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Franco Battiato - M.elle le «Gladiator» CD (album) cover


Franco Battiato


Rock Progressivo Italiano

2.10 | 22 ratings

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Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars A minimalist patchwork of various recordings. Nothing more than this.

For Italian speaking listeners it can have a bit of interest as each piece of recording contains something almost recognizable and all together can acquire a sense. Battiato seems to have a particular taste for sudden interruptions, screams and old-fashioned radio transmissions. I think this reflects the influence of John Cage, but also Ron Geesin and some French non Zeuhl experimentalists, mainly coming from the art of dance and ballet than from music.

The first and title track is about 14 minutes of this, with some electronic noise added here and there. We can sometimes here Franco's voice, but for the rest it's just a patchwork mainly taken from the Italian radio and TV, but also satiric: around minute 7 a girl speaks about a celebration of the Alpine company of the Italian Army (she's an actress, not one recorded on the air) and the music behind is "The International", the socialist anthem, followed by a recording of Marinetti, the founder of the literary movement called "Futurism" who supported in some ways the coming of fascism in the 20s of last Century. Finally, after 10 minutes of this stuff we have a bit of krautrock, coming from previous studio sessions of the same Battiato, then a church organ plays a chord on which Battiato sings something that I don't understand. It's an interesting experiment, but be prepared.

"Canto Fermo" starts spacey, with an organ making noises. A kind of music close to the early Tangerine Dream of the pink period, but more unstructured with some classical ambience emerging here and there. Even being an instrumental piece, it has the aspect of a patchwork because of the sudden very short silences between a part and the following. Not bad if you like this genre.

"Orient Effects" starts where Canto Fermo ends. It's possibltthat they have been originally conceived as a single track. So what I have written about Canto Fermo is valid also for it.

Rating it is quite hard. I think it can have three stars but with a serious warning. What you'll find here is minimalistic music, very avantgarde, so if you are looking for RPI forget it.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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