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Franco Battiato - Juke Box CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.96 | 16 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Can an Italian make Zeuhl? Listen to this album and you'll understand why I ask a question like this. This is a short album released in the middle of the 70s, during the period in which Battiato was more experimental, influenced by contemporary classic and minimalistic music, but respect to the two previous releases (and to the following one) it's more approachable.

Another remarkable thing is that this is the first album on which is credited the violinist Giusto Pio, somebody who will be fundamental in the huge commercial success that Battiato experimented in the early 80s.

The first track, "Campane"(Bells) features a soprano and sounds very Zeuhl, or at least chamber rock. I think there are many cntact points with Art Zoyd.

"Su Scale" is an experimental vocal work that reminds to the solo works of Demetrio Stratos, with overdubbed voices backed by piano and keyboards. The title is ambiguous as "scale" can mean both "stairs" or "musical scale". The outcome is sometimes similar to the traditional Sardinian chant "Tenores" but with a middle-eastern mood.

"Martyre Celeste" is a violin solo on which Giusto Pio puts all his skill. It's based on the harmonics of a single major chord and even with some variations can be intended as similar to Terry Riley's "In C", only very much shorter.

The B side is opend by "Hiver": Soprano and piano. Or better, soprano and some piano chords here and there. Another very experimental song. I find particularly pleasant the short French speech with a reverbered voice in the middle, like the Witch on Gong's Angel's Egg.

"Agnus" (means "lamb" in Latin) is another vocal experiment. Battiato sings with an altered voice a Catholic prayer in Latin with a quite melodic violin background, then soprano and piano make it a sort of classical piece, with the violin playing in a baroque style. The same style that Giusto Pio will use very often during the Battiato's pop period.

"Telegrafi" (Telegraphs) is opened by a challenging violin solo that probably tries to represent the morse code with notes played at different octaves. A minimalist track but try to imaginne Giusto Pio playing it without overdubs.

A good album for those interested in experimental things. Not for travelling by car.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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