old - no folky acoustic guitars nor floating psychedelic sections with beautiful choral mellotron bursts. Here we get buzzing, iron fisted swarms of electronica. The mood is grim and soulless - reverberating inside this huge metallic orb. Playing around with all kinds of robotic sounding synthesizers and tape-loops, Rocchi manages to conjure up a heartless and lonesome atmosphere that flies around the listener as huge wailing bees - praying to the eternal bee gods to let them keep their amber coloured gold to themselves. This is a goodbye to the Hare Krishna inspired path of his old albums. There is a distinct emptiness of the mid 70s unfolding here - a so called reality check bringing all those fantastic artistic dreams down to the ground. There were still people fighting in the streets, poverty, injustice, war, famine and every other downfall of humanity they'd been facing before the dreamy 60s. Somehow this lack of faith, or whatever one wishes to call it, is all over this outing. The synths sound like cold winter and forgotten dreams.

Even so, there's still a very good album hiding underneath all this misery. If you're able to come to terms with this rather remarkable shift in style, you will hear an adventurous affair that puts all of the aforementioned human pitfalls under a sonic microscope. Well at least that's what it sounds like to me. Rocchi utilizes tape-loops in a unique way, that I have grown increasingly fond of, where they seem to grow in size and sound with every reverberation. They transform into these effervescent spiralling ghost insects buzzing and chirping upwards like an electronic animal discharge. Underneath it all a disturbing unmelodious foundation lurks. It feels malicious and mechanical like it was made up of old despairing machines. They sound like ancient evil vacuum cleaners left for dead - giving off the kind of sounds you get from old buildings at night, when nobody is there.

Suoni di Frontiera translates into The sound of the frontier, and maybe this particular album is the kind of warning you may find in the likes of Brave New World and 1984. I honestly don't know - all I know is that I get a kick out of the cryptic electronics on offer here, that more than anything were forerunners of famous Italian prog electronic artists such as Francesco Bucherri and later with Maurizio Bianchi. It's all here in this record. The unfathomable unmelodious slicing music that tears through flesh and bone with the power and grace of a cannibalistic ballet dancer. 3.5 stars for a dehumanizing journey into the darker and colder parts of the electronic genre.

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 Volo Magico N. 1 by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.71 | 20 ratings

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Volo Magico N. 1
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars East meets West.

Going back to the mid 60s bands like The Beatles and The Stones were already exploring the strange and wondrous sonic thematics of the far east. The altogether different tonalities of the instruments - let alone the feel of the music, had these western teenagers mystified and deeply enthralled. There was a good deal of soul searching going on, mental boundaries broken down with the help of drugs and meditative processes, but slightly boiled down, the fact of the matter was, that many people who ventured out beyond the confines of western societies and that way of thinking - musicians and travellers combined, - were searching for something different than what their old world was teaching them. A way of inter webbing all these new ideas emerging from the new pop culture - into something old and wise. Buddhism and guru teachings and everything that was suddenly becoming popular in the western world, had been practised in the east for centuries. Most people were going straight to the horses mouth so to speak, - and Claudio Rocchi was indeed one of these searching individuals. While he may have ended up in the ranks of Hare Krishna - leaving his musical carreer behind towards the end of the 70s, we as the listeners were truly pampered by another trade of his that he brought back from the lands of Buddha, and that was his love of the music.

Straddling a high flying bird - Rocchi´s music is a mixture of folk rock with an eastern tinge. The feel of the acoustic guitars is somewhere between Ganges and Venice, and these are a real treat on Volo Magico N. 1. They sound crisp and earthy, and with these small eastern phrasings incorporated into the mix, the album gets a certain idiosyncratic layer to it. You can certainly pick up that Italian vibe from the guitars as well, but what really shines through is the perfect interplay happening here between east and west. When these rather droning raga aspiring sections have played themselves out, you´ll often get ethereal multi layered choirs - sung in a way that really makes you feel a part of the over atmosphere. They´re delicate and beautifully eerie, like some strange vocalizations coming out of the mist.

Most of all, Volo Magico N. 1 is a terrific psychedelic album. Yes it´s packed full of classically ebullient piano playing, massive loads of mellotrons and gorgeously sung Italian vocals, which by all means should be pointing towards an early symphonic RPI album, but Rocchi is ever more focused on the trip and the alluring bewilderment of the psych pastures - leading you on a musical journey through Asiatic forests with towering golden Buddhas looking down on you.

Another thing sprucing this album up, and setting it apart from many psychedelic albums of the time, is the diversity of the instruments. We have small snippets of harmonica taking you back to those old western movies. The pianos of this record is highly reminiscent of what you´l find in bands like Le Orme and Il Volo, and that classic serene touch of these notes spread out on the different tracks here works much like a refreshingly icy shower after a serious bender. All these differentiating ingredients alter the all too conventional road of what just might´ve been a run of the mill psychedelic album, and takes it to another level.

Rocchi´s voice is an original one to boot, and while he may sport the same sort of fragility of several other artists inside the Italian domain, he has an altogether different sounding crackling in his vocals. He sounds coarse - almost raspy at some point during Volo Magico, and I guess it has something to do with his deep immersion into the lyrical aspects, but again the deeper meanings of the Italian language is sadly lost on me - except for when he passionately sings: Amore!! Luna!! and I´ll tell you straight away, he does so with a fantastic intonation and feel, that you´ll feel transported back in time instantly, back when such things meant the world, and people could talk for days on end about amore and luna without turning fire-engine red in their faces.

My favourite parts of this album along with the charismatic singing, are the sudden outbursts of electric guitars ornamenting these long accumulating eastern psychedelic pieces - helping the music - transforming the track and setting it free with a pair of brand new wings. Another thing is the sound of the percussion on the title track. Man this bongo drum, or whatever it is, is just amazing! Sounds like an inverted wooden bathtub with a natural embedded echo effect - just to add that reverberating feel to the rhythm section. Sweet!

So come on you guys - come ride with me on this Italian elephant travelling all the way beyond the red eastern sunrise - to a place where pasta once originated, and Zen is something you aspire for - not something you can buy at the local Yoga centre for a quick buck.

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 Volo Magico N. 1 by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.71 | 20 ratings

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Volo Magico N. 1
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The second record of Claudio Rocchi is made of only four tracks where the title track fills the whole A-side. This is the first of many similarities with another famous album by an italian singer-songwriter of the early seventies: ALAN SORRENTI's Aria (1972).

Probably Volo Magico n. 1 is the musical pattern upon which Aria was built. Not only. The folk-side of Aria is also an analogy with Volo Magico. On the other hand, the results of the two artists are very different: Rocchi at the time was (still) not interested in (vocal) experimentation or avant-garde music. He was only an italian-psychedelic troubadour who tried to spread the audience with eastern and tibetan philosphy. Probably time was too late for doing such things. They even that this interest of him was the reason of the end of his collaboration with STORMY SIX, a band whose members were mainly lined up for politics ready to enter the seventies.

So, what makes this record interesting for an RPI lover is the 18 minutes title track which is a somptuous acoustic crescendo evolving in wonderful psychedelic tour de force, majestic electric guitar solos, piano, mellotron and mighty rythm section, all dressed in tibetan spiritualism.

On the B-side the one that really stands out is "La Realtà Non Esiste": a short and vibrant acoustic gem with very deep and mystical lyrics. The other two numbers are generally regarded as of lower interest even if not in quality. I'd say the last two tracks don't add anything to the wonderful previous numbers.

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 La Norma del Cielo (Volo Magico N. 2) by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.69 | 13 ratings

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La Norma del Cielo (Volo Magico N. 2)
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "La Norma del Cielo" is subtitled "Volo Magico n. 2" for its similarities with the previous Rocchi's masterwork (originally thought and conceived as a double album).

Basically it was put together by the label company within outtakes from those session, without the approval of the author (while he was in India). The only exceptions are "Lascia Gesù", "L'arancia è un Frutto d'Acqua" and the title track, written after "Volo Magico n. 1".

It has to be said that "n. 2" is not at that very same level of "n. 1"; it is weaker 'cause there is no rock crescendo. It is instead a collection of warm and delicate hippie songs (with indian atmospheres and wonderful lyrics based on eastern philosophy). Acoustic guitars, grand piano, some mellotron and hammond organ. Flute by Mauro Pagani (PFM), violin, percussions, feminine choruses and even sitar in the last track.

I think the strong point of the album are melodies and deep lyrics.

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 A Fuoco by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.91 | 3 ratings

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A Fuoco
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Andrea Cortese
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Claudio Rocchi is an italian singer-songwriter, founder member of STORMY SIX. He left the band just after the release of their debut album "Le Idee di Oggi per la Musica di Domani" in 1969 and went solo a year later with the album "Il Viaggio".

The first part of his career is based upon a psychedelic-folk vein (dipped into tibetan philosophy) and his most known work is the second record "Volo Magico n. 1" where the whole second half is a wonderful acoustic crescendo marked by eastern-sounding electric guitar.

At the half of the seventies he went more experimental (electronic) with albums as "Rocchi" (1975) and "Suoni di Frontiera" (1976) abandoning the song format.

After that period, in 1977 he returned to the roots with the album "A Fuoco". But time has changed again and so his music: he added, for the first time, to his peculiar folk some somptuous orchestral movements. The result is not bad and, generally, the music is well arrenged. A reasonable record but with few variations and so not so exciting.

Well, to be honest, there is some sparse synth (as in "Guardando") plus excellent violin contribution by the violin himself: Lucio "Violino" Fabbri (PFM). There is also a performance of Alberto Camerini (the one who played guitar in "Volo Magico n. 1") and Daniele Cavallanti (sax player member of AKTUALA).

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 Vado In India by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
2.95 | 3 ratings

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Vado In India
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars What a change from previous singles

Claudio Rocchi took a trip to India in the early 1970s that obviously impacted him very deeply both personally and artistically. You can hear the change from his early work when you listen to the albums like "Essenza" and this single. The two-part "Vado in India" is somewhat similar in feel to the "Essenza" album but to be honest I like it better, in fact it is my favorite composition of this style from him. Playing all of the instruments himself, Vado connects with me in an intimate way that some of his more rambling instrumentals with other musicians do not. This music is very personal-it is sparse and haunting, soft, comprised of acoustic guitar, piano, singing, speaking, light percussions, and a very meditation-friendly overall vibe. It feels very spiritual and more so than other similar work it successfully draws me in and makes me feel I can understand the artist's state. The soft instrumentals and calming vocals wash over you repeatedly, at no point is there anything jarring or rocking, it is one continuous personal meditation. It almost reminds me of Neil Young's "Will to Love" in the trance-like quality, but with the Indian influence instead. Whatever energy he channels here I am able to relate to it, which is not something I can say for too many others who attempt to share spirituality via music. The tragedy here is that this work was not expanded and included on one of the albums, where it could possibly have been issued in CD form and found more listeners over recent years. This is one of Claudio Rocchi's finest moments if you appreciate this kind of music. It is one to find if you still do vinyl.

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 Cerchii/Grazie by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1971
3.05 | 3 ratings

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Cerchii/Grazie
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The second Ariston single

Claudio Rocchi's second Ariston Records single came out in 1971, the same year as his acclaimed "Volo Magico #1" album. The material however sounds more like the debut album "Viaggio" with acoustic guitar, gentle flute, piano, standard bass/drums, and traditional Italian melodic pop song structure. Both tracks are similar and quite good if you enjoy the Italian songwriter tradition, the mood of the music is warm and romantic. In this period Rocchi was not so different from fellow songsmith Lucio Battisti, albeit with a more folky feel to the songs. This would be the end of the line for this kind of Rocchi music, as Volo Magico would send him into the era of much longer, more "mystical" music. These first two Ariston singles are largely for serious fans of the RPI or general Italian-pop fans. Rather than trying to track down very rare vinyl singles, there was a Vinyl Magic compilation from 1995 which had the four tracks from these two Rocchi singles, along with tracks from three or four other bands. ("Progressive Rock VM-058)

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 La Televisione Accesa by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
2.05 | 2 ratings

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La Televisione Accesa
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The first Ariston single

Oh my, if only the whole thing was like the first 40 seconds! It sounds like Claudio was briefly 3 years ahead of his time with an ominous, dense RPI buildup introduction, but then tragically he stops and slips into the folky/Italian-song single. This single was recorded in the period after he left Stormy Six but before he had released his debut album "Viaggio." As mentioned, the track begins with an exciting proggy buildup of swirling voice and keyboards, but after 40 seconds it becomes a romantic, pleasant pop song with some nice piano and strings for accompaniment. The B-side was called "Indiscutibilmente" and this was an interesting, atypical song. The music sounds inspired by old American tv westerns, as in parts it bops along like the old "Rawhide" song. Both songs are really more Battisti-like than resembling the kind of experimental-folk stuff Claudio would soon be into. I like these tracks quite a bit but the single is primarily of interest to RPI fans, first because the tracks were not album cuts, and second because of the interesting introduction on the A-side. These tracks were reissued in 1995 on a Vinyl Magic CD (VM-058) compilation called "Progressive Rock." This would be a good alternative than trying to find the rare original vinyl.

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 Il Miele Dei Pianeti Le Isole Le Api by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.91 | 4 ratings

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Il Miele Dei Pianeti Le Isole Le Api
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Last of its kind

After a series of albums that were quite similar in their general style, one can sense something is afoot with this one. This would be a transitional album, however it would be the next one where Rocchi really started to throw a 'U-turn' at his fans, to use his own words. Here Rocchi, helped by members of the band Aktuala, would begin to pull the mystical, improvisational drone-folk back from the edges of space and reassert a more deliberate song structure here and there. We still have the rhythmic and trance catalyst in 'Lila' with strummed acoustics, tablas, some nice flute, and even the participation of Grace the dog. And 'La Rana' seems to recall an even simpler, uneventful folk music. But other tracks like the opener introduce a different flavor from the previous few albums. These moments are loose and off-kilter semi-rock parts with prominent bass and a vibe that floats closer to something like 'Friends' from Zeppelin 3. The sax and strings accompanying them add more richness.

On 'Adesso' things get even more refreshingly upbeat and dare I say jamming, I'll call this almost funk-folk as the toes get tapping to some nice big bass. I know many people love the unique psych-folk Rocchi but I have to say I find the wider variety of the album more endearing. Then there is the lovely 'Ogni Strada' which is very soft and dreamlike with a nice adornment of strings. Rocchi's albums are strange and difficult albums for me to completely grasp. On paper they should be right up my alley but there is something that always keeps me a bit at arms length. That said they are all good and should be investigated by RPI fans and psych-folk fans. The artwork is also wonderful. The next two albums would abruptly shift into electronic experimentation and avant-garde material, which had to be something of a shock for Rocchi fans at the time. I think the move was exciting and well worth the risk.

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 Essenza by ROCCHI, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.00 | 8 ratings

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Essenza
Claudio Rocchi Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Back from India

After "Volo Magico" Claudio Rocchi went on a long trip to India coinciding with his interests in spirituality and "mystical" music exploration. This album was made after his return and released at the end of 1973, during the height of the RPI heyday, though it is not a typical RPI release. It featured a larger group of contributors, including Elio D'Anna (of Osanna fame) and Mino De Martino (of Giganti). The songs were constructed as much more a product of improvisation than other works and in retrospect the album remains Rocchi's personal favorite of his releases. He dropped almost all of the more traditional Italian melodic songs from this one and went all out for the true "searchers" album. It does feel more uniform in vision this time, embracing and combining the psych-folk-acoustic thing, the Eastern impressions, and I believe even some Krautrock influence in one swirling, hazy trip. The ride sails on the back of acoustic guitars and bongos, sitar, and occasional organ or piano. The playing is usually laid-back, introspective, and mellow, although one of the more upbeat songs is treated to some blazing sax courtesy of Elio D'Anna, who also plays flute on the album. Sound effects/altered voices are a big part of the dreamy-soaked atmosphere, the most effective to me is title track's use of children's voices in front of this droning harmonium effect. I've seen others compare this album's quality to Sorrenti's "Aria" and Battiato's "Sulle Corde di Aries," and while those are subjective judgements this one is not nearly as interesting to me as those two works. This album and the Volo Magico albums are good stuff when I'm in the mood for this kind of haze, unfortunately I'm not in that mood often enough to fully appreciate this. I don't want to call "Essenza" aimless but sometimes it feels that way to me, and it certainly falls shy of an excellent rating in my book. Good stuff though, recommended for those who like to light up, kick back, and drift away.

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