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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

"Silence Between Sounds" is the third album from the Italian progressive rock band Karmamoi. Due to changes with band line-up, "Silence Between Sounds" took over two years to realise.For the first time, Karmamoi have involved other musicians in the creative process of"Silence Between Sounds" featuring instruments such as the cello, piano, flute or clavinet. This provides a balance between the traditional and modern sound of progressive rock."Silence Between Sounds" explores, and attempts to understand the reasons behind human failure. It's an interesting and challenging theme that Karmamoi have embraced and captured in the music of "Silence Between Sounds".esteemed producer and engineer Mark Tucker (JETHRO TULL) has been integral to the project working closely with Daniele as co-producer skills and mixing engineer.








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Odd TripOdd Trip
Self-Produced
Audio CD$19.25

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KARMAMOI discography


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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Karmamoi
2011
3.28 | 16 ratings
Odd Trip
2013
3.97 | 3 ratings
Silence Between Sounds
2016

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KARMAMOI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Silence Between Sounds by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.97 | 3 ratings

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Silence Between Sounds
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This year of 2016 was the first year that I was finally in a position of personal preference to buy more than just a few new releases, and thanks to my inclusion in the membership of a Facebook page called Progressive Rock Fanatics, I was also exposed to many new bands, obscure bands, and established bands with new releases. It was that page that connected me with Karmamoi, an Italian band of three members who chose four different female vocalists for their latest and third album, "Silence Between Sounds". I watched a promotion video and at first thought they sounded good but with the heavy rock guitar and odd time signature, they didn't sound different from much of what I had heard already. Then the vocals came in and I was drawn into the song. The singer sounded like Che Aimee Dorval of Casualties of Cool, a band project with Devin Townsend. I love Che's voice on the CoC album and here was a woman who could sing in that dusky, jazz lounge style. The next thing, I was backing the band's new album on PledgeMusic.

Sadly, Karmamoi were not able to reach their goal; however, they went ahead with releasing their album at the end of October and through some message exchanges with drummer/keyboardist/music and song writer, Danielle Giovannoni, I was able to order the album directly from the band instead of through Amazon as I usually do.

Karmamoi and "Silence Between Sounds" really surprised me. I had them pegged as a heavy, neo-prog type outfit but this album delivers so much more. Each of the seven tracks moves, twists, turns, stops and changes gear and direction, and never becomes formulated or predictable. A gentle, atmospheric start can abruptly change to a crunching, heavy battery, drop suddenly into the atmosphere with something light and mind-soothing, sprinkle pretty notes all around, and then move on into another territory. Each piece is like a journey and you can never be sure where you are going to go and where you will end up. But one thing for sure is that the music feels like it was written from the mind and the heart and no label or formula was considered in the process. This is music for creativity and expression's sakes!

It took me a while to conjure up any comparisons to other bands though I felt that the musical styles were still familiar enough. I think older Porcupine Tree comes to mind often, and because of the combination of heavy and atmospheric and sometimes acoustic with female vocals, I also think of White willow, too. In a couple of spots I was also reminded of non-heavy Devin Townsend. Danielle told me that Pineapple Thief, Steven Wilson, OSI, and many prog classics are influences and as well artists like Sting, Toto, and Massive Attack are favourites. What makes this album so interesting is how all these influences are blended to various degrees into the resulting music, creating an album that is both unique and familiar.

As I mentioned above, it was the vocals that sold me on giving my time and attention (and ultimately my money) to this album. We have four female vocalists, each with her own contribution to the songs. Sara Rinaldi is the one whom I heard in the promotional video and she sings on "Nashira", Martes", Plato's Cave", and "Canis Majoris". Sometimes she has an American, down south, almost staccato enunciation that reminds me just a bit of Janis Joplin in quieter moments but more so like someone who might have had a hit album in the nineties. Hellena sings on "Atma" in low and soothing tones and also in higher tones in harmony with herself. Serena Ciacci takes the mic for "Lost Days", which reminds me of a Sarah McLachlan style of a song. Finally, Irene Morelli sings soprano on "Sirio" and "Martes". Each of the four women contributed with their own feelings and experiences, says Danielle, allowing the band to concentrate on the music and let the singers interpret their roles much like an actor.

An album where each song is crafted independently but by the sum of the songs, a greater whole is achieved, this album is a wonderful addition to my 2016 collection!

 Silence Between Sounds by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.97 | 3 ratings

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Silence Between Sounds
Karmamoi Heavy Prog

Review by Steve Conrad

4 stars KARMAMOI- "Karma happening right now", or so it was explained to me. This Italian band formed in 2009, members eager to explore progressive rock music in ways meaningful to them.

On "Silence Between Sounds"- an evocative title that suggests a sort of meditation, a search for meaning- KARMAMOI pose(s) a difficult question: What are the roots, the sources of human failure?

The lyrics suggest that answers lie in stars and classical philosophy, astronomy to Plato.

Using guitar, bass, and drums, yet adding cello, flute, and keyboards- including liberal piano (and with crystalline production), KARMAMOI teamed with several vocalists to depict the ways they seek to explore and understand the question.

"Nashira" which enters after a brief piano-driven prelude, introduces the smoky, sardonic vocals which at first I found off-putting. This is not a knock against Sara Rinaldi, who has a fine, quality voice. It's more a matter of personal taste, and wanting coherence between lyrics and tone.

Nashira also offers the first reference to astronomy, as well as the mythic elements KARMAMOI draws from and utilizes in poetic ways. Nashira is a luminous, white, huge star in the tail of the Capricorn constellation, a star easily visible in the sky.

Musically, we get those smoky vocals, then quickening bass to propel the clean guitar and piano tones, along with alternating quiet and more energetic passages. "Nashira"- The Fortunate One.

Next is "Atma"- seemingly related to the Hindu term "Atman"- the spiritual life principle of the universe. Whereas the previous track lyrics referred to life struggles like rape, addiction, and madness, Atma lyrics examine self-salvation or self-destruction. It's a brief dialogue within self.

Atma begins with dreamy, reflective vocals, then gains intensity, and liquid, bold guitar tones lead finally to an ambiguous ending.

"Sirio" is the sole instrumental track, and one of my favorites on the album. The title suggests "Sirius"- one of the brightest stars in the sky, and according to mythology, the canine companion to Orion. Or, perhaps this is a reference to the Italian holy man, Sirio Carappa?

Somewhat discordant guitar tones lead the complex musical journey on Sirio.

"Martes" may be the most intriguing lyrical entry. Again we hear the sultry vocals that grow more focused referring perhaps to the god of war, Mars, and warning of the all-too-easy path of violence and destruction. Here too, we have the duality of Mars, mated with Venus, and their love-child Harmonia: the lyrics lead to the lovely "Prayer for Peace" in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishads: loosely translated as "From ignorance, lead me to truth; from darkness, to light; from death lead me to immortality. OM- peace, peace, peace".

Next, "Plato's Cave", an invitation to recall Platonic philosophy! Driving guitars and wailing, sardonic, pulsating vocals, which drawl with insouciance, propel this tune. Here are lush passages, interspersed with martial drums as in a solemn dance- depicting perhaps the sense of inner subjugation, being chained to the walls of a cave, and being consumed with the delusion that shadows are real.

Plato's Cave offers the glimpse of redemption, of rising above the lower self and finding True Reality.

Then, the very dark "Lost Days". We hear the soft, tormented tones, and listen to lyrics of haunted days and nights, during which the obsessed lover finds only "your damned soul" while seeking freedom from that obsessive love.

And, the finale, "Canis Majoris". KARMAMOI offers us no neat, quick fix to the challenge- what of human failure?

Canis Majoris again has the sardonic vocal style, at first the music is slow, then grand, and back again. The lyricist poses the tortured question, "Am I mad?" and suggests, "What you hunt is wrong"- what you seek is misguided.

Canis Majoris is a hypergiant red star, which according to astronomers is in the grand, painful process of death over many millennia. The tune slows almost to a stop, then reignites, only to end once and for all.

Thus we are led along this path from enormity to enormity, from star to star, the stars of destiny.

KARMAMOI have crafted a lovely, thought-provoking album filled with layers of meaning, and fine artistry. Once again I am reminded why I am a "Progressive Rock Fanatic".

 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 16 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.

 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 16 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!

 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 16 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

 Odd Trip by KARMAMOI album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.28 | 16 ratings

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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.

Thanks to andy webb for the artist addition.

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