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Nichelodeon - UKIYOE - Mondi Fluttuanti (with Insonar) CD (album) cover





4.27 | 27 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I have almost stopped writing reviews, but hearing that this album has achieved so few consensus has forced me in picking back my virtual pen and write few lines. Both NICHELODEON and INSONAR are projects lead by CLAUDIO MILANO, and after the 4cd boxset containing the previous works of the two bands grouped together, here we have the first step of what in future may be a single band.

UKIYOE is a Japanese graphic art, just google it to find some examples, the meaning is "Floating World" which is also the album's subtitle.

The album is opened by "Veleno"(Venom). It's about the frustration of a son who has to admit his failure in front of his parents, so painful to hope for a sudden death. What I initially wrongly interpreted as a reference to the "Opera" is instead musically inspired to the pre-baroque music with armonic influences from 20th Century athors like Satie, Ravel and in particular Romitelli, the artist who introduced electric guitar in the classical music. "Fi(j)¨ru d'Acqua" and "Marinaio" are based on vocals and also in this case there are references to contemporary classical music. Claudio Milano mentions Berio, Stravinskij, Schonberg and Ligeti but also Robert Wyatt as influences. A curiosity: the arrangements were obtained giving a mixer channel to each of the performers.

"Ohi MÓ" is a "Pizzica". A genre typical of the Southeast of Italy where Claudio is from. In this song we can hear the very high pitch of Dalila Kayros and one example of "Diplophony", the technique to sing two notes simutaneously which was explored by Demetrio Stratos. The lyrics are very tragic. Again, pain and death are the main theme. This time is a mother who is invoked as bringer of death other than life.

Claudio Milano describes the last two tracks as "explosions", with quotes from the Bible (ancient Testament). It's a mixture of vocals in all the possible expressions, including growling, falsetto, diplophony, ancient lyrical chant, and percussion, drones and industrial sounds.

In a mail conversation with Claudio, I told him that "MA(r)Le (Sea/Evil)" has given me sensations similar to Ummagumma (the studio album). Of course the track doesn't have much to do with Pink Floyd. The reference should be John Zorn, instead. What Claudio calles "Zornian magma" is then followed by a sort of improvisation for accordion, voice and violin then replaced by drones and guitar inspired to Pierre Schaeffer's "Musique Concrete".

Included in the package there's also a single: "Tutti I Liquidi Di Davide" (All the Davide's liquids). Liquids are intended as "movement". After the darkness and the drama of the album, this is a lighter song, with a touch of folk and a bit of optimism inside. It's in my opinion one of the songs in which Claudio Milano gives a demonstration of his vocal capabilities.

I must admit that I'm cheating a bit. I would have been unable to identify all the references to the contemporary and not, classical authors without Claudio's help, and I have omitted to mention those I've never heard up to now.

For whom is not familiar with avantgarde music, it's a challenging album, but not impossible to appreciate if you want to approach the genre and have enough patience to listen and relisten to it carefully enough. Pleasure requires effort.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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