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Franco Leprino - Integrati... Disintegrati CD (album) cover


Franco Leprino

Progressive Electronic

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Amazing electronic synth experimentations for tow long "epic" pieces that includes classical motifs. Franco Leprino is less known than others "avant garde" progressive Italians as Franco Battiato...However his unique musical universe really deserves a listening for all fans of Italian Progressive rock and for those who enjoy deep listening. "Integrati...Disintegrati" features formidable musical dialogues between lyrical aspects of classical music, electronic weirdness and synth meditation. "Part 01" starts with pleasant floating keyboards, accompanied by "poetical" acoustic guitars sections. The atmosphere is full of colour and beauty, always exploring the introspective side of musical creation. The track ends up with sumptuous evocative, echoing guitar chords. "Part 02" delivers a more "difficult" composition, including psychedelic synth moves, collage sounds, noises. It carries on a very pastoral & enchanting "trip" for flute and guitar then turns to something really ethereal and mysterious for melodic (almost symphonic) synth lines. A forgotten 70's prog masterpiece.
Report this review (#113461)
Posted Sunday, February 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Recorded in the second half of the seventies, Franco Leprino's only record blends brilliantly the avantgarde electronics and classic RPI aesthetics. Album consists of two sidelong tracks, and tracks themselves are composed by ever-changing themes and landscapes. Certain Modern Classical or Minimalist influences can also be traced here - but record never becomes too esoteric to enjoy. Of two parts, the first is mellower, let's say, symphonic, and successfully creates a magic atmosphere. Part 2 is more experimental, and made with great taste... A fabulous album that, despite its obscurity (which is a shame), can be enjoyed by broad audience, be it Modern Classical, RPI, experimental, or Oldfield-like music fans.
Report this review (#519823)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unbelievably beautiful.

Franco Leprino, a rather obscure artist in the '70s Italian prog scene, released only this one album, Integrati... Disintegrati, which has gone most unnoticed - such a shame considering that this album is so heartbreaking in its beauty that I feel the need to suggest this to anyone who is at all interested in Italian prog, electronic or not.

This album is two long form compositions, each taking up an entire side. "Lalo A" begins with lightly swelling electronic drones and soft repetitive nylon string guitar playing that is reminiscent of the texture applied by fellow Italian prog band Il Paese Dei Balocchi. The guitar motif repeats as the electronic drone in the background swells larger and becomes more symphonic until is takes up most of the listening space and finally fades off into the distant, allowing for a jovial classical piano moment before spacey electronic density takes over. Finally, before finishing, classical piano makes another entrance as do multiple other instruments in a very classical manner. This whole side is very dramatic and beautiful in a most enlightening way.

"Lalo B" has many of the same ethereal and uplifting elements as the previous side, but is overall much more avant-garde. It starts off with a beautiful guitar loop over simple electronics, but the electronic element takes over in an almost dissonant and Messiaen- esque kind of way (if you're a Messiaen fan, as I am, then there's no reason to complain). Again, it breaks off into another echoed guitar passage with lightly ringing electronic backdrop that is atmospheric like looking down an endless, dimly lit hallway. Eventually drama is increased and the track becomes heavily symphonic and heavenly, beautiful nylon string guitars reprise the wonderful motif, the track ends and the resulting feeling of bliss is all consuming.

Definitely not ambient, but the relaxing effect of Integrati... Disintegrati is basically the same. The difference is that, to most people, this album will probably be thoroughly more engaging than something like Steve Roach's work. Fans of the '70s Italian progressive rock scene will be very comfortable with the tonality of this album and all of the instrumentation. This is a very chill album, but I feel very confident that anyone with patience and an ear for beauty will find Integrati... Disintegrati to be a very delightful experience. A strong must-have in the '70s one-and-done Italian prog elite.

Report this review (#634034)
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was Franco Leprino's only release back in 1977. A forgotten gem out of Italy with two side long suites made up of synths, acoustic guitar and tape loops for the most part.

Part 1 starts off with faint spacey sounds that build as acoustic guitar joins in around 2 minutes with the spacey sounds slowly pulsing. They stop as the guitar leads then the synths join in after 4 1/2 minutes. These pulsating spacey waves are back after 6 minutes and I can't but help think of "The Sky Moves Sideways". Beautiful stuff and of course much earlier than PORCUPINE TREE's example. It changes after 10 minutes as samples of different sounds come in including a crying baby as the piano gently plays. It turns electronic before 12 minutes as sounds twitter and it's fuller a minute later. Piano only after 14 minutes then flute a minute after that joins in. A change again 17 minutes in as strummed guitar and atmosphere eventually take over.

"Part 2" has a lot more changes throughout it but I do prefer Part 1. A synth pattern to start then acoustic guitar takes over. It changes 2 1/2 minutes in with solemn synths and what sounds like organ. Another change before 5 1/2 minutes as gentle guitar and synths take over. I like it. A change a minute later and it sounds like a crowd roaring and a baby crying as they join the electronics. A calm 8 1/2 minutes in as pleasant and spacey sounds take over. Nice. A symphonic flavour comes in after 12 minutes with flute and acoustic guitar. It changes 14 minutes in to more of an electronic sound then the acoustic guitar joins in followed by spacey synths that sweep across the soundscape. A calm 17 1/2 minutes in. It's dark 19 minutes in then acoustic guitar comes out of it and it all starts to brighten.

For me this is a 4 star album that I can highly recommended.

Report this review (#790517)
Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
5 stars Italy.....Germany

With a particularly mad and adventurous weekend still roaring through my body, I find myself continuously reaching for albums that soothe my mind. The music was way too loud for something like 4 days, laughing, dancing, drinking, partying like it was 1999 and all that jazz............ - it really takes a toll on you, but then again it's days like that you remember for the rest of your life - the times you went all out with your friends and ignited the heart of the city itself.

The slow recovery process of such decadent behaviour luckily also spurs moments of pure and utter joy - moments of music and images from a slightly deranged mind where everything magically comes together. Integrati....Disintegrati was one of those special occasions where I felt like my mind was unable to stay in one place like its usual self, and suddenly started floating very casually round the room, only held up by the music I suppose. There's a powerful dream-state enveloping this thing, that's for sure, but not in a hazy and husky manner. With Leprino you get the feeling of being massaged with olive oil, while the sofa you're lying on elegantly swoops through a magic portal of sound.

Through warm and slow synthesiser pulses, this album interweaves many different endemic Italian trades - making it something of an outsider in the Berlin School electronics family. You get the warm oak tree note of the acoustic guitar doing beautiful folk inspired passages - delicately played piano that takes the music into vast symphonically inclined soundscapes - small breezy flute shadings, and add to those a serious flirtation with the unique Italian brand of avantguarde music. I've talked about this before, and that larval Battiato feel in the electronics - the same you encounter on an album like Pierot Lunnaire's Gudrun, is indeed also present here. Though more refined and subtle, it takes the listener into some wonderfully strange corridors throughout the coarse of the record.

Lying completely exhausted on the floor now with the computer in front of me, I can safely say that Integrati....Disintegrati is a great way of escaping the madness of burning days without end. There's an echoing guitar right now that feels as if the winds from outside my window have turned into liquid and are now seeping onto the floor. An unwet sensation of taking a bath in music.

Coming back to the real world here before I dose off(or explode), I just want to say that Franco Leprino's sole album from 77 is a classic - or it certainly should be! It is a beautiful album, and just saying that hardly puts into perspective just how befitting a word like beautiful can be. I've heard soooooo many unsuccessful attempts at recreating the Berlin School of electronics - trying to build on something that was perfect as it was, and while most end up as Tangerine Dream clones with this record you get something unique............ Even if this slithering sound serpent started out way up in Germany, you can still hear it snaking it's way over the Alps and into Italy to get to the melodies.

Report this review (#1004760)
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Ghostlike and meditative, Franco Leprino's sole solo album coalesces washes of synthesizer with acoustic guitar in the classical style, but peppers his composition generously with avant-garde twitches. In places, the music shines like a polished gem. In others, it is downright clumsy. And in any event, there is no connective tissue linking one musical episode to the next, a practice I generally dislike.

"Part 1" The wax and wane of slow washes of synthesizer and rapid acoustic guitar come together, mimicking the tide in its repetitive coming and going and unyielding steadfastness. Eerie keyboard lead shrieks in like the wail of a siren. When the author has tired of this serene affair, he switches to a disjointed piano passage, followed by psychedelic synthesizer. The roars of a crowd and the crying of an infant seem to me as though the artist is trying to hard to be artistic. The last quarter of the piece, with more elegant piano and other lighter sounds, reveals that Leprino was in no need of artsy gimmicks- simply stunning. The harmonic-laced passage sounds like Yes' "Awaken," released that same year, whilst what follows is reminiscent of early Steve Hackett.

"Part 2" Mythic tapestries of mechanical and aquatic sounds begin the second part. The passage goes away without any resolution to bring in a pair of doddering tones that mingle awkwardly and inharmoniously. The third passage is initially quite ethereal, but a quirky lead latches onto the underlying sound like a hungry parasite- there's even a sucking sound (accompanied by the superfluous crowd and screaming newborn). Lovely flute and acoustic guitar eventually follow, and in the final five minutes, a more symphonic turn of events.

Report this review (#1016458)
Posted Sunday, August 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars The cultured forms of art in Europe and in the West in general manifested since the year One Thousand for the most with music which certainly could reach all easier. How to forget the magic of Classical Music, its power to harmonize thoughts and the being? How many excellent Classical artists have laid the foundations for all music inspiring almost all Progressive Rock? Many. I think the evolution of Classical Music could be Electronic Music, and one thing that associates these two genres is the attention and the passion needs to appreciate them. But talking about Electronic music, is inevitable links it to Progressive Music, an inseparable binomial especially for its explosion in which they walked hand in hand. So Electronic Prog could be considered a pure form of intellectual experimentation? Absolutely yes! We can appreciate many examples, also if in most varied forms, originate from Germany where often they melt with Krautrock until confusing them, but in general there are of them from all over the World. Some timid examples (fortunately) appears also in Italy. The pioneer at the beginning was Franco Battiato with his first four albums. But this is another story. Here we're talking about another multifaceted Franco always come from Sicily and lover of Electronic Music.

Franco Leprino is a musician, musicologist, composer, writer of theatrical and multimedia shows, he studied guitar composition and Electronic Music, graduated in International Legal Disciplines in 1977 and in DAMS (faculty of the performing arts) in 1986; He is Professor of music and Visual Arts, and we can continue for many other activities. After played in many rock bands (which I can't find traces) he starts is solo career experimenting new electronic sonorities. The result is INTEGRATI...DISINTEGRATI (integrate... disintegrate) in 1977. He released in 2009 another work "Franco Leprino 1977-1978.

The album is a real masterpiece as for Electronic Music as for Progressive Rock. Is a Work made with care for particular never boring, with a wonderful Classical aptitude but never abandoning the experimentation. The real innovative meaning is the strong presence of acoustic guitar (Franco Leprino) that dictate the main themes, with the support of electronic architectures, piano (Arnaldo Ciato) some classical instrument sometimes like oboe. It's a Work mature and proud but at the same time an intimate and reflective, which is proposed with 2 long epic tracks. It alternates romantic arpeggios interrupted by silent pauses and then lulled by increasing organ and synths (Franco Lazzaro) waves on a background classical motive. All seems created as if by magic, as if the music had its own life, created to transfer the listener in a parallel dimension looking the World flying over it. After this flight touches down to a ground adventurous, where born a baby and his crying light on the electronic soul of this album. Remembering Franco Battiato beginnings a galloping synth piece gives us Leprino's skills and then a Classical piano with flute (Alfio Squaiella) and oboe bring us back to another dimension, different from previous, but still load of passion. Some harmonics and then another beautiful arpeggio with oboe goes to conclude this first unbelievable "Part 01", so, without a particular name, letting free the imagination.

"Part 02" starts with an electronic theme similar to the first part beginning, but like an Opera divided in two movements with several variations. The rhythm change became psychedelic with a dissonant organ and a synth and then come back the baby's crying that let these moments of the piece gloomy. Echo-harmonics lets the scene to let play the main theme with many variations and electronic effects. After a flashback to an adventurous Floydian atmosphere in Echoes style, starts another arpeggio with a beautiful flute in RPI style remembering "Era Di Acquario". Continue the variations where alternates guitar and organ going toward the end of the piece, from here remembering the RPI. The album ends with an increasing mix of Classical Music "electronized" reprising the main theme with beautiful flute variations.

An unbelievable composition able to deeply move letting free your imagination. An excellent orchestra of electronic sonorities enriched by a Classical knowledge and an adventurous essence for experimentation. An Opera to getting know better, by jealously guarding.

5 Stars - Art...

Report this review (#1128900)
Posted Sunday, February 9, 2014 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars Integrati...Disintegrati sees Franco Leprino weaving together electronic sounds with earthier, more romantic folk music and classical touches . It's an altogether beautiful and at times very silken effort, smooth and effortless for a good part, even though it has some less welcoming experimental tricks up its sleeves.

A gentle, pure and contemplative synthesizer rise and fall in the background accompanied by delicately plucked and cautiously intense and repetitive guitar. It's like waves breaking on a deserted beach, lightly showered by a melancholy spring rain. A piercing, alarm-like and simple melody breaks free from the synthesizers with an eagerly pulsing sequence beneath it. With that, the mood changes. New ideas of intensity and urgency make themselves known, coupled to a sense of falling. But soon enough the gentle strokes of the beach scene is back. About halfway through the first side, we come to an abrupt halt in a eerie collage of alternately mournful, alternately attention-seeking lonely piano, the cries of a baby, the smacking of a mouth and gushes of winds. Disjointed and disturbingly intimate. Battiatoesque. It doesn't last long. Soon enough a range of watery, bubbling and distinct electronic sequences build up and eventually surge, letting loose a series of shyly shimmering and distorted part-wind/part-breathing sounds to chase after each other beneath and between the more precise and abstract qualities of the sequences. As it fades out into silence, another abrupt twist takes it all back to the reflective and plaintive, but simultaneously cleansing and beautiful piano, with aching flutes eventually joining in like pale rays of light through a dense green tree canopy. Spacey guitars all of a sudden. Like falling stars they echo in fragile and transient harmonic sensitivity, gone almost as soon as they arrived. The piece concludes in a subdued dramatic marriage of many of the earlier elements. The folk guitar, the fluttering flutes and the purifying synthesizer backing all come together in very symphonic and classical air of restless expectancy. Delicate and wonderful.

The second side starts off a bit more mysteriously, with backward-sounding sounds that expand and contract like rubber bands before a sprightly and spindly guitar atmosphere takes over in a spacey blip-blop fashion. A towering and ponderous synthesizer attack follows, brutally naked and commanding as it takes over everything. The ethereal and shaky guitars make a brief return (not the last time they make an appearance), but this time around they pick up some slippery keyboard melodies and high-pitched notes as everything gradually slips back into a mishmash with the collage-like part on side one, turning it all into a busily nosiy affair for a while. It's all rather avant-garde. Some of the classical feeling of the first side finds some room as well (folky guitar, airy flute - but with a more reclined, relaxed feel now, like a gentle wind across a peaceful and sun-dry countryside vista). The electronic side is never far away and just around the corner are more churning, glitchy pulses and weird effects. Or as when some gently strummed guitar chords serve as anchoring, as sweeping astral winds and shape-shifting rays of musical coloration. It moves through some embellished variations of themes heard on the first side, passing by some palatial synthesizer walls and twinkling percussion along the way, before it eventually reverts to a humbly muted and secretively convoluted variant of the piece's initial backwards mystery. Eventually there is another more tangible semi-symphonic conclusion here, with playful synthesizer cascades to set it apart from the rest.

As a rule, detailed track-by-track descriptions are not my thing, but in this case it's hard to avoid. With only two long compositions and both of them being so restlessly varied and ever-changing, that's where you end up. In this case that underlines both the strengths and weaknesses of Integrati...Disintegrati. There are many great and working ideas here, capable of immense melodic beauty, soothing ambience, ethereal space explorations and mischievous avant-garde tendencies and sound manipulations. But it remains awfully jumbled and clumsily put together. There is no cohesive mood or tendency. Not that I'd need one for the entire album, but the separate parts feel infuriatingly fleeting and underdeveloped, rarely given enough time to let you sink in to them and absorb what's going on. Not to mention how strangely they fit together. I don't know what sort of creative pressure Franco Leprino was facing in order to be forced to fit all this disparate material into just one album, when you get the feeling it could just as easily be split into three. Perhaps he just couldn't choose and wanted it all. Who can blame him?

Integrati...Disintegrati still remains a very interesting release - oddly charming with a surprisingly broad set of influences and sounds that are combined rather uniquely. I like and admire almost everything here, seen as individual bits. Deeply flawed, but so it goes.

3 stars.


Report this review (#1150916)
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | Review Permalink

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