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Franco Battiato - Battiato & Pinaxa: Joe Patti's Experimental Group CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.96 | 4 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars First of all, even if this album is officially released under the name "Joe Patti's Experimental Group", it's correctly listed under Battiato's discography as it's mainly his project with his long time collaborator Pino Pischetola. It's quite a return to the experimental beginnings of this eclectic artist, completely made of electronics.

Leoncavallo is mainly a patchwork of spare parts tied together, and is followed by "Le Voci Si fanno Presenze" which was a ghost track on "Fleurs", but the very interesting things is that most of the album is taken from very old recordings that Battiato realized in his early years between 1970 and 1972 and this makes it closer to albums like "Fetus" and "Pollution" more than others.

The album is quite short, but this is normal for an artist interested more in quality than in quantity. The only side- long tracks in his discography are from the end of the 70s, when the label Ricordi canceled his contract after some too experimental albums with absolutely no commercial potential. Curiously, after this, he changed into his more famous art-pop who made him famous (and rich) in the 80s.

Some album tracks like the previously mentioned "Le Voci Si Fanno Presenze" are closer in their style to his successful period, but others like "Omaggio A Giordano Bruno" are incredible and unfortunately too short. This, in particular, has a Berlin school taste.

"Come Un Branco Di Lupi" with its speech part which separates two electronic instrumental parts, with the electronic drums being suddenly replaced by an "organ" sound and speechless voice then a really seems a patchwork, and effectively the lyrics and the music are from two different songs.

"The Implicate Order" starts as a Tangerine Dream track of the Phaedra period, but it's taken from another ghost track of a previous album. For TD addicted, including the fact that the theme changes several times. Again, a patchwork but with transitions that sound "natural".

"Nel Cosmo" means "In the Cosmos". A space rock title for a track made of tape loops other than keyboards, like in the middle, most experimental period of Battiato's career. It fades into "CERN" which is even more spacey with a ghostly choir in the background. It reminds to artists like Phrozenlight (his rare good things) and Stellardrone. For my personal tastes, the best track of the album, even when the electronic drums enter suddenly to add "movement" to a timeless track,

The things don't change much with "Nuba", still spacey but with Battiato singing in the background in a language which I don't understand and is possibly Arabic. Few seconds and we are again in deep electronics with "L'Isola Elefante" which seems sung in German on a theme closer to his "normal things", but also in this case the continuity between different themes is given only by the electronic drums. This is clearly a Battiato track. His unique style is clearly recognizable here.

"Proprieta' Proibita" closes the album. It's a remake of a track from "Clic" which in the 70s was used by the Italian television in the titles of a news program. An excellent closure for an album full of "sensations". This music can transport the listener into dreamy soundscapes. Strongly recommended to fans of progressive electronics, krautrock or even space rock.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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