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A journey through the Italianprog scene

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Finnforest View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2010 at 15:55
Cool Andrea, thanks for the new leads!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2010 at 04:15
OUT OF FASHION ?!
 
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DÉMODÉ are a young band from Udine. They are proud of their classical roots but open to contaminations with folk and jazz. Their name means out of fashion but, despite the name, their music sounds sparkling and fresh...
 
 
 
You can listen to their first EP just clicking HERE
 
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More info about the band:
 
 
 
 


Edited by andrea - February 14 2010 at 04:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2010 at 08:53
Very very nice!Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2010 at 14:26
PROG & CLASSICAL...
 
QUASAR LUX SYMPHONIAE are another band from Friuli. They have been active since 1976 and their style is strongly influenced by classical music. Their last album, Synopsis was released in 2009 and can be purchased from the official website. Here you can watch an interview with the band, in Italian but with English subtitles:
 
 
If you visit Italy don't forget to go to some classical music concerts... Well, QLS’s leader Paolo Paroni  is also a classical musician and an orchestra director that here you can appreciate in a different setting:
 
 
 
 
 
More info:
 
Quasar Lux Symphoniae official website: http://www.qlsprog.com/en
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2010 at 10:39
CLASSICAL & PROG (METAL!)
 
From Udine to Trieste  and to other suggestive settings for some classical concerts...
 
 
 
Did you recognize the flutist? He’s Manuel Staropoli, brother of Alex, keyboardist of the prog metal band from Trieste RHAPSODY (OF FIRE). Manuel plays flute and recorders on all Rhapsody of Fire’s albums and here you can watch him with the band live on stage:
 
 
Usually Rhapsody Of Fire name Angelo Branduardi among their influences... Comparing these videos you can guess why!
 
 
 
Manuel Staropoli’s MySpace:  http://www.myspace.com/manuelstaropoli
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2010 at 09:16
DANGEROUS KISSES FROM PERUGIA...
 
Perugia is a beautiful city full of art and history but nowadays it is best known for a mysterious crime that continues to make the highlights of the newspapers, the Murder of Meredith Kercher. Perhaps it’s not by chance that from here come an excellent dark prog band like IL BACIO DELLA MEDUSA (MySpace) whose name recalls the mythological character of Medusa but also the effects of a meeting with a Jellyfish (the Italian word for Jellyfish is Medusa).
 
Il Bacio della Medusa project was started in 2002 by Simone Cecchini (MySpace - vocals, 6 & 12 acoustic guitar, mandolin, charango), Federico Caprai (MySpace - bass) and Diego Petrini (MySpace - drums, organ, keyboards, piano, vibraphone, percussion). In December 2003 Simone Brozzetti (MySpace - guitar) and Eva Morelli (MySpace - flute) joined the band and in 2004 they released their  eponymous debut album (the album was re-released in 2008 by Black Widow Records and it is available now also on vinyl). The beautiful art cover painted by Federico Caprai tries to describe the content and the mood of the album: dark and poetical lyrics, an intersting mix of progressive, hard rock and classical music that reminds me every now and again of bands like Biglietto Per l’Inferno, BMS and Jethro Tull...
 
 
The opener “Requiem per i condannati a morte" begins with an uneasy sound of greedy crows waiting for the hangman’s duty... On heavy guitar riffs, filtered vocals describe the dismay of people sentenced to death by hanging, people without dreams and with the fear into the blood, desperate eyes gazing from shady prisons, “damned souls sold out to justice”... Then the tension melts in an acoustic ballad (A post mortem dream: end of a winter) where a deep sense of pity prevails: “At least let the ground receive our humble bones”...
 
 
Next comes “Orientoccidente”, almost an electric dream on the footsteps of Marco Polo with an “Eastern air in Western ground” feeling, featuring interesting bass lines and guitar riffs...
 
 
The long epic “Scorticamento di Marsia” is probably the “plat de résistance” of this work. It was inspired by the myth of the satyr Marsyas, great flutist who challenged   Apollo in a music contest and was punished by the god with death by flaying. “Let the wind blow in my flute / That now lies on the ground”... The track features many changes or rhythm and mood with an excellent work of flute and sax (provided by the guest musician Angelo Petri) and inspired theatrical vocal parts...
 
Good also the next track “Il vino (breve delirio del vino)”, where an evocative accordion sound and the lyrics remind me of some Baudelaire’s “maudits” poems about the consolatory powers of wine for desperate people...  
 
The “baroque” ballad “Cantico del poeta errante” is another excellent track in three parts with the flute in the forefront and inspired vocals, while the long finale “De luxuria, et de ludo, et de taberna” is a tribute to the Italian poet Cecco Angiolieri and is built upon one of his poems...
 
 
In 2007 the band, with a new member in the line up, Daniele Rinchi (MySpace – violin, viola), released a wonderful concept album inspired by the dark story of Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, Discesa agl'inferi d'un giovane amante, where the music flows away in a long suite for almost an hour without breaks, with sudden changes of rhythm and atmosphere... The two main characters were portrayed by the poet Dante Alighieri in his “Divina Commedia” but Dante’s poetry is only the starting point from where the band develops a very original musical and poetical journey...
 
 
The opener “Preludio: il trapasso” describes in music and words the moment when Paolo’s soul leaves his mortal body and begins the journey towards hell... “Look at my body / It lies bloodless on the ground... Heavy boats sail towards hell / The air is burning upon me / In the silence I’m looking for you...”.
 
Delicate and expressive piano, flute and violin passages are the ideal background for Simone Cecchini’s passionate vocals evoking a love stronger than death and that sound even more dramatic in the following “Confessione d’un amante” (Confession of a lover)... “Into the crowd we’re looking for each other / But the dark is between us.... Francesca I love you for this eternity / At length the light will come even into this dark caves / Let the trumpets blare / The beast is snarling upon us”...
 
 
The instrumental “La bestia ed il delirio” (The beast and the delirium) marks a change of mood, the rhythm goes up and there is room for fiery organ solos, heavy guitar riffs and “infernal dances” led by violin and flute... Then a marching beat introduces “Recitativo: è nel buio che risplendono le stelle” where the voice of Simone Cecchini describes an infernal landscape with bent trees dripping blood... “The scream of the man by now lies defeated on the ground / All I can do is gather my shadow / Like an old worn and stinking coat fallen down behind me... Oblivion is the cancer of knowledge... It’s in the dark that lies the magic of every light / It’s in the dark that the stars shine...”
 
In “Ricordi del supplizio” (Souvenirs of the torment) a flute “à la Jethro Tull” and a mellow rock sound underline the expression of rage against the murderer... “I remember the violence of my death / His breath upon my neck...”. Then “Nostalgia, pentimento e rabbia” (Nostalgia, repentance and rage) lead to the instrumental “Sudorazione a freddo sotto il chiaro di luna”, where “the blood runs cold under the moonlight”...
 
 
In Melencolia (Melancholy) a soaring feeling of nostalgia comes on the wings of beautiful notes of flute veined of exotic echoes... “Once I caught a prohibited apple / A bit couldn’t stop my hunger / I drank from a springing wine source / A sip couldn’t stop my thirst... Why on earth when I thought to love / A day like another the blade of a dagger / Led me back into the ground...”
 
 
The last tracks are almost completely instrumental and, in a crescendo of emotions, lead to an amazing and dramatic finale for this journey towards hell of a young lover, carried away by the hot wind that benumbs his limbs... “E fu allora che dalle fiamme mi sorprese una calda brezza celeste”, “Nosce te ipsum: la bestia ringhia in noi”, “Corale per messa da requiem” and “Epilogo: conclusione della discesa agl’inferi d’un giovane amante” are the perfect conclusion for a flawless album.
 
You can find a translation of the lyrics clicking HERE.
 
You can find an interview with the band clicking HERE
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2010 at 02:55
PURE ITALIAN FANTASY FROM TOSCANA...
 
FANTASIA PURA ITALIANA (that means pure Italian fantasy) are a young band from Prato blending Italian melody, rock and poetry. Some of their pieces are interesting and in my opinion deserve some attention...
 
 
 
 
More info:
 
 
Facebook: http://it-it.facebook.com/pages/Fantasia-Pura-Italiana/277821934023

Edited by andrea - February 21 2010 at 04:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ANDREW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2010 at 06:52
near city of LA SPEZIA come ANCESTRY (MySpace)!!!
 
I live in La Spezia and i know that band, i own a copy of their debut, good album!!!
 
FORZA SPEZIA!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2010 at 10:38
MAXOPHONE ARE BACK!
 
MAXOPHONE reformed in 2008 and now are looking forward to play live. The 2010 line up features founder members SERGIO LATTUADA (keyboards, vocals) and ALBERTO RAVASINI (acoustic guitar, keyboards, lead vocals) plus MARCO CROCI (bass, vocals), CARLO MONTI (drums, percussion, vibraphone, violin) and MARCO TOMASINI (electric guitar, vocals). I’ve stumbled by chance on this message on an Italianprog forum where they ask for HELP... Is there anybody interested to organize a concert featuring Maxophone? Well, contact them! They are ready for a Spring and Summer 2010 tour.
 
By the way, if you don’t know who Maxophone are, this a retrospective of the band:
 
Maxophone were formed in 1972 by six excellent young musicians who were able to blend rock with jazz and classical influences in a very personal way... Their music was well performed and rich in ideas but they were only able to release one eponymous album before they split up on account of the financial troubles of their label. The lyrics of the album were not written by the members of the band but by some “friend-lyricists” who helped them to describe in words what they were trying to describe with notes and the overall result was definitely good...
 
 
The opener “C'è un paese al mondo” (There’s a country in the world) is introduced by a piano pattern and features many changes of rhythm... Good vocals and evocative lyrics draw images of a fantastic country that “grows in the mind upon equality roots”, “without thieves of truth”, where “freedom dances”... The music keeps on swinging from classical to rock to jazz almost giving a sense of harmonic utopia... Here you can watch the band perform this track live on Italian TV in 1976:
 
 
“Fase” is an excellent instrumental track where the members of the band showcase their great musicianship performing a well balanced blending of jazz, rock and classical influences...
 
 
“Al mancato compleanno di una farfalla” (To the missed birthday of a butterfly) features a good classical guitar intro that leads to a bittersweet and romantic atmosphere... The song is about the quest for ideals... In the lyrics dreams and the struggle for a better world are compared to the flight of a butterfly: “The butterfly goes / It shines of freedom / It swings and goes further / Next year what will remain of its colours? / Other butterflies will take its colours and will be flying in its place... If my strength to go further will fail at length / Take my colours and keep on going / By yourself,  without me!”.
 
 
Organ and soaring desperate vocals drawing the image of an attack in the street for political reasons introduce “Elzeviro”, a song that evokes the “leaden atmosphere” of political confrontation in Italy during the Seventies and its “long hours” full of blind hatred... “They’ve fixed me / Six against one / Convulsions of a power / That is crumbling by now...”. Good track where the music gives a sense of tension and impending drama...
 
 
The intro of the oneiric “Mercanti di pazzie” (Merchants of follies) is taken from Paul Hindemith’s Harp Sonata. The music is evocative and leads you into an “artificial” dreamy mood but, in my opinion, here the lyrics are not as inspired as in the other tracks...
 
 
The long finale “Antiche conclusioni negre” is a kind of tribute to black music (jazz and gospel) and features “a trumpet screaming new truths” and an Italian “gospel finale”. An excellent track concluding an excellent album...
 
 
The re-release on CD features two bonus tracks, the interesting “Il fischio del vapore” and the weak “Cono di gelato”...
 
 
On the whole, “Maxophone” is a great album, released by a band that deserved more luck... Anyway, although the album didn’t have the success it deserved in 1975, as years passed by it has become a “cult one” for progressive fans and I think it’s a must for every prog collector...
 
In 2005 was released “From Cocoon To Butterfly”, a special deluxe box set including a CD with 10 vintage tracks recovered from outtakes and alternate demo material from 1973-1976, plus a DVD with live footage from a 1976 concert at RAI studios in Torino. The booklet is very rich, including old pictures of the band, a complete biography and detailed information about the content of CD and DVD (in Italian and English).
 
All the recordings on the CD have been carefully remastered but even a good remastering can’t perform miracles when the sources are demos or home-made recordings... Nonetheless you can find here four very interesting tracks that have never appeared before... Particularly good are the opening track “Kaleidophonia”, a long instrumental where the band showcase their great musicianship blending classical influences and jazz, and “Dadaida”. Both these tracks were written for a second album that was never completed and although they’re just demos, the recording quality is good. “L’isola” and “Il lago delle ninfee” are good tracks that didn’t find room on their “official album” and it’s a pity that the sound quality of the original tapes was so poor... The other six tracks are just unreleased alternative versions of material originally released on their eponymous album in 1975.
 
 
 
The DVD footage was professionally filmed by Italian TV in 1976 and has a bonus video track of the re-formed Maxophone in 2005, playing one live track at Radio Popolare studios in Milan, an instrumental version of “Mercanti di pazzie”. The DVD also includes bonus features, such as interviews with all the members of the band (an English translation is available). The quality of the video is really good. Maxophone were one of the most interesting “one shot bands” of the Italian progressive scene in the Seventies. As you can read on the booklet, “Maxophone’s first and only album matured over the years like a bottle of expensive wine, becoming exquisite in taste and has gradually gained prestige”. This work is complementary to that album and its aim is to give a full overview of the band’s activity...
 
More info and contacts:
 
Official website:  http://www.maxophone.it/
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2010 at 14:19
CINE-CONCERTI...
 
In these days  RanestRane are performing a new rock opera, a cine-concerto inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining. Here you can watch some videos taken from a concert in Nepi.
 
 
 
 
You don’t know who are Ranestrane? Well, RANESTRANE are an Italian prog band from Rome that was formed in 1996. The aim of the musicians involved in this project was to compose and perform a “rock-opera”, so they chose a famous Werner Herzog’s film, “Nosferatu the Vampyre”, and commented it with music and original lyrics. They started their live activity in 2000 and conceived their shows as a “cine-concerto”, with the images of Werner Herzog’s film flowing in the background. In 2006 they released their rock opera on a self-produced studio double album, Nosferatu il vampiro...
 
  
  
In 2005 another (prog) rock opera about vampires was released by PFM, and a comparison is due...
 
 
 
 
In my opinion both works mix prog elements with a strong melodic flavour and are in some way complementary: if you like the subject matter and PFM’s “Dracula” I’m sure you will love this good and elaborate work by Ranestrane too. “Nosferatu il Vampiro” is conceived like a long suite in two parts that can be appreciated also without images. The music flows steady without really weak moments alternating changes of rhythm and gloomy atmospheres to light and intense melodies. The beautiful art cover reproduces a painting by Caspar David Friedrich called Cloister Cemetery in the Snow and it perfectly fits the overall mood of the album. Vocal parts featuring original lyrics are intertwined with fragments of the film dialogues that contribute to keep up the tension... “I had a dream my love / But it’s so strange / That I cannot remember it”...
 
You can listen to the complete album on last.fm, just click HERE and HERE
 
By the way, RanestRane’s multinstrumentist and composer Riccardo Romano started also a melodic progressive side project called MAREDELNORD...
 
 
 
 
Here you can watch Riccardo Romano playing mandolin with Steve Hogart...
 
 
 
More info:
 
RANESTRANE
 
Official website: http://www.ranestrane.com/
 
 
 
 
MAREDELNORD:
 
Official website:  http://www.maredelnord.it/
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2010 at 11:49
THE (DARK) LIGHT OF A NEW DAWN...
 
 
 
TEARS OF OTHILA are a dark “neo-folk” project from Genova that should be of some interest for folk-prog lovers... In 2008 they released Renaissance!, their debut album for ARK Records
 
More info:
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2010 at 11:54
Cool, Grazie for the new "friend" Andrea!
 
People may not realize that along with the vibrant RPI scene, Italy boasts a very deep well of folk and electronica/trance/psych groups, I run into them all the time. 
 
Smile
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The people on the street have all seen better times"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2010 at 16:05
BREAKTHROUGH FROM HELL...
 
 
The track performed above is called “Evasione dagl’inferi” that means "Breakthrough from Hell", by Ethn’n’roll, a young band from Potenza that was formed in 2009. They blend Mediterranean influences with committed lyrics and a strange Oriental taste led by ukulele, bass and percussion...
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by andrea - February 26 2010 at 16:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote memowakeman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2010 at 17:36
You are awesome Andrea, love several of the videos you have posted!!

Follow me on twitter @memowakeman
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2010 at 09:13
IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO AND THE ORGANIZED DELIRIUM
 
A book + CD about Il Balletto di Bronzo and its masterpiece Ys was published in 2009, Il Balletto di Bronzo e l'idea del delirio organizzato, by Gianmaria Consiglio
 
For more info about the book click here and send an e-mail to the author.
 
Facebook:  link
Gianmaria Consiglio’s MySpace:  link
 
The included CD features live tracks by Il Balletto di Bronzo and Gianni Leone recorded between 2001 and 2008 and some unreleased track recorded by Gianni Leone between 1985 and 1987, for more than 68 min. total length... Well, Gianni Leone reformed the band some years ago with a new line up and is still active on stage...
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actually, on the first listening you could find “Ys” a little bit boring… Foggy lyrics that draw dreadful images, gloomy vocals, anguish and fear dropping out every now and again… “A man is there with his face down / The ivy already covers his body / Black is the blood / On the wounds of his torn ears”… Definitely a hunting and dark mood hanging over the whole album. If you’re looking for something relaxing probably it’s better avoid it… But if you’re more patient I’m sure that you’ll find that the music is rather good… Gianni Leone is a very skilled musician with a solid classical background… Lyrics are not the strength of this album, but here vocals are more like an instrument interacting with the band to stir emotions… There are many changes of rhythm, wonderful keyboards and guitar solos, powerful bass lines and drumming, you can find here many influences blended together in a very interesting and personal way, from classical to jazz, from avant-garde to hard rock… All in all no wonder if many people love this work! And no wonder if Gianni Leone do not love this album anymore: he seems like a prisoner of “Ys” and after this album his inspiration almost run over… “And the darkness around him / Then was inside him…”…
   
Il Balletto di Bronzo MySpaces:
 
Un-official website:  http://web.tiscali.it/ysland/
 
 


Edited by andrea - December 27 2010 at 15:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2010 at 09:18
Boring?????   Never i say!!!  Wink

Nice work on these video montages man.  My only complaint about all these great Italian books that keep coming out is that there are no English versions.   There have been several lately.  I know it is expensive to do an English edition but I'm sure there is a hungry RPI fan base out there who would buy them. 

I'm gonna have to write my own I guess....LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Todd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2010 at 21:00

Andrea's and Jim's blogs are perfect examples of how to do it!  Bravo!  Clap

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 28 2010 at 08:00
A FRESH DROP OF WATER IN THE PROG STREAM...
 
 
 
CLAN BANLIEUE are a young and fresh prog band from Cori (view), in the Province of Latina...
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andrea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2010 at 08:18
BLADE RUNNER: ANOTHER PROG CINE-CONCERTO
 
Did you enjoy the post about RanestRane? Well, if you did I’m sure you’ll love this one too...
 
MEMORIA are a prog rock band from Roma that was formed in 1991 on the initiative of guitarist Marco Spatuzzi (MySpace).  In 2004 they tried to comment with notes and words Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner, from the science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? ...
 
 
 
 
 
More info about MEMORIA:
 
Official website:  http://bladerunnerrock.com/
 
 
By the way, Memoria’s bass player Gianfranco Vigneri is also involved in an another melodic prog rock project called COLMENA...
 
Official website:  http://www.colmena.it/


Edited by andrea - March 01 2010 at 08:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 01 2010 at 08:50
Nice stuff.  I like the Colmena project too.  The keys add so much to their sound as opposed to just going with the basic rock package.  
"Have you ever seen a squonk's tears? Well, look at mine
The people on the street have all seen better times"
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