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La Sorgente biography
One of the effects of reform within the Catholic Church in Italy during the 1960s was the emergence of the ''Messa beat'' (literally translated as ''Mass beat''), a branch of Christian music with particular appeal to young people due to its combination of rock and religion. Its spread during the 1970s resulted in a flood of albums inspired by Gospel texts with accompaniment of traditional and electric instruments. The discs were produced by religious labels and sold through specialist religious bookshops but were issued in such limited numbers that they went virtually unnoticed and consequently are nowadays extremely rare. In the vanguard of Christian progressive bands were MESSAGGIO 73, GENFUOCO, and QUEL GIORNO DI UVE ROSSE. However with ''Trasparente'', LA SORGENTE produced what is arguably the finest of all the religious albums, progressive or otherwise. There is some dubiety regarding the album's year of release but most sources have it as 1981.

In spite of the harsh economic recession and the socio-political turmoil of The Years of Lead, Italian progressive releases of the late 1970s and early 1980s tended to be of the melodic sort and ''Trasparente'' epitomises this with its delicate acoustic-based fusion of chamber-pop, Mediterranean folk and soft RPI. The cover artwork of the dove of peace set against a sky-blue background gives a clue to the type of music therein, and every song speaks of pious sentiment with lyrics such as: ''I am here, my voice will reach Your ear, and You will hear my love for You now.'' LA SORGENTE fully explore the creative possibilities opened by the meeting of rock music with the realm of faith; the outcome is an intimate work full of restrained yet richly sensuous melodies that reflect the pastoral setting of the lyrics. These are complemented by refined instrumental passages where RPI features are obvious, with the most common artifice being the classic combination of flute, violin and piano. Synthesizer and organ occasionally mingle with 12-string guitar, which is the album's other main unifying characteristic.

''Trasparente'' is considered extremely rare and Paolo Barotto, in his reference book of Italian prog and psych ''Il Ritorno del Pop Italiano'', gives it a rarity rating of ''almost impossible to find.'' At the moment the chance of a re-release seems remote despite Barotto also proclaiming ''Trasparente'' as ''the best of the religious albums'' and stating that ''once discovered it will become one ...
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2.05 | 2 ratings

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 Trasparente by SORGENTE, LA album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.05 | 2 ratings

La Sorgente Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The mid-70's showed an emerging movement in Christian Rock on Italian grounds and bands such as Quel Giorno Di Uve Rosse and Genfuoco had an opportunity to release an album related to Christian themes.One of the obscure labels to release such kind of works towards the 80's was Edizioni Uomini Nuovi with unknown bands like Alba Nuova and Cristo e La Risposta eventually record a light Prog/Xian LP.One of those groups were La Sorgente with Walter Destri on bass, Stefano Martinelli on flute/backing vocals, Franco Rossetti on percussion, Daniele Giuliani on violin/backing vocals, Pino Carella on vocals/keyboards and Bruno Raia on guitars/vocals.Their sole release ''Trasparente'' saw the light in 1981.

Totally acoustic, the album has a very calm and relaxing atmosphere throughout, with certain Folk and Classical influences, though some of the material maintains a soft Symphonic Rock character due to the careful amount of keyboards and flutes.Half about of the tracks swirl around a folky mood and an intense singer/songwriter approach.These are dominated by romantic singing, often with multiple vocal harmonies, and acoustic guitars, but the use of flutes and violin adds an extra instrumental dimension.The structures though remain simple and accesible with a ballad-like sound and no particular surprises.The rest of the compositions are closer to a prog fan's likings.Do not expect something bombastic or even demanding, but La Sorgente managed to come up with a few orchestral arrangements, where also pop aesthetics have some space, but also some pure symphonic instrumental sections with strong use of piano and keyboards, mainly moog synthesizers and organ.The presence of flutes and violin extends to these tracks as well and it would not be an excess to label them as Acoustic Symphonic Rock, as the rhythm section helps providing this light rock attitude.

Of course La Sorgente soon faded away, as even this light proggish material was rather too much for a country (as almost all the rest of the world) heading with big steps towards crappy Pop and Disco experiences.

A constant battle between Folk music and mellow symphonic soundscapes, ''Trasparente'' is not exactly what a prog fan waits for but the good arrangements definitely have some decent musical value.A great item for a collector's shelf but strictly recommended only to those, for who Il Balleto Di Bronzo or Museo Rosenbach are a bit too hard, prefering the very soft side of Italian Prog.Not to add that this one of the hardest Italian Prog records around, that hits constanly triple-digit numbers at bids...2.5 stars.

Thanks to seventhsojourn for the artist addition.

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