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KARMAMOI

Heavy Prog • Italy


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Karmamoi biography
KARMAMOI is an Italian band formed in 2008 by Daniele GIOVANNONI (drums) and Serena CIACCI (vocals). In 2009, they released a single and went to play live in Italy. In 2010, they began to work on their self-titled album. Now the band is recording a new concept album ''Odd Trip'' to be released in September 2013. The band lineup is completed by Alessandro CEFALI (bass), Fabio TEMPESTA (guitars) and Alex MASSARI (guitar).

Their music is melodic progressive rock that has enough rock distortions to be classified in the heavy prog genre. They have a recognizable sound of a band that has a female singer, but the songs have enough twists in them to be more than another rock band. The band also use some electronics experimentation in the RADIOHEAD style, which gives another dimension to their music.

written by rdtprog

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Odd TripOdd Trip
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KARMAMOI discography


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0.00 | 0 ratings
Karmamoi
2011
3.26 | 15 ratings
Odd Trip
2013

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KARMAMOI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.26 | 15 ratings

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Odd Trip
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Italian band KARMAMOI was formed back in 2008, and released their self-titled debut album three years later. An EP followed in 2012, and then they released their second full length studio production "Odd Trip" in 2013, their most recent album at the time of writing.

"Odd Trip" is a fairly appropriate name for this production, as it is a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of listener experience. While the opening atmospheric piece Oxygen 1 actually works fairly well, later on two shorter atmospheric interludes named Oxygen 2 and Oxygen 3 comes across as filler material more than anything else. There's a single ballad at hand, Lost Days, which doesn't do all that much for me either. The rest of this album is a tad more interesting however.

Initially you get to experience a band that plays around with electronic effects and a subtle cosmic vibe used in contexts with alternating metal-tinged riffs and more delicate sections, frequently with excursions to sequences sporting firmer, compact guitar details. While initially appearing a tad chaotic and not all that well developed, the songs keep improving as this album unfolds and an association to a band like Porcupine Tree starts solidifying soon enough. Karmamoi does explore a style of music that makes associations to that band inevitable, and by fourth track If I Think of the Sea they manage to combine the different elements in a manner that makes them compelling rather than pleasant or interesting too.

A bit later the band throws in some additional traits however, starting with the song Yours and continued on title track Odd Trip, stronger references to US/UK band Garbage (UK singer, US band, based in the US) starts appearing. Vibrant, compact guitar and electronics arrangements rather similar in approach and construction to the type of material Garbage created in their heyday. That Karmamoi employs a female lead vocalist gives a certain emphasis to that association presumably.

Later on 5+ revisits a more Porcupine Tree oriented landscape again, prior to the concluding composition Aria. For me this particular song comes across as the highlight of this album, mostly because this is a song that manage to successfully blend the themes with similarities to Garbage with the ones that have more of a Porcupine Tree tinge to them. The combination of those two styles works really well, and personally I hope that Karmamoi will continue in a similar vein as that one as at least for me that was the most compelling experience on this disc.

While I found this album overall to be a tad uneven, there's a fair share of truly intriguing compositions on this album as well. While I guess that fans of indie and alternative rock in general might take an interest in this production, I suspect that they will find their main audience amongst those that have albums by bands such as Garbage and Porcupine Tree side by side in their music collection. Those who recognize themselves in that description should consider giving this album a spin.

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 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.26 | 15 ratings

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Odd Trip
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by J-Man
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Although the modern Italian prog scene is largely populated by bands inspired by the country's symphonic forerunners from the seventies', it is also home to a number of unique groups that don't worship at the altar of Premiata Forneria Marconi and Le Orme. Karmamoi is one such band, and their spacey, eclectic, and occasionally heavy take on the genre makes for one of Italy's more original exports in recent years. The band's sophomore outing, 2013's Odd Trip, features some truly fresh ideas and impressive musicianship, and while not flawless, it's a strong outing from start to finish.

Stylistically, Odd Trip often sounds somewhere between accessible Floydian space rock and riff-based hard rock. Karmamoi incorporates a wide array of sounds into their music, and this can be heard on the funky-sounding "Yours" and the surreally atmospheric "If I Think of the Sea" (both of which stand tall as highlights). Generally speaking, I feel that Karmamoi are their most successful when they play softer and more atmospheric-sounding songs; though the execution is flawless across the board, the rock-oriented tracks rarely make my blood boil as much as "Lost Days" or the aforementioned "If I Think of the Sea".

Odd Trip's songwriting may not always excite me, but the strong musicianship and obvious desire to innovate still make for a recommendable album from Karmamoi. Fans of Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, and Riverside shouldn't have trouble liking this!

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 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.26 | 15 ratings

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Odd Trip
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Karmamoi are proving to a difficult band to review. These Italians have a style somewhere between the psychedelia of Pink Floyd and the distortion power of Rush. Of course, they mix all sorts of styles into one cohesive stew, including a heavy dose of electronic experimentation. It's pretty impressive in an odd sort of way.

Speaking of odd, their latest album is called "Odd Trip", and I completely agree with this title. It's all over the place, and that's okay. With funky interludes and a great mix of surreal ballads and hard-edged, guitar-driven progressive pieces. The musicianship is wonderful across the board, though I think the vocals from Serena Ciacci may be what stand out the most. She has a beautiful tone and she likes to experiment with some interesting off-key vocal exercises that she adds here and there like a sprinkling of personality. With great range, she pulls her performance off effortlessly.

The band behind Serena are great at what they do. The guitarists especially know how to drive songs in spiraling riffs that are a great contrast from Serena's voice, but they also provide plenty of delicate fingerwork and beautiful tonal changes. The rhythm section is also really busy, especially the bass guitar. This album is saturated in a dynamic bassy goodness that often steals the show.

There are quite a bit of stand out tracks on this album, including the eerily ethereal "If I Think of the Sea", the driving "Yours", and the sweeping title track. Honestly, the whole album is quite good from start to finish. It's certainly an odd trip, and one can sense the artistic passions the band has.

So, if you like a bit of technical work, plenty of melodic eccentricity, and a band devoted to their sound, give Karmamoi's "Odd Trip" a try. It's definitely a grower, but after the third or fourth listen I started to get it. It's pretty subtle at times, and in your face in others, but there's a masterful mix to it all that I didn't expect. Give these guys a try.

3.5 stars

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 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.26 | 15 ratings

BUY
Odd Trip
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Karmamoi came into being in 2008, when Daniele Giovannoni and Serena Ciacci decided that they needed a musical project that could express their personalities and their concept of music. They actually have a stated musical view of what they are to achieve, and that the band is "Where artistic endeavour, melody, electronic elements and rock distortions could cohabit and find a stable equilibrium, in an immediately recognizable sound compounded of passion and aggression." So there. These five Italians have just been accepted into the 'Heavy' subgenre on www.progarchives.com, but they could easily have found their way into crossover as there is a whole mix of styles going on here, and at times it sounds almost as if a different band has recorded each song.

They can move from hard rock with progressive elements to something much more Floydian at the drop of a hat, and then can move into areas more reflective of Tool. But, there is always a sense of real purpose, that they know where they are, where they want to be, and are more than happy to take a non-direct route to get there. It is an interesting and intriguing piece of work that captures the listener and brings them into their world. Thoughtful and delicate, constructed and imaginative, it is hard to believe that this is only their second album as this is a very mature piece of work indeed.

They have made their single 'Labyrinth' available free of charge through Bandcamp, and the album itself is available for only 4 GBP so why not give them a try? They also have a website (in English) at www.karmamoi.it.

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