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BREZNEV FUN CLUB

RIO/Avant-Prog • Italy


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Breznev Fun Club biography
BREZNEV FUN CLUB is a musical ensemble led by Milan based composer Rocco Lomonaco and featuring the lyrics of Franco Sciscio. Their roots date back to the early 1990s and in fact the material on their debut release hails from the decade of the 1990s, although it was recorded in 2009. Their second album is said to be coming on Altrock Records within the year.

While I've not had the pleasure of hearing the entire debut album, we can safely rely on PA's knowledgeable Assaf Vestin to describe the BFC sound: "just when you don't expect it, the music turns from a modern classical type, orchestral and peaceful to a blatant avant-progressive rock (still with elements of the orchestra playing along). It also makes sharp turns at times to a new direction and develops a new theme (in the multi-section pieces)."

Their daring, yet welcoming sound is recommended to fans of groups like Yugen, Garamond, and perhaps Societa Anonima Decostruzionismi Organici. Their label suggest they harbor a bit of Picchio dal Pozzo spirit as well.

-Finnforest

Breznev Fun Club official website

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3.68 | 9 ratings
L'onda Vertebrata
2010

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BREZNEV FUN CLUB Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 L'onda Vertebrata by BREZNEV FUN CLUB album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 9 ratings

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L'onda Vertebrata
Breznev Fun Club RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Breznev Fun Club hails from the province of Matera, in Basilicata and began life in the mid eighties on the initiative of guitarist Rocco Lomonaco, drummer Mario Ventrelli and keyboardist Francesco Gallipoli. Their sources of inspiration range from classical music to avant-garde, from Rock In Opposition to Canterbury and more. During their live performances they've always showcased a strong theatrical attitude introducing cabaret elements and recitative parts thanks to their front-man Franco Sciscio who joined the band in 1990. During the years the band went through many troubles and line up changes and it wasn't until 2010 that they managed to release a real debut album on the independent label Btf/AMS, "L'onda vertebrata: Lost + Found Vol. 1", with pieces composed from 1990 to 1997 re-arranged and properly re-recorded in studio in 2009 by a line up featuring Rocco Lomonaco (guitars, banjo, mandolin, quatro, harmonica), Franco Sciscio (vocals), Giuliana Di Mitrio (vocals), Maria Mianulli (flute), Francesco Manfredi (clarinet), Michele Motola (sax), Gianfranco Menzella (sax), Francesco Panico (trumpet), Francesco Tritto (trombone), Tommaso De Vito Francesco (bass, oboe), Michele Fracchiolla (drums, percussion, vibraphone, marimba), Pino Manfredi (piano, keyboards), Duilio Maci (violin) and Angela Schiralli (cello). In my opinion, the final result of their efforts is excellent! The sonic experiments of the band are never too extreme or self-indulgent and the well balanced arrangements avoid the wild territories of "musique concrète". The music flows away without weak moments and I'm sure that even those who are not in love with avant-garde will find this challenging work rewarding.

The opener "Ludiche ecchimosi (5 danze immaginarie)" (Playful ecchymosis ? 5 imaginary dances) sets the atmosphere. It's a perfectly crafted instrumental piece in five parts where strong classical influences are blended with a touch of jazz. The mood is dreamy, the beautiful operatic voice of Giuliana Di Mitrio here is used as an instrument and soars drawing a charming melody, then the music goes on crossing enchanted places where you can set you mind free and merrily dance under the moon with your sweetest, aching memories. The following "Il Folletto di Cera" (The bogey of wax) is another dreamy track in two parts where you can listen for the first time to the particular voice of Franco Sciscio. The beginning is joyful, then the atmosphere becomes dark. The lyrics conjure up a spiteful bogey of wax wondering in the night and eventually burning in the air. Well, this is an allegorical character that symbolizes a carefree man on his way for an unexpected meeting with the grim reaper...

"Inseguito dai creditori" (Chased by the creditors) is more aggressive. It's a tense instrumental track featuring sudden changes in rhythm and mood. Finally the tension melts and a surreal calm falls down. The following "Tre pezzi brevi" (Three short pieces) is another dreamy track in three parts full of musical colours. It leads to the title track, a long, complex suite divided into ten sections that represents the "main course" of this work. It starts with a short drum solo, then the other instruments begin to embroider a brilliant musical texture, an ideal background for the visionary poetry of Franco Sciscio who reminds me here of Paolo Carelli and of his Pholas Dactylus' Concerto delle menti. The lyrics describe a surreal, psychedelic dream, a wild ride surfing a vertebrate wave directed towards the North Star, among water-drops looking upwards. A big Sagittarius, a perfect utopia, a peculiar choir of angels and the frustrations of an ape, the tentacles of an octopus pervading a non-existent body, striking impulses leading you towards a threatening horizon... You can try to tame your dream and words finally would get trapped in a quicksand while blue tears begin to fall on your face... The dream comes to an end on the bright marching beat of a sumptuous fanfare...

The last two pieces are credited as bonus tracks. "La follia del mimo Azoto" (The madness of Azoto the mime) features funky influences and recalls Area. Here Franco Sciscio vocals evoke the spirit of the "Master Of The Voice" Demetrio Stratos while reciting another psychedelic poem and describing a strange character, a shiny wayfarer who caresses the moon with his fiery hands while you look for a way out from the dark, in a gloomy vegetation made of eyes... An instrumental version of "Il folletto di cera" concludes this excellent album.

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 L'onda Vertebrata by BREZNEV FUN CLUB album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 9 ratings

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L'onda Vertebrata
Breznev Fun Club RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars There are releases that I struggle to come up with adequate words that would somehow be worthy of the music. Usually after writing these reviews I feel lousy for not being able to match my abstract impressions of the album with the verbal and thought-processing part of my brain which seems to be incapacitated and barely capable of finding the right descriptions and praises. So in case it's not clear from this review, know this ? I am very impressed with this album. And I find the music on it to be as lovely as it is captivating. But know this, it takes time and concentration to fully absorb all of it. There, a direct and simple way to praise an album, bypassing all the verbose and loquacious long-winded and pompous reviewing I usually aim for.

But I can't leave it at that, right. You may very well want to know what this sounds like? And perhaps a bit more on what I think of it, what I hear special in the music?

Recorded in 2009, these compositions represent a repertoire of music by Rocco Lomonaco dating back to 1990 until 1997. The music Mr. Lomonaco composes a fascinating fusion of modern classical music with rock, resulting in a "rock-estra" of sorts. There is a magical mix of the orchestra and the rock lineups, including the vocals (female operatic and male speaking/singing). The lyrics are by Franco Sciscio. In fact, I was reminded of the music of Yugen on Labirinto D'acqua the most while listening to this (obviously this was composed before their time) and at times it brought up even Steve Martland's Horses Of Instruction (track 8 ? "Inseguito Dai Creditori"). Another point of reference is Nichelodeon's Il Gioco Del Silenzio (I'll get back to that at the end of the review).

Most pieces are made up of shorter sections that flow seamlessly. Each one dominated with a theme and atmosphere of its own, at times spilling over to the next part. To me there is a good balance of both musical worlds here, and I guess I should not see it that way anymore, rather I should treat it as one approach or style that happens to draw from both worlds and put emphasis on one when appropriate ("Tre Pezzi Brevi" is a more "classical"-based piece while "Ludiche Ecchimosi" is more rock-oriented.

The music also holds elements of surprise. For instance, just when you don't expect it, the music turns from a modern classical type, orchestral and peaceful to a blatant avant- progressive rock (still with elements of the orchestra playing along). It also makes sharp turns at times to a new direction and develops a new theme (in the multi-section pieces). I may very well be wrong here, but some of the pieces sound to me atonal in nature (for instance, "Tre Pezzi Brevi"), while most others are tonal-based compositions and are more naturally accessible. The title track itself is worth the price of admission. Representative of all the styles and ambiances on the album it is comprised of 10 sections that shift from abstract and mellow soundscapes to aggressive and structured rock bit, from a jazzy short theme to a mysterious and eerie sounding organ-lead part, from a rich sounding orchestral portion to a calmer acoustic guitar lead segment. This composition (in particular, "Non Credere Piu") along with "Il Folletto Di Cera" reminded me of what Nichelodeon does in his latest album, Il Gioco Del Silenzio ? a theatrical, vocals-lead emotional, atonal, abstract at times musical show.

The last three tracks are bonus pieces: "Le Follia Del Mimo Azoto" is a jazzy tune with the vocals being the most playful in the album, very much in tune with the song's liveliness and slight cheekiness. The album closes with an instrumental version of the two-segment piece "Il Folletto Di Cera".

The album comes in a lovely mini-LP packaging with lots of pictures and written text in the booklet, only those are in Italian with no English translation, which is too bad.

If you like a fusion of modern classical composition and avant-prog-rock; if you like Yugen, Nichelodeon or even Steve Martland, do check Breznev Fun Orchestra out.

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 L'onda Vertebrata by BREZNEV FUN CLUB album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.68 | 9 ratings

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L'onda Vertebrata
Breznev Fun Club RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars BREZNEV FUN CLUB are an Italian band who play a very Classical style of music with some female operatic vocals and male vocals thrown in. There are 14 members playing a variety of instruments like banjo, flute, harmonica, sax, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, mandolin, aboe, keyboards, violin, cello along with drums, bass and guitar.

At times I feel like i'm listening to background music to an old Disney movie and this is especially true of the opening track "Ludiche Ecchimosi" that is light and orchestral throughout. I honestly detest this type of music and also the operatic female vocals that open the proceedings. Next is "Il Folletto Di Cera" and it's still the same style but there are some spoken male vocals. A change when drums, piano, horns and more give it more of a Rock feel then more spoken words and light orchestral sounds follow. "Inseguito Dai Creditori" is so much better as we get some heaviness with guitar and drums as the horns join in. Piano only before 2 1/2 minutes as it calms right down. It does eventually build some. "Tre Pezzi Brevi" is again light orchestral music with female operatic vocals coming in late. Yikes !

"L'Onda Vertebrata" is the over 20 minute epic. This is fairly laid back with some reserved male vocals coming in then acoustic guitar. More reserved male vocals and light orchestral music. It turns heavy with theatrical spoken vocals in part IV of this piece. It turns mellow again as this continues to sound pieced together. Part VII is good with spoken vocals. This is the best part of the album by far for me. I like how heavy it is with piano and drums. Back to the mellow orchestral music to the end. "La Follia Del Mimo Azoto" is Jazzy and quite good as male spoken vocals come in. "Il Folletto Di Cera" has lots of flute and orchestral music to start and then it turns heavier with horns and drums standing out. It's mellow and dreamy again.

Man I am not into this style of music at all but i'm giving it 3 stars because I can appreciate the compositions and talent that went into this. Fans of Classical music should check this band out.

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Thanks to Finnforest for the artist addition.

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