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Mosaico biography
Originating from Grosseto back in 2000, the main core of Italian band MOSAICO consisted of singer and lyricist Enrico Nesi and percussionist Simone Batignani who came together with the intention of mixing the Italian canzone d'autore (singer-songwriter) tradition with other genres and Seventies influences. Following some demos and line-up changes, the band fully turned their attention to Italian progressive rock in 2009, and 2014 finally saw the release of a self-recorded debut album entitled `Vola'.

With great emphasis on rich charismatic vocals and poetic lyrics full of vivid imagery, `Vola' will greatly appeal to fans of the romantic flavours of Locanda delle Fate's debut album, the lurking danger of Biglietto per L'Inferno, the dreamer keyboard sounds of Murple and some of the galloping energy of Premiata Forneria Marconi. A strong balance of uplifting and dramatic moments are presented by way of Moog, Hammond and church organ blending with accordion and a ravishing mix of acoustic and electric guitars, for an album that combines singer-songwriter sensibilities with elements of folk, gothic and classical flair.

Debut albums and modern RPI bands don't come much more exotic and sophisticated than MOSAICO!

Bio by Michael H (Aussie-Byrd-Brother) and Andrea Parentin.

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4.04 | 9 ratings

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 Vola by MOSAICO album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.04 | 9 ratings

Mosaico Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mosaico come from Grosseto and their roots date back to 2000 when the first nucleus of the band was formed on the initiative of singer and lyricist Enrico Nesi and percussionist Simone Batignani with the aim of blending the tradition of Italian canzone d'autore from the seventies with other genres and influences. After some demos and line up changes, in 2009 the musical direction of the band turned to Italian progressive rock with a renewed repertoire. In 2014 they finally recorded and self-released an interesting debut album entitled Vola with a line up featuring Enrico Nesi (vocals), Cristian Dima (bass), Nicola Cambri (synth, Hammond, Mellotron, Rhodes, accordion), Alessandro Capanni (drums), Simone Batignani (congas, bongos, udu, jamblocks, cymbals, shaker) and Fabrizio Biscontri (electric and acoustic guitars). It's an excellent album of "prog cantautorale" with a great emphasis on lyrics, almost a collection of poems dressed up in progressive rock with influences ranging from Van der Graaf Generator and King Crimson to Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Premiata Forneria Marconi. This is not a concept album but in some way all the tracks have a common thread that is depicted in the art cover by Mario Bambagini, "Grande apertura" (Big opening), that symbolizes the need to find a way through a dark corridor to see the light.

The opener "Vola" (Fly), features a surreal, mystic atmosphere. It's a reflective piece where life is compared to a light leaf sailing on a river that flows from the mountains to the sea. The leaf can fall or soar like a butterfly but it can float and fly only when pushed by water and wind. The river carries everyone on its waters towards the sea, where all the waters get mixed, where life ends and there's no more pain...

The dark "Il bivio" (The crossroad) is a kind of psychedelic waltz that draws visionary, apocalyptic sceneries and invites you to wake up and make up your mind: the world is changing, the time of playing is over and your road has come to a crossroad... Law and justice are at odds, will you continue to accept passively what you are told or will you stand up and fight against your fate, shooting at the sky?

"Il critico, il profano e l'artista" (The critic, the profane and the artist) recalls Fabrizio De Andrč and is a melancholic reflection about the role that art plays in a man's life. There's no rule to capture its spirit, no way to invent a method to brew emotions, you have to heed the call of your heart and forget everything else. We might be equals in front of the law, but art make us different, special beings...

"Il nuovo potere" (The new power) is an amazing track that starts by church like organ waves and marching beats. It conjures up the images of a war that is in the meantime metaphorical and real. The power of media is overwhelming but your mind begins to wake up and you're experiencing new emotions, what you are told is not what you feel and tonight your war has begun...

"Questa santa umanitą" (This holy humanity) is a caustic ballad with a nice Mediterranean flavour that starts by accordion and strummed acoustic guitar. It's a song against false honesty and the mirages conjured up by a holy humanity made of hypocrites and charlatans, against people who resemble to a herd of empty idealists wasting their breath...

"Materia e vita" (Matter and life) is an excellent track full of energy and irony that thunders words against materialism and consumerism with a particular poetical strength. Open your heart and you will attend a bold search for space that can even stop the hands of a clock and make time stand still...

"Lenti passi" (Slow steps) features the female backing vocals of the guest Lorenza Baudo and deals with the madness of war. Imagine the sound of leaves under marching boots, the slow steps of an army on its way to the front, then shimmering lights on the horizon and the thunder of a hundred cannons... Look at what a man can do! Old preachers, merchants of souls and politicians, listen to the families broken by hunger and pain... What we really need in this world is nothing but love!

The swinging "Sopravvivere" (To survive) is lighter and features another guest, Aldo Milani, on sax. It ends the album inviting you to open the gates of your heart leaving the shelters you metaphorically built to protect yourself from the outside world...

On the whole, this is an interesting album from a very promising band. You can listen to the complete album on bandcamp... So, have a try and judge by yourselves!

 Vola by MOSAICO album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.04 | 9 ratings

Mosaico Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars Combining a strong mix of canzone d'autore (singer-songwriter) tradition with lush vintage RPI qualities, Italian band Mosaico deliver their debut album fourteen years after forming back in 2000. Driven by Enrico Nesi's charismatic voice delivering beautifully poetic words and an ocean of dreamy vintage keyboards that will make many listeners recall Italian symphonic proggers Murple, `Vola' is one of the most special recent Italian progressive albums. Everything from folk, gothic, classical and Mediterranean touches are woven through so many seamless direction changes, yet this album always remains focused and melodic, and a prominent use of accordion adds a lavish sophistication to the results.

With Nicola Cambri's glistening electric piano, whirring Moog, enticing hand-percussion, seductively murmuring thick bass and Enrico's melancholic croon, the opening title track races through tempo changes back and forth with energetic purpose. The more brisk moments of P.F.M-like bursts bristle with danger, while some rollicking guitar passages come across like a more controlled Biglietto per L'Inferno. `Il Bivio' is driven by gothic church organ prances and very mellow, dreamy Moog runs, `Il Critico, Il Profano, I'Artista' is a melancholic folk ballad where Nicola's accordion weaves between gentle acoustic guitar and delicate Mellotron veils, and the frantic `Il Nuovo Potere' pirouettes through an exhausting variety of dizzying instrumental displays fuelled by Alessandro Capanni's snappy drumming, snarling bass and spirited guitar behind Enrico's rapid-fire vocal deliveries.

`Questa Sunta Umanitį' is a Mediterranean flavoured folk ballad with acoustic guitar, joyous accordion and Simone Batignani's tabla-like percussion that still manages a sprightly energy, and some foot-tapping darker grooves infiltrate `Materia e Vita' through devilish organ runs and Fabrizio Biscontri's wilder guitar outbursts for a touch more gothic malevolence. `Lenti Passi' is a warm accessible tune with a stirring male/female chorus over Cristian Dima's purring slinking bass, and there's even the lightest of sly reggae flavours to the verses! Album closer `Sopravvivere' will prove a little more divisive, a jaunty and bouncier little funky jazz/pop finale, Aldo Milani's sultry but dirty wafting sax playing with a Gong-like darker mischief.

While some of `Vola's more swooning moments will appeal to lovers of Locanda delle Fate's debut album due to the similar romantic vocals and uplifting, magical instrumental qualities, there's a welcome hint of Biglietto per L'Inferno-like danger permeating many of the compositions. Yet despite the couple of influences mentioned here, and plenty of characteristics that align the band with classic vintage Italian prog, the band don't sound like any other RPI band and have their own unique personality. The balance between singer-songwriter passages and rich instrumental elegance from this group of talented musicians means `Vola' is one of the most strikingly exotic and exceptionally confident modern RPI releases, and it also sets an impossibly high standard for a debut album than many other Italian progressive groups should take note of!

Four stars - well done Mosaico!

Thanks to aussie-byrd-brother for the artist addition.

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