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Daal - Navels Falling into a Living Origami CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 170 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars DAAL is the project of two established Italian prog musicians, Davide Guidoni (drums, percussion, soundscapes) and Alfio Costa (keyboards, piano, Mellotron). I've had the privilege to review their albums from 2012 onwards. Recently Daal released two albums. The other one is called Decalogue of Darkness, an instrumental suite divided in ten parts. Navels Falling into a Living Origami -- wow, what a title -- contains only one singular piece of music (49:27) in which the duo is accompanied by a bunch of guest musicians adding guitars, oud, bass, violin, and even a vocal section in the final minutes of the composition.

It's the third time I'm listening to the music as I write. On the very first listening I was deeply impressed and thought we're having a unique modern prog masterpiece here, an exciting, ambientish musical journey full of details and an intriguing spaceyness comparable to Pink Floyd and electronic-oriented artists such as Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. It's experimental, but not at all difficult to get into, at least for an advanced prog listener. On my second listening that soon followed the first one, I also had occasional feelings of "so, where's the next breath-taking turn?" Of course it's too early yet to say whether this music will 'grow on you' or will it lose some of its initial charm. But my guess is that by the time you have learned the hurriless nature of it and stopped expecting to be continuously blown away by dynamic changes, you already have formed a certain meaningful connection to the piece. The fact that there are no movement divisions on the disc underlines how one has to take it: as a whole, free-pulsating flow, preferably with meditative-like concentration. If you're doing lots of other things simultaneously, you're bound to lose the 'plot' here and there.

I'll pick some key moments along the way. The acoustic guitar & Mellotron duet following the rather atonal intro sounds great. Around the 6th minute comes very Floydian electric guitar (played by Lorenzo Fasanelli), reminiscent of the early parts of 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond', then there are some astronaut's voices. The more rhythmic section comes and goes. At 12:17 enters the violin (Mir Khista), the music dwelling into Eastern-influenced slow meditativeness. The listener can just float there, seeing individual inner movies. Again, things get slightly more intense for a while, but soon you're back into outer space with slow and delicate piano melody and bright synth decorations. This is among my favourite parts, some minutes before the exact half-way.

And so on for nearly 50 minutes. Sure, it demands a lot from the listener, and since quite often the music lingers on and on before the next dynamic change (which can be pretty delicate too; it's not what you'd call a 'rollercoaster prog-ride'), there may be some tired moments along the way. But what's most important, instead of just building layer upon layer of various musical ideas, the musicians leave a lot of space for the emotional impact, which of course is very subjective thing. Roughly six minutes from the finish begins the acoustically oriented, mellow final section featuring multi-layered vocals of Guglielmo Mariotti. Being deeply psychedelic it doesn't seem out of place in the whole. I'm not very far from giving this work the full rating. Perhaps I'd prefer slightly bigger dynamic shifts and also some faster sections among the ambience. Nevertheless, Navels Falling into a Living Origami is a unique piece of art to be dived into, with all your mind and heart!

Matti | 4/5 |


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