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Art Fleury - I Luoghi del Potere  CD (album) cover


Art Fleury



3.19 | 17 ratings

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3 stars Astronaut radio one-on-one

Careful now! Coming out the RIO back-door, Art Fleury were one of those obscure little bands that started out as mere teens in the late 70s. These mad Italians actually toured with both Henry Cow and Italian madhatters Area back in the day, although this was before they got to record their first album. It was first in 1980 that this record saw the light of day, and whether they used all of their time begging for some studio time during punk and discos heyday - or just honed their skills and magical sorcery for the great big showdown - I honestly don't know.

What I do know is that you need to approach this album with care. As a matter of fact, if you shy away from music that just feels a tiny bit out of place, dissonant, quirky or detuned - then run away as fast as you can - real quick now!! Art Fleury are a strange band. They play an abnormally bizarre kind of RIO with musical jig saw pieces that don't necessarily fit together - dress them up in all kinds of electronic buzzing and eclectic sound bits - and whoops out comes this weird and totally unique sonic monster. It's bizarre, circus-like, occasionally rocking but not the way you think and at times wonderfully ambient and soaring.

Talking about this music is like reading David Hume to a 5 year old with a serious hearing deficit. I feel like a closed door - or some kind of awkward oyster who's battling its shut jaws - trying to express how much love its got for a bucket of the Atlantic Ocean. Arhh nuts - well anyway here goes nothing: To this humble listener it feels like musical montages created by crooked and bend pieces of sound - be that musical bits, radio broadcasts, field recordings, tape-loops, toy store gadgetry or a violent storm with thunder and lightning. In a strangely inharmonious meeting this album reflects on the RIO past of old with a monstrous way of cutting up music in uneven segments. Much of the time I've spent listening to this beast, I've felt like the only person on the planet who's managed to tap into the secret radio broadcast coming out of Saturn's rings. A bunch of Italian schizophrenic musicians/astronauts/radio-hosts out there in the emptiness of space have obviously been mixing the music backwards and in the wrong order - whilst their in house jam band is playing offbeat organ bits along with the star-struck space DJ who's bashing the radio percussion tap tap tapping away on the knobs and buttons like a disorientated beat-boxer.

Sometimes I get slow moving burial cortege music where the organ moans away like a rolling staircase of sadness. In the periphery of this I get wafting titbits of zooming radio segments, tape-loops and bizarre percussive splashes. It's like musical porridge - you know that sticky icky substance only conveyed in sound and sonic matter, but then out of the blue you hit a piece of chilli - or a piece of salt liquorice. Zing!

What I am trying to convey here is that you'd better be prepared for some genuine avant-garde music, before you decide to plunge into this bowl of porridge. This is the deep end folks and only for trained swimmers, but if you happen to adore the music of Henry Cow, John Cage and the experimentalism of Area's Maledetti, then you should definitely get your diving suit out. This is the bee's teeth and if you haven't yet gone a bit mental from all this prog rock, then I challenge you to sit through this one without thinking bizarre and strange thoughts about polar bears on stilts and just how many bananas it takes to kill a gibbon monkey.

Guldbamsen | 3/5 |


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