Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy

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Moogg biography
Italian band MOOGG formed 2003 in Brescia, initially as an instrumental trio comprised of Antonio GAFFORINI (keyboards), Marco DOLFINI (drums/vocals) and Rosario RAMPULLA (bass), but with Ivan VANOGLIO (guitars) joining a year later. 2007 saw the release of their first demo of original material, but in 2010 Rampulla exited the band, to be replaced by Gianluca AVANZATI. Within the next year they had recorded their debut album.

`Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni? (The hours, days and years) was released on Mellow Records in 2011, and is a combination of lengthy vocal pieces with long instrumental sections, and fully instrumental tracks. The band's sound is strongly influenced by the Canterbury Scene genre, as well as jazz-rock, fusion and even brief RPI elements. CARAVAN, HATFIELD & THE NORTH, PFM and WEATHER REPORT are definate influences, but the band has their own unique upbeat sound for much of their music, with plenty of reflective and darker passages as well. The extended keyboard soloing of GAFFORINI is a defining highlight of the band, and the strong and charismatic Italian vocals provided by Dolfini are also a huge plus.

::Aussie-Byrd-Brother (Michael H)::

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Le Ore I Giorni Gli AnniLe Ore I Giorni Gli Anni
Mellow Records
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4.06 | 15 ratings
Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni

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MOOGG Reviews

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 Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni by MOOGG album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.06 | 15 ratings

Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni
Moogg Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Moogg come from Brescia and began life in 2003 under the name Moog on the initiative of Marco Dolfini (drums, percussion. vocals), Rosario "Penny" Rampulla (bass) and Toni Gafforini (keyboards), one year later guitarist Ivan Vanoglio joined the band and completed the line up. In 2006 the band changed the name into Moogg to differentiate it slightly from the famous Moog synthesizer and in 2007 they released a first demo. In 2009 Penny Rampulla left the band and was replaced on bass by Gianluca Avanzati, former member of other prog bands such as Lithos and NotaBene. With this renewed line up, in 2011 Moogg finally released a debut album on the independent label Mellow Records, "Le ore i giorni gli anni" (The hours, the days, the years). Moogg's source of inspirations range from seventies prog to jazz rock, from psychedelia to Canterbury and every now and again they remind me of D.F.A., another excellent Italian contemporary band. In this album their love for bands such as Caravan and Hatfield and the North shines through but you can find also many original ideas, some nice funky passages, a strong sense of melody and well balanced arrangements.

The lively title track opens the album with a touch of bitter-sweet nostalgia and grey and pink colors. When you are young you think that you have all the time to shape your ideas, to find the right sounds for your music and make your dreams come true. Later, as you grow up and the daily grind absorbs your energies, you realize that your time is running short and you have to hurry to reach your goals. You would like to stop for a moment but you can't... "Now I know it / The days are escaping from me / And I keep on running after them...".

"Classe 21" (The 1921 contingent) is another excellent track dealing with time. The lyrics portray an old man facing a youngster who perceives him just as a burden and finds his stories boring and uninteresting. But in the past the old man was bold and brave, he overcame many obstacles, he fought during the war and every night his past comes back to him and lives again in his dreams... "You seem incapable to think of me as a young man / Films upon films made me believe that my whole past was in black and white...". The mood is dark while the music marks the contrast between old and new compounding modern and vintage sounds in a very effective way.

The reflective "Il perché di esser me" (The reason to be me) begins softly and the mood is dreamy. The lyrics are about growing up and describe the need to leave behind your childhood. You have to understand what you really want to do in your life, once you have made up your mind you can take a new way but if you look behind for a moment your toys seem almost to be smiling at you asking why you're leaving... "It's time to go away, cheating on nostalgia... Now I drive slowly along this new way...". Eventually the rhythm takes off and your journey can start.

"Gli arroganti" (The arrogant people) is a beautiful instrumental track featuring funky patterns and many changes in mood and rhythm. The music seems almost taking you to a party and all you have to do is relax, enjoy the nightlife and get into the swing of things. The following "Responsabilità" (Responsibility) begins with a frenzied rhythm and there's tension in the air. Well, when the party is over you have to take up with reality. You have to pay a tribute to your normality and think of your role on earth. Are you ready to set a family and raise a baby? What would you teach to your children? At least teach them to be brave, they have to set off on a long journey... Eventually the tension melts giving way to a more relaxed Latin rock passage. I know, sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and go with your heart but beware! "Responsibility!".

Then comes the dreamy, calm instrumental "Lunalia", followed by another short instrumental track, "Moogugni". The title is a kind of mix between the words moog and grumbling and as the rhythm takes off again you have better to get ready for another frenzied ride on the wings of your imagination. The long, complex "Welfare botanico" (Botanic welfare) concludes the album with a touch of "green energy" and some reflections about the meaning of life. There's a green sap which runs inside the trees and makes them grow, it gives them energy without a reason... "I wish I were like that sap, vegetal mind / Going up like that forever / Holding tight the life in me / Knowing there's no other way...".

All in all, I think that this is a very good album and that it's really worth listening to.


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 Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni by MOOGG album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.06 | 15 ratings

Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni
Moogg Jazz Rock/Fusion

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

4 stars A charming and infectious debut album, `Le Ore I Giorni Gli Anni' (The hours, days and years) by Italian band Moogg is an endlessly melodic, catchy and well played Canterbury Scene-styled jazz rocker. It contains a mix of strong vocal tracks and several varied instrumental workouts with a unique upbeat sound that also allows for moments of reflective and darker passages as well. Much of the sound of the band is defined by the confident and purposeful Italian vocals of Marco Dolfini, as well as the endless chirpy keyboard soloing of Antonio Gafforini that will quickly bring a smile to your face!

One thing that Moogg proves yet again is that, just because a band hails from Italy, they don't necessarily perform in the unique and identifiable Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) style the country is known for in progressive music circles. Moogg is no exception to this rule, although you will find little moments throughout that incorporate brief similarities, perhaps on the passionate delivery of the vocals on `Classe 21' or `Welfare Botanico'. Although there's been plenty of bands who have adopted the Canterbury sound without being directly linked to the original founding musicians, there hasn't been much in the way of Italian bands following in the same path. Picchio Dal Pozzo perhaps come to mind, but they now have good company with Moogg.

Anyone who loves Caravan will greatly enjoy the opening title track, with it's foot-tapping and cheerful arrangement. After a snappy opening, chiming guitars, glistening electric piano and dancing bass fall in place with Marco's confident deeper vocals that keep the piece from sounding too lightweight. Not even two minutes and we're off to the land of Grey and Pink, with a dazzling extended synth run and gorgeous melodic guitar soloing that sounds like a modern interpretation of that classic Canterbury album. That's one thing Moogg does so well, take their love of 70's Canterbury music and give it their own modern and contemporary spin.

My personal favourite and album highlight is the second track `Classe 21', showing that the band doesn't merely rehash and remake other bands and albums. Beginning with programmed electronics, heavy drumming and brooding guitars, it's takes a quick dip back into a sprinkling of twinkling electric piano and jazzy guitar noodling before the main melody finally kicks in. Tense phasing electronics and hard distorted bass, with a dark and moody treated vocal from Marco, nice aggressive synth soloing in the middle, and edgy emotional guitar grinding from Ivan all through this too. Very modern sounding and hints at the real potential of the band.

`Il Perche' Di Esser Me' starts as a more serious and relaxed vocal/electric piano piece but quickly builds in urgency, then launches into an uptempo jazz/fusion rocker with the band really taking off. Passionate delivery from Marco and grooving electric soloing carries the piece home. There's also a real positivity to `Responsabilita', a quirky fusion pop/rocker with boisterous vocals, leaping bass, uplifting electric soloing and jazzy electric piano.

The total knockout of the album is the nearly 15 minute `Welfare Botanico'. The piece covers so much ground, really challenging and pushing the band to the limits of their talent. Moody ambient sections, an overload of forceful fusion and Hatfield and the North technicality, smoky groovy breakaway moments, experimental fragments, blissful Mellotron wisps - the imigination and variety never ends on this one! All the while, it's perfectly grounded by the constant fluid bass of Gianluca Avanzati. Marco's vocals gets a real workout on this one too, moving from reflective croon to forceful booming - Ahh, there's that recognized Italian flavour. Wait for the truly stunning rising Mellotron/synth fanfare finale that wraps the piece - absolute progressive precision and grandiosity.

As for the three instrumental tracks, the first half of `Gli Arroganti' is a hyperactive wavering Moog/synth run over loose jazzy drumming and dreamy guitar, before a fiery lead guitar and bass duel in the second half - the band really cooks on this one! `Lunalia' is a warm and romantic word-free lullaby with gentle percussion and a floating cloud-like synth melody, simply beautiful. The peppy fusion rocker `Moogugni' is full of ragged guitar and pumping bass soloing, manic drumming and sprightly electric piano, but regretfully keyboard player Toni can't help dropping in a melody from the Bee Gee's `Staying Alive' in the brief disco diversion about a minute in! Cute the first time, a little annoying and cheesy on repeated plays! Still, it shows the band has a wink in their eye and a nice sense of humour!

Anyone who wants to hear an inventive and talented modern band bring the Canterbury sensibilities of Hatfield and the North/Caravan and 70's jazz/rock/fusion kicking and screaming into the modern age, with typical Italian tastefulness and a welcome sense of humour need look no further. Moogg have released a beautifully produced, perfectly played and exciting debut album that deserves plenty of attention, and I can't wait to hear a follow-up. So much charm, potential and talent, and you also won't find a better album to put you in a great mood either!

An easy and well-deserved four stars.


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