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Il Balletto Di Bronzo - Ys CD (album) cover


Il Balletto Di Bronzo


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.24 | 609 ratings

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5 stars The joyful sensation of being shot out of a canon

Some albums fortunately escape categorisation - quite simply because they are impossible to pin down. They bask in the sunlight of their own unnatural ways and give to you something unique and at times bonkers as cats. I've read a couple of reviews that relegated Ys as the album you never remember anything from. I don't feel that way though. Every inch of this record is deeply ingrained in my cerebral cortex, even if the moods change at the drop of the hat, only not in a Gentle Giant way, but far more monstrous and psychedelic.

With Arthur Brown on Italian vocals teaming up with ELP, Amon Düül ll, Gong, Area, Van Damme Generator, King Crimson and a 70s version of The Mars Volta, Il Balletto di Bronzo jump through hoops and burning buildings like the best of them. This is flexible music right here people - it bends and writhes - transforms evolves, takes nosedives on purpose only to jump back on it's feet - sprint, galloping furiously across the plains. If you want an album with loads of surprises, complex sections and a groove that'll frighten pacemaker patients, then Ys is your go to album from now on. It's just about the most successful attempt at creating a true Frankenstein monster out of sound.

You get insanely jittery classical pianos, gooey spacey guitars see-sawing back and forth in the music, and rides that scoop up everything fabulous and shiny from the spacey jazz rock of Canterbury. This last trade really comes to the fore in the tune Epilogo that starts out wonderfully erratic and symphonic, recalling a strangely confused Emerson composing freeform in the shed following a rather large tonic of vodka and coke. Eventually the temper jolts back into a slow groove, and the bass and drums commence a wild and beautiful duet taking you places only known to hawks and mountain climbing giraffes. It almost feels like Gong, but then again it's something completely different.

Melody wise you'll be reaching for your spare brain though...... It's not totally bereft of melody, but remarkably so they often only exist in some 30 seconds, and then the course shifts, gives you a wet Willy and embarks on an entirely new heading. Still with that good old piano and the additional leads you get from keyboards, harpsichord, Hammond organ, Mellotron and Moog - you often find yourself able to whistle small fractions of this album during awkward bus rides and occasionally while you're listening to the album itself. You gotta be quick about it though, or else you'll miss it!

Il Balletto di Bronzo's main course is obviously not for people with sensitive stomachs, but if you've got a thing for grooves - like in an infinitely funky, earth moving music that'll rustle up your kidneys, then you are looking at the mother load right here. As strange as it seems, I tend to think of Ys as a masterpiece of fusion sage rated RPI and symphonic Krautrock - one that relies heavily on grooves, and moreover a superhuman focus on establishing concord with only those - make them work and zing - funnelling them maniacally into the machine and see what comes out on the other side.

34985 stars and a free sightseeing tour to the loony bin.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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