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StereoKimono - Prismosfera CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.01 | 22 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For their sophomore release, the excellent Italian ensemble Stereokimono provided an enhancement of their musical path as stated in their debut "Ki". This time, "Prismosfera" comprises a repertoire in which the threesome show an increase of both energy and experimental trend, which eventually leads to an awesome opus within the realms of avant-garde prog. Their self-imposed psychofonic oblique label is nothing but an energetic combination of 80s King Crimson, jazz-rock with a funky core, psychedelia with moderate electronic leanings and ethnic sensibilities that come to the fore occasionally. What can go wrong when the group stays cohesive and their sound becomes stronger? 'Onda Beta' is the opener that has to set the initial mood for all things to come afterwards. It kicks off with a set of oppressive, sinister synth layers and sound effects before the main motif erupts, mixing neurotic and joyful vibes. 'Rosso di Luna' is a bit less explosive, more oriented toward the reflective, something that is easy to notice from the evocative guitar leads and keyboard ornaments, as well as the splendid electric piano solo that emerges somewhere in the middle: yet, it's not a languid number really, but an excuse to make the jazz element more noticeable. 'Bahnhofstrasse' finds the band exploring the virtues of ethnic-infused jazz fusion based on Arabic ambiences. The midi sounds emulating cello and violin create a beautiful sonic architecture sustained firmly by the ever-efficient rhythm section. Once again, the synth effects come by to provide some sort of mystic feel (to some degree, like the Ozrics or classic Gong), especially during the track's second half, in which the tempo shifts to a faster pace. 'Xetrov 5' is the aggressive apex in the album, starting with a dark synth-based soundscape and then following with a very RIO-esque motif built on a challenging 5/4 tempo. Things get a bit closer to Present and other robust RIO acts. 'L'Uomo Nuvola' is yet another exhibition of typical psychofonic oblique rock, albeit with a sleight added touch of pop that allows the main melody be easily noticeable and get its hooks on the listener. Attention to the beautiful clarinet solo - is it a midi guitar trick? Also attention to the jolly country coda, which brings an air of easygoing relief to the band's bizarre musical vision. 'Salamandra' makes things get aggressive again, with a massive display of hard-rock colors on a funky basis: it almost equals the dark approach of 'Xetrov 5'. The last piece in the strictly musical collection is the ethnic 'La Soffitta Volante', which gradually keeps on growing from a mesmeric succession of acoustic guitar chords, percussive ornaments and keyboard layers all the way until the final climax, full of frenzy and mystery. The album's last 4 minutes are occupied by a series of old prog and art-rock classic albums' samplers: spot pieces of material from Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, Genesis, Tangerine Dream, King Crimson, Gong, Camel, Area, ELP,. floating by among the birds in the forest. A homage to the old stuff made by one of the most amazing prog acts of the new millennium. General conclusion: "Prismosfera" is a real contemporary masterpiece.
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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