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Hunka  Munka - Foreste Interstellari CD (album) cover


Hunka Munka


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.06 | 10 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars HUNKA MUNKA is the nickname of keyboard player, vocalist and composer Roberto Carlotto from Varese. He released his only (until 2021) album as Hunka Munka titled Dedicato a Giovanna G. in 1972. I wasn't familiar with it, but had a quick listening from YouTube. It resembles the pop-era APHRODITE'S CHILD: melodic, organ-heavy and with vocals comparable to Demis Roussos. Seemingly it's not a progressive rock classic, rather a curiosity with a charmingly dated sound. After that album Carlotto joined Dik Dik in 1973, and in 1984 he released an electronic album Promise of Love under the name Karl Otto. And in the early years of this Millennium he started collaborating with another keyboardist, Joey Mauro, with whom he revitalized the Hunka munka moniker. Foreste Interstellari, released by Black Widow, is the fruit of their collaboration.

I believe that for those who have known Dedicato a Giovanna G. for a long time this new album will be of greater interest, helped by the nostalgia factor. As a newcomer to the artist I am not very enthusiastic. The spirit of the album is bold, energetic and hard rocking in a bit naive way. Most of the songs are in a fast tempo with vintage-sounding organ shamelessly leading the show, something like Keith Emerson and Jon Lord combined, but missing the clearly symphonic structures. Carlotto's Roussos-like vocals are still distinctive. The band features younger men (and Alice Castagnole as a backing vocalist) who do their jobs well. The rhythm section of bassist Andreas Eckbert and drummer Marcantonio Quinto is very powerful, and Gianluca Quinto throws some sharp electric guitar soli.

But I feel that the album is somewhat single-minded. That is, the songs with vocals resemble each other quite a lot. There are several instrumental tracks that are in turn more sketchy and peaceful in mood. They certainly help the album avoid being stuffy and too samey as a whole. 'La Solitudine delle Stelle' (= The solitude of stars) is a moody and romantic little piece in which Alice's angelic vocalising and synths are seamlessly tied together. 'L'Uomo dei Trenini' (I guess it means The man of trains) features a slow melody for synth backed by steam train sound effects, and 'I Cancelli di Andromeda' is a more upbeat prog instrumental with electric guitar and synth solos reminiscent of Fish-era Marillion - plus the organ of course. These three pieces are composed by Mauro. The last mentioned is maybe my favourite track, but all in all this album is just "good, but non-essential", three stars.

Matti | 3/5 |


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