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CLAUDIO MILANO

Progressive Electronic • Italy


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Claudio Milano biography
Completely challenging and unconventional vocal artist, Claudio Milano is mostly known for his appearance in the avant-garde project Nichelodeon. Back in 2004 he released he first solo album. Published in 2012 on den Records, Adython is a collaborative project with lyricist Erna Franssens. The sound materials are devoted to sophisticated, unusual and almost theatrical vocal improvs, aleatoric-hypno-ish electronic experiments and punctual minimalist patterns.

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

3.33 | 3 ratings
L'urlo Rubato
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
La Stanza Suona Ciò Che Non Vedo
2006
3.98 | 9 ratings
Adython
2012

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CLAUDIO MILANO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 L'urlo Rubato by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.33 | 3 ratings

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L'urlo Rubato
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

3 stars The first album from Claudio Milano is in some ways more accessible than some of his later work (both solo and as a member of other projects). The classically-trained versatile vocalist/keyboardist/composer/artist makes some challenging music at times but the music here is generally very classical and opera oriented. There is not a whole lot of electronics here with vocals, piano, violin and flute being some of the main instruments used. This is more of a compilation of suites than the result of a single recording session. The three different parts were recorded in different years and divided into 43 seperate tracks; the tracks mostly segue together so you don't notice them passing by.

Tracks 1-5 make up "ma la servedi Genet?" from 2002. Mostly vocals and piano with some violin and saxophone as well. Very classical oriented. The last three tracks of this part were written by others but they don't sound out of place. A repeating 4 note melody is reprised. Tracks 6-24 comprise "Hamlet" from 2004. The largest, most diverse and interesting part of the album. There is a variety of instruments here including percussion and synth. There is some female vocals as well. More studio trickery here than on the rest of the album. Again, some melodies are reprised.

Tracks 25-43 are part of "building up a cathedral from me" recorded in the year 2000. Like "...Genet?" this is classically oriented but more synth/MIDI sounding. Some programmed jungle/drum'n'bass style beats at one point. Some more female vocals. The last track "Exit?" sounds like it was recorded live and features electric guitar and flute in addition to Claudio's vocals and programmed synth sounds. Overall this album would be of more interest to classical and opera fans than electronic music fans. Some avant-prog fans may enjoy "Hamlet." Interesting and enjoyable but Claudio has went on to do more interesting and enjoyable things. 3 stars.

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 L'urlo Rubato by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.33 | 3 ratings

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L'urlo Rubato
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This was the first solo album released by Claudio Milano in 2004. Claudio is the main man behind the band NICHELODION and he is without question very talented in many ways. This particular recording is almost 78 minutes in length with some 43 tracks. This recording does come across as being a compilation album because it's divided into three distinct parts with three different lineups and all three were recorded during different years. The first section called "Ma Le Serve Di genet ?" is from 2002 and features five tracks. The next section is called "Hamlet" and is from 2004 and features 19 tracks. The last section is called "Building Up A Cathedral From Me" and it's from 2000 and also features 19 songs.

While i'm impressed as always with what Claudio composes I must admit this style of music is difficult for me to actually enjoy. We get soprano female vocals, operatic male vocals and lots of Classical sounding music. And i'm just not into any of these. Just my taste in music of course. Still this is well worth the 3 stars i'm giving it and if you are into this style of music then I wouldn't hesitate recomending this to you.

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 L'urlo Rubato by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.33 | 3 ratings

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L'urlo Rubato
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Claudio Milano, classically trained seven-octave vocal range Italian singer is probably better known as avant-rock band NichelOdeon vocalist and main driving force, but beside of his work in band he has a lot of projects,all experimental by its nature.

"L'urlo rubato. Musiche per il teatro" is his solo debut, three long pieces composed by him as well. Tagged as "Music For Theatre" , in fact this album represents an eclectic collection of very experimental mix of operatic vocals,modern theatrical soundtracks and avant-garde music elements. Comparing with Claudio later works music is quite accessible here, even catchy at moments, but at the same time walking on the blade's edge. Probably the best way to think about this album is just imagine some Frank Zappa's early conceptual work ("Uncle Meat",etc) and bring it to new Millenium Italy with country's classical and operatic traditions.

Differently from myriads of clones combining operatic vocals with power metal/ viking metal/ whatever-you-want metal Claudio Milano represents far not so overexplored and much more advanced direction searching new synthesis between opera,classical music, rock and contemporary avant-garde. Recommended release for open ears listener with interest to experimental classical/rock and avant-garde music (it looks the album is OOP so probably you'll must try harder to find it).

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 Adython  by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 9 ratings

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Adython
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Claudio's most recent release is unlike anything I have ever heard. Basically we get his voice often manipulated along with a computer, sax, electronics and a laptop. If any of you have seen the movie "21 Jump Street" you'll remember the scene after the two undercover officers ingest drugs and the various stages they go through. At times you'd think they are going to just explode. Well this is like a soundtrack to a really crazy drug fuelled trip. We get two long tracks giving us just over 47 minutes of insanity.

We don't get very far into "L'oracolo Di Delfi" before it's understood that this is going to be an experimental journey into the mind of a psycho. Those really high pitched vocals followed by spoken words and vocal expressions are just mental. Atmosphere and sounds kick in before 3 minutes as he sings slowly. A repetitive beat after 4 minutes is intense including the vocal sounds. Relief after 5 1/2 minutes then more bizarre vocals follow. Intensity before 10 minutes, and then after 13 minutes it becomes apocalyptic. Incredible !

"Adython" opens with a vocal note then it turns all "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" on us. Deep atmosphere 1 1/2 minutes in takes over as horns come in too. What a trip this is. Heavy breathing after 9 minutes followed by a scream then desperate words. Paranoia. More horns and atmosphere follow. Vocals are back after 16 minutes. We get almost operatic vocals after 23 minutes. It sounds like mellotron before 24 minutes then vocals and horns follow. More deep atmosphere before 28 minutes. Crazy atmosphere and vocals 31 minutes in.

I really think this is just too much insanity since it's 47 minutes long. This would be amazing as part of an album. Also I wish the vocals were in English to know what's going on, although maybe it's better not knowing (haha).

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 La Stanza Suona Ciò Che Non Vedo by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.50 | 2 ratings

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La Stanza Suona Ciò Che Non Vedo
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Claudio Milano is the creative force behind the avant band NICHELODEON. He's one very talented man both in his compositions and vocals. While his solo albums are listed under Electronic this certainly isn't an Electronic album but the follow-up "Adython" is. This particular record is mainly piano, percussion and voice throughout. I wouldn't say it was samey because of that but it's close to that description. The one exception is the live track which is by far my favourite as we get a full band sound there.

So yes as you go down through the tracks i've written percussion, piano and vocals over and over. Of course Claudio mixes things up as we go. "La Torre Piu Alta" the ninth track is different as we get some crazy stuff happening including a laughter that is in a rhythm. Funny ! The live track is called "Disegnando Cattedrali Di Cellule" and it's by far the longest at 12 1/2 minutes. Applause to start as dissonant horns and clashing cymbals follow. Piano and vocals take over 2 minutes in then a beat before 3 minutes. The trumpet is back after 5 minutes as the vocals stop. Piano only after 7 minutes then spoken words a minute later. Singing with piano follows then a beat 10 1/2 minutes in followed by trumpet. It's spooky late.

A good album but without question one of Claudio's tamer ones.

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 Adython  by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 9 ratings

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Adython
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars Review originally written for www.jazzmusicarchives.com

Listening to Claudio Milano the first instinct is to compare his voice to that of Demetrio Stratos, not only because Area are one of his many collaborations, but specially because his experiments and researches on voice, even though on a different line, can remind to the experimental works of that unlucky singer.

The contact point is in the theathrical mood of works like this "Adython". This is a kind of music that needs to be corroborated by a live experience like a ballet. When listening to "L'Oracolo di Delfi" Imagine how the crescendo of chaos and electronic noise that can be experienced at minute 7 can involve the listener if accompanied by a dance on a black and white stage. Just after this crescendo there's a short pause of silence and what follows is a song. The instrumentation is deeply electronic, but if you listen carefully what Claudio sings is a melody coming directly from the Italian artsy pop of the 60s, a sort of follow-up to the cover of "Vedrai, Vedrai" released some years ago. Let this music penetrate your mind, this is the key to disclose it. The noisy instrumental final of the track leaves the listener with a sensation of incompleteness that needs to fade into the second, very long, track of the album. Even if I'm Italian I don't pay attention to the lyrics. The sound of the words is here more important than their meaning.

The title track is opened by a very long vocal note. It's a dialog between voice and a jazzy sax which is quickly transformed into a very dark experiment, with the voice exploring the lowest and highest notes fused with breathes and various sounds. There's a huge use of loops in this part which slowly starts to capture the listener. At minute 4 let's pay attention to the vocal extension. Claudio Milano is capable of an incredible extension and when he does clean singing he shows also an excellent tone, vaguely similar to John De Leo. Here and there the sax goes in foreground and adds more than a touch of cold jazz. Also the story narrated by Claudio is somewhat interesting. It has a feeling of avantgarde theatre, Beckett comes to my mind for the atmosphere. At this point I can't say how much of this track is "improvisation". The text sung by Claudio can't be too improvised, maybe the sax but some unison moments and some vocal attacks are apparently clearly planned. Other than the voice, there's a lot of research and experiment also in the electronic noises and in the loops while the sax remains the only true "instrument" to link what we usually know as "music" and this experimental work. Of course, understanding the language can add a further level to the listening experience but like in the first track, the sound of the words is more important than their meaning that's almost dark and introspective. There's also a melodic moment, totally unexpected which comes after a short silence at minute 24 to demonstrate the artist's eclectism. Not an easy album, like all the avantgarde things, but this is exactly what makes it worth. As much effort you put in the listening as much pleasure you obtain from it. A mind opener

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 La Stanza Suona Ciò Che Non Vedo by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.50 | 2 ratings

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La Stanza Suona Ciò Che Non Vedo
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars This is the second album from Italian Claudio Milano, a versatile vocalist as well as adventurous composer and conceptualist. This album is not very electronic, with a lot of the music being piano and vocal oriented. Most of the lyrics are in Italian but there is also some English as well. Claudio does all the vocal parts and some piano but there is a few guest musicians making contributions. Three of the songs here will be redone by Claudio's band Nichelodeon. "Amanti in guerra" comes in two versions: the first is more upbeat with drum machine programming and electric guitar; the other is more somber and piano-based. I like the first version even better than the Nichelodeon versions. My favourite version of this song, it also features some symphonic synths and acoustic guitar which adds to the atmosphere. The electric guitar and bass are basically played in a 'rock' way.

I prefer the Nichelodeon versions of "Fame" to the one here. This is basically piano and multi- tracked Claudios singing. "Malamore e la Luna" is in the same boat but it does not feature multiple voices. Nonetheless, they are both great songs. Tracks 5-8 form 'Europa che muore', where Claudio does his interpretations of the work of European composers like Handel, Jacques Brel and others. These songs are basically piano/vocal based but sometimes some effects or other instruments are added. "L'immagine e il Riflesso" has more programmed drumming, this time more interesting than on the first version of "Amanti.." More sympathetic electric guitar playing as well. A great song with great production.

"La torre più alta" is one of the more interesting tracks. It reminds me somewhat of 1980s/1990s Art Zoyd with its creepy altered vocal effects and synths. Claudio's multi-tracked 'ah ha ha's are priceless. Later what sounds like a cello type sound and some programmed drums playing a hip-hop style beat. This track gets very symphonic for awhile. Probably the most electronic sounding track and a highlight for sure. "Disegnando Cattedrali di Cellule" is a 12 1/2 minute track recorded live on stage. This begins with in a creepy industrial style mixed with some free jazz. Soon it goes into a melodic jazzy piano and vocal based section.

Then you hear an actual drummer who only appears on this track. Later the drummer plays a rock style beat while jazzy piano and trumpet play along. You hear some of Claudio's most impressive singing on the album here. This is a decent effort and may appeal to those who are familiar with Claudio's work with Nichelodeon, although don't expect it to sound too much like that group. I will give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

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 Adython  by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 9 ratings

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Adython
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars Claudio Milano is an avant-garde vocalist and conceptualist who tries to bring together different arts such as music, visuals, stage, etc. He is one of the few artists today who is trying to do something new with his different projects (the NichelOdeon release from 2010 probably being his most well known work to date). He uses his voice as an instrument and recites the words (of his own or others) in a peculiar yet musical way.

On Adython, he collaborates with Belgian artist Erna Frassens who wrote the words here (sung in Italian) and came up with the overall concept. Stefano Ferrian plays tenor saxophone while Attila Faravelli and Alfonso Santimone use computers and electronics to come up with weird, constantly changing background sounds. Ultimately the effect is that of improvised avant-garde electronic music with improvised singing and saxophone playing.

Claudio is equally at home in avant-rock, avant-jazz or any other avant-whatever. His musical and in general artistic vision knows no boundaries. Adython is an album that would appeal to those who enjoy improvisational music. Although he is now listed here under 'prog electronic' this is the most electronic thing I have heard from him; some of his other music and projects can be closer to (avant) classical or (avant) jazz. I don't speak Italian but the way the vocals are used to recite the lyrics makes it seem that it doesn't matter what is being said to begin with; it's all in the delivery.

There are only two tracks on this album. To me the over 32 minute title track is the stronger of the two. Overall the whole album has a sound and feel of its own. I congratulate Claudio on this fine release and it is nice to know that there are still those artists who wish to push the envelope even if they know that not many will pay attention. This is music that is 'beyond prog' if you will, challenging and innovative yet may appeal to the more adventurous prog fan. I'll give this a 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

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 Adython  by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 9 ratings

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Adython
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars There's no denying Claudio Milano's credibility as an artist, absolutely no denying it. Adython is one of the most avant works I've heard by him thus far and it's screams and weird electronic effects are enough to make many prog fans shy away immediately, but for those who stick around and just lay back and let the music do its magic, the rewards are fantastic.

It's rough listening that turns into easy listening very quickly with two ultra-avant electronic pieces that are very reminiscent of a sort of futuristic John Zorn. It's quite an amazing listen, the vocals, sax and electronics all combining into a sort of almost rabid wall of sound that I find to be very soothing once one takes it all in.

I can't emphasize enough how the listener really should just not give up on it after the first minute, after awhile, the album just becomes so oddly concise and beautiful after the listener takes it all in. It's sort of like a noise album, only much easier on the ears, the listener eventually becomes one with the music and it's almost like a religious experience.

That is how avant music should be made.

4 stars because it really is a fantastic record. Sure, you have to be in the mood, but it's a good mood to be in.

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 Adython  by MILANO, CLAUDIO album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 9 ratings

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Adython
Claudio Milano Progressive Electronic

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally written for www.therocktologist.com

This is a new project by Claudio Milano, mastermind of avant-prog band Nichelodeon who together with Erna Frassens (aka Kasjanoova) created an album entitled "Adython" which is divided in two long tracks that make a total time of 47 minutes. Here, they offer a record that is not easy to label, and actually, not so easy to dig because of its experimental, and if you want, quirky sound shared mainly by Milano's vocals.

"L'oracolo di delfi" is the first track, with 15-minute duration. Since the first seconds we will listen to Milano's vocals making some strange noises, that at the same time let us know he reaches high notes. It wouldn't be a lie to say that the name of Demetrio Stratos came to my mind, mostly his solo work (the album Cantare la voce) and I assume Claudio has been inspired by him, among others. It is necessary to mention that the voice is not the only element here; we also have the lyrics, written by Frassens, and the electronic and computer noises that help creating atmospheres, nuances and textures.

The musical side is not the only one can appreciate here, because the vocals make an excellent work that let us also see the theatrical side, which at the same time, produces different emotions and images. In moments, the sound becomes nervous, even disturbing, which is great, because it means the music is touching you. After ten minutes there is a passage I like a lot, with tension created by the electronics, while the voice keeps sharing the lyrics, giving the precise entonation to those words.

"Adython" is the second and last track of the album, but it is really long surpassing the 30 minutes. Here they offer practically the same, I mean, experimental vocals accompanied by electronics that make backgrounds and weird noises, and also lyrics that produce something in the listener, without even knowing Italian. A wonderful decision here, was the addition of a saxophone, because it gives cadency and produce a kind of jazzy sound. The song flows, creating different passages where the vocals keep making that theatrical tune, sometimes clean, and sometimes modified by the lap effects. I like when the vocals are modified because it seems it is another character of the imaginary story, hope you get me.

At minute twelve is more evident the reminiscence of Demetrio Stratos, it is good how Claudio Milano let his voice do what it wants and play whatever it wishes. The background effects are constantly changing, putting a diversity of noises that maintain this nervous atmosphere. And the song flows, until the very end, creating a great communion between voice, lyrics, sax and electronics.

As I said, this album is not that easy to dig, however, once you allow it you will surely like it just as I did. A very good experimental, avant-garde album!

Enjoy it!

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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