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Area - Caution Radiation Area CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 195 ratings

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4 stars Caution Radiation Area is the second album from the Italian jazz-rock and avant-garde masters Area. The album maintains the drive and inspiration of the debut and expands it with some daring experimentation that brings them close to free jazz and avant-garde.

Just like its predecessor, Caution Radiation Area starts with a Middle Eastern tinged outburst of infectious dance rhythms and melodies. Given my huge love for Arabian scales and rhythms, Area scores easy points here. It quiets down during the middle section to make room for Demetrio Stratos' plaintive wail; the musical background during this part consists of dreamy guitar picking that gives it something of a kraut rock vibe.

After a short poem and sonic experimentation, ZYG presents a more rocking and psychedelic side of Area. Of course, this music is too imaginative to be pigeonholed into just one category. Before you know it, they've headed off into another space jazz jam. The second half shows traces of early VDGG piano and sax weirdness.

Like everything on this album, also Brujo radiates with creative energy. A hesitantly quiet jazzy intro soon gives way to noisy atonality and a groovy jazz rock improvisation with spectacular fretless bass and raging percussion and organs. Rest assured. This music is busy!

Mirage! takes a more arrhythmic and experimental start. Melody is entirely given up in favour for an insane and spooky texture, built around seemingly random percussion, cacophonously weeping violins and wind instruments. This will not be up everyone's alley but it's sure highly compelling. Before long, they allow the listener to relax with a more upbeat jazz rock part. The tonality is still rather weird but the energetic pace makes this piece easier to digest and cleverly avoids becoming too indulgent. Halfway in, it goes back to the earlier experimentation but slowly resolves into a next swinging conclusion.

The only track that doesn't make much sense to me is the 4 minutes album closer Lobotomia. It sounds like an electronic simulation of a tweeting tea-pot making spooky noises.

An amazing album, on the short side, but given the amount of ideas that this music is packed with, that shouldn't be much of an issue really.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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