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Nichelodeon - Incidenti - Lo Schianto CD (album) cover





4.24 | 52 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Not an easy one, but usually there's nothing easy when it comes to a Claudio Milano's project. This time, even if released as Nichelodeon/Insonar and relatives, this album contains things from 4 different side projects and despite this, it's perfectly consistent. We can distinguish the different styles of the four bands, but in the same time, there's a "trait d'union".

As the previous albums, also this one features a huge number of musicians, from the former AREA Paolo Tofani to the French harpist Raoul Moretti, to say just a couple, but all of them mentioned as musicicans and nobody as guest.

The lyrics are in Italian, which is my language, but when the vocals are operatic, catching them is not always easy and even if the booklet mentions a link for the written lyrics, that link appears to be broken. Few words about the package: The sleeve is painted by Claudio himself and has a number of self-portraits in different positions and a target in the back page. It reminds toi the Swiss hero William Tell, but the apple close to what seems to be Claudio's corpse may have more than one meaning. In particular I think to Alan Turing's suicide.

The package contains also 4 circular stickers with parts of the sleeve design. On the first is written "Tie me where you like", then "Tie me when you like", "Tie me if you like" and "tie yourself". The Italian word "Attaccati" has a double meaning depending on where the accent is put. Another subtle ambiguity.

The first track is from the band "Not Me" and is not sung by Claudio but by the soprano Laura Catrani. "Non Esistono (They don't exist)" reaches a dramatic peak with the instrumental second part pf the track, just after an incredibly long and high pitched vocal note. Who are those who don't exist will be clearer with the following songs. Bass introduces Nichelodeon with their "How Hard Tune". As usual, between the avantgard arrangements strong melodies are perceivable. Claudio puts many layers of voice with different pitches. It makes difficult understanding what he says. There's no break with the following track, even if now it's the third band; "This Order". Some of the lyrics are in English. The music here is more chaotic, with brasses, strong percussion, and an obsessive bass. There's a lot of rock in this track, including a guitar solo which could be featured on a metal track. I'm not sure whether the repeated sentence is "To the jargon king". This is what I've understood.

"Il Barbiere Degli Occhi" (The barber of eyes) is quite disturbing. I think it's about torture and this supposition will become more consistent later. Piano and strings set a chamber music mood but the percussion makes clear that there's nothing to relax on. Again Nichelodeon hide good melodies behind multiple musical layers. The multiple harmonizations of Claudio's voice are remarkable. This track contains some very melodic moments.

There's a lot of melody also on the second "Not Me" Song. The text is quite surreal: about someone getting so much involved in the vision of a movie to end inside it: "I'm no longer here". As soon as I find the lyrics I'll probably rewrite this review. I have the sensation of being missing a lot of its meaning.

"Senza Ritorno (with no return)" Speaks, I think, of esistential troubles. The vocal harmonizations are supported by the keyboard and also who doesn't understand the words can perceive the dramaticity.

"La Scatola (the Box)" Alternates a Xmas carol theme with a vocal and piano duo. "There's a black box at the feet of the world where all the untold thoughts roll"... then strings and brasses and drums are added. Then it becomes very dark. Anyway the main theme can remain in the listener's mind for long. The final of violin and clarinet leaves room to dark noises for what I suppose is the central track of the album: "L'ultima sigaretta - Fantasmi ad Argun(The last cigarette - Ghosts in Argun)" is explicitly referring to the "gay lager" of Argun, in the Chechen Republic. Also the following song mentions Tadzio, a character from Thomas Mann's novel "The Death In Venice".

Next "Ho gettato mio figlio ..." Fabrizio Corona is a controversial figure: a VIP photographer who has been jailed for blackmailing. Throwing my son from a hill because he's not like Fabrizio Corona is quite self-explaining.

Now it's the time of one of the darkest moments of the album: "Sabbia scura (dark sand)". I can't tell what's about, but it's hypnotic. It's the track where Claudio's vocal layers work better.

Then the soprano Laura Catrani sings for the second time, but just in the intro, then is Claudio again, supported by brasses and violin and it's time for the only "Insonar" song: Nyama. I don't know if it has anything to do withe the Yoga. The curious mixture of classical music mood and sonic turbulences permeates the album. The violin solo has something of Debussy, or at least is the sensation that it gives me. There's also another female singer, but I can't find any female vocalits mentioned on track 13. She has a very good high pitched voice, anyway.

"La Montagna ed il Trono (The mountain and the throne)" is the last Nichelodeon track. Again, there's a good melody but is hidden behind the percussion and the accordions. Laura Catrani has a part also here. At the end of the track Claudio repeats "Essere solo (to be alone)".

The title of the closing track is quite hermetic. I have an idea about the meaning but I'm not sure so I keep it for myself. "I can't survive any longer to what I know". The last verb changes at every repetition until he says "to what we are". The album is closed by this sentence and I think it may be the key to the whole album. Another very challenging effort from Nichelodeon and co.

Not for every taste. Who likes the immersion into many different musical and lyrical layers wil surely consider it a masterpiece of the genre. I also think that should my wife spin this album by mistake would throw it down the window like the son who is not similar to Fabrizio Corona.

There's a lot going on and it requires the attention it deserves. A good surprise after more than 6 years since the last UKIYOE. Again many thanks to Claudio for having sent me a physical copy of the album. I haven't decided yet wheter to use the stickers or not. I'll let you know.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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