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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 15 2011 at 05:04

Ske is a new band from Italy with connections to Yugen. They have just released their wonderful 1000 Autunni album and I caught up with Paolo for the Ske story.

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When, where and by whom was your band born ? Did any of you, past and present members, play in any other bands before joining up in your band ? Why did you choose that name and which bands were you influenced by ?

First of all i am a progressive rock fan. I dig a moltitude of things in music and i found myself attracted by this kind of music since high school. I re-discovered palying music thanks to this, or maybe it's the other way around, i'm not even sure. Anyways I've been toying about releasing some of my compositions for quite a lot of time, but somehow i've never found the right people to do so, and i was very inexperienced on how the whole disk-making process could actually happen. So i joined another band, and stole them all those secrets only to come back to my original project. LOL! Not entirely true, but not that false either. Actually i gladly joined Yugen in 2005 to record its debupt album "Labirinto d'acqua", not knowing this would become my most important musical experiance till now. We recorded 3 albums and toured live with different formations in these last 6 years, playing a kind of music that to many sounds too different even for progrock standards. Parallel to that i toured with French TV on two european tours (2005 and 2008 IIRC) and recorded a couple of tunes on their #9 and #10 albums. After this last tour, in 2009 i sat down and said to myself:"Alright, it's my turn now". One year later, thanks to the production of Marcello Marinone and Francesco Zago of AltrOck, i had all the composition ready. Some musicians (mainly from Yugen and Kurai) i already knew i would have loved to work with and infact i wrote specifically for them, some other i found during tours (like Pierre and Fabrice from Camembert) or thanks to collaborations (like Nic from Ciccada) and i'm glad that such gifted musicians had this striking role in the music making of this album. The group name was the most logical choice as it's my nickname since i've started this progrock adventure back in high school, so there you go, no esoteric or deep the-reason-of-life meaning behind it. But the names of the bands that influenced me are way cooler, like Gentle Giant, Hatfield and the North, Henry Cow, King Crimson, Picchio dal Pozzo, Änglagård...i mean how can you beat that?




Over to your only album so far. Please tell us more about your 1000 Autunni album from earlier this year.

Given the complete lack of appeal and meaning of the band's name, i just HAD to come up with something smarter for the album name. So during one night of cartoon full-immersion (i'm a huge fan of animation, that being a part of my day job) i found this Yoji-jukugo: "one day, a thousand autumns" that reflected very well what i was feeling at the time about my music. It deals with a strong feeling of desire that somehow changes your perception of time passing by. How cool is that! So visually the most natural approach was to shot pictures that expressed this feeling, I got the chance to do so during an unusual instrument recording session in Presolana mountains with Jos Olivini, a lovely place blessed by a misty autumnal afternoon.
Sonically the album features a pretty wide -but not entirely uncommon- range of instruments, starting of course from my own personal fetish: analog vintage keyboards (Hammond, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, ARP, Farfisa, Mellotron blabla), to the more usual voice, el.guitar, drums and bass, to idiophones (vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel), clarinets, flute, saxes, trombone, violin, harp, grand piano, to some unusual ones like hang or rotative harp. I tried to use these different colours both "traditionally" and "over the edge" to seek for the uniqueness that only real instruments can give.

The music is a bit difficult to pinpoint. But your music is pretty close to what Picchio Dal Pozzo did. But how would you describe your music and which bands would you compare yourself to ?

The group's music was described as a meeting point between symph progrock and avant/rio music. I really didn't think too much on "what is this sounding like?" when composing, so i guess that's the reason why those "reference" points generally used to describe music in this case sometimes might work, but sometimes might be misleading. I've read reviews labelling the same tune this, that and the contrary of that. Overall i much prefer to describe the attitude behind the compositional choices that have been made, rather than the occasional meeting point with this or that band. Sometimes i started with very simple ideas and built a whole tune bulding from there, or i started with rigid numerical schematics, only to break them down when they were not leading towards the right direction. Some other times i had a mood and a kind of arrangment clear in my mind but i still didn't have the notes down, and in one case i even took some radical composition decision during the mix session. In some cases i used the classical modifications to build material (“Sotto sotto” main theme is a perfect palindrome for example, and there are a LOT of reflections as well in that song ), sometimes i used classical methods like canon while some other time i just jammed on grooves and took my material from there. I worked a lot on giving to the different approaches to rhythmic divisions and sub-divisions an almost-straight feel, so that the rythmic choices could be enjoyed both on a more superficial and on a deeper level without loosing the focus. So overall you can guess why it took me so long to finish out all the work, i had to find a different way to make it work for each composition, let alone the three "Scogli" which are actually children of the same mindset. And this lead to thrash a LOT of efforts before reaching the desired amount of material. In partial contradiction to what i just stated, i will say that i am happy that you spotted the Picchio dal Pozzo similarity, in fact i joined Picchio together with some other Yugen pal for a reunion concert at AltrOck08, and you can hear the result in the "A_live" album, out on AltrOck. So i guees some of their magic stayed with me, after all. Of course Yugen music had a huge influence on me as well, together with those classic 70's progbands and the Canterbury scene as well. I like em all, and i was happy to show it in my own way.

What have you been up to since the release of this album ?

i've been touring with Yugen, we have played at the famous Gouveia Art Rock festival in Portugal and at RIO fest in France. Meanwhile i've started to work on a new project that is still off the radars so i can't say much about it. I also started to rearrange SKE material for a possible live show, and i started to record some things for the upcoming Garamond album. I also got an interesting offer from another band to join, so stay tuned!

What is your plans for this year and beyond ?

well, it's our strong desire to have a live version of this band, but i also know this is only going to happen if some festival will be interested in having us perform there. That could be a solid starting point for planning some other smaller gigs around south Europe. I know that usually bands work the other way around, by starting with little gigs to end up at some big festival, but this is not the regular band made of friends who meet after school or work and try to do nice music together, this is more a collection of kindred souls that i felt had something worth being said altogether, not caring for logistic problems such as living hundreds of kilometers apart each other. Beside this, i already started to work on new material but as the result is too much similar to what we already said with "1000 Autunni", i think i will concentrate on some other project before, to make sure that i say something when i have something worth saying.

To wrap up this interview, is there anything you want to add to this interview ?

Yes, i'd like to thank each and every person that by buying albums supports the efforts to make music that does not help to pay bills, each of you is really important for us to survive as a band, so THANK YOU. I'm very glad we could make music in these times when we can get in touch with the whole world quite easily, i hope we can meet as many of you as possible in the future. Meanwhile, for comments and nice words you can reach me here: ske@progrock.com. For complaints, refunds or insults feel free to write me here: beatme@ashardasyoucan.com



Thank you for this interview

Their album is available from here and is streamed here

Their homepage is here



Edited by toroddfuglesteg - October 19 2011 at 07:59
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avestin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote avestin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2011 at 06:06
" Ske is a new band from Italy with connections to Yugen. They have just released their wonderful 1000 Autunni album and I caught up with Maurizio (??) for the Ske story."

His name is Paolo "Ske" Botta and that's his project and he composed the music.

Great to read this interview (hopefully, he gets added here soon). 1000 Autunni is one of my favourite albums of this year.




Edited by avestin - October 15 2011 at 06:07
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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote toroddfuglesteg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 15 2011 at 06:11
Mistake corrected. Thanx, Avestin ! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Quote porcyville1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2011 at 06:33
He is Paolo...not Paola....:)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2011 at 16:47
Thumbs Up
Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Conor Fynes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2011 at 17:42
I've seen this band on progstreaming, was surprirsed they weren't on PA when i first checked!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote porcyville1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2011 at 06:39
Originally posted by Conor Fynes

I've seen this band on progstreaming, was surprirsed they weren't on PA when i first checked!!


Me too...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2011 at 17:18
Congrats on the beautiful album, and thanks for the interview!  I see the group's cleared for addition now, just waiting for the final steps.  A no-brainer, in my opinion, that they should be here! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Quote BrufordFreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2011 at 15:35
My review is ready and waiting for the announcement of the band's inclusion here. Been checking multiple times a day for weeks now. GREAT album! Love all the AltrOck stuff!

Drew Fisher, Second Cloud on the Left Farm
La Farge, Wisconsin
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Post Options Post Options   Quote porcyville1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2011 at 04:31
no news about the inclusion here
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