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Ballettirosadimacchia - Ballettirosadimacchia CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.60 | 20 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
2 stars Every once in a while in musical history, a group of musicians get together under a fictitious setting and create music under rather dubious purposes. While some bands like Spinal Tap or The Residents let you in on the joke, others like Germany's Cosmic Jokers tried to pull a fast one by releasing music without the musicians' permission. There are many examples of dubious authenticity of music released over the decades but one of the strangest comes from this bizarre band that called themselves BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA which remains as mysterious as the assassination of Salvatore Giuliano or the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini. These are unsolved cases in Italian history and this sole album to have emerged from this so-called Italian band can be added to that list.

While musically coming off as a rather generic example of early 70s Italian symphonic prog, the eponymous album was printed in Canada with a German producer cited. While sung entirely in Italian, the lyrics exude a ridiculous unauthentic accent and it's been speculated that this was actually a Japanese band that recorded these under the fictitious Italian identities of Tonino Leo Ucchi (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, flute, keyboards), Antonio Sassada (guitar), Gianni Mazzi (keyboards) and Marcello Taddeo Matteotti (drums, percussion, keyboards.) The band name seems to be a composite of "Balleti Rosa Di Macchia) and the liner notes, track titles and lyrics have a multitude of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. It is not even really known for sure when this one came out. The album itself claims it was released in 1974 but there is no record of its existence until the late 80s or early 90s. Hmmm.

Musically speaking this is a rather meh version of Italian prog from the era with absolutely nothing really standing out. It is of the usual romantic pastoral symphonic prog template that most Italian bands at least partially implemented in their complex journeys into the prog world but BALLETTIROSADIMACCHIA deliver all these aspects in a rather undynamic fashion. Sounding most similar to the mellower moods of Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, the band exhibit heavy mellotron fueled prog that utilizes lots of organ, acoustic guitars and tag along percussive drive. The vocalist is clearly not up to the task of belting out a well delivered operative vocal performance that retains a sense of self-control and passionate romanticism that was so prevalent in the early Italian scene but does get the job done. The music is pretty much on simmer throughout its run with only a scant few outbreaks into a more rock oriented oomf.

This one has commanded a hefty price in its day by posing as a super rare artifact from the past and i have to admit that the production and overall feel do nail the 1974 timeline down perfectly despite its rather blah roster of compositions. The music isn't bad per se but compared to the legions of talented bands that pumped out some of the best progressive music of the 70s, this is rather embarrassing and just when i thought that it wasn't possible for this style of music to be performed in a substandard manner, i'm reminded that no matter where or when this emerged, it is still an example of imitators not even coming close to the fine tuned perfection of the masters of the genre. This one remains an interesting outlier in the prog world simply because of the mystery that surrounds it, but as an example of great Italian symphonic prog it is really of no interest whatsoever as even the worst of the greats like PFM, Banco and Le Orme blows this away.

siLLy puPPy | 2/5 |


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