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Fonderia - My Grandmother's Space Suit CD (album) cover



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4 stars Listening to this album is like purchasing a 16 meters long times 2 meters high painting....... and then installing it in a narrow hallway. It is next to impossible to get a full overview over this painting...... and this album.

This album has most everything from the archives of ProgArchives. From avant-garde, zeuhl, prog metal, symphonic prog, RPI, rock and pop. It is almost like listening to one of these compilation CDs you get when you buy a music magazine. For example Classic Rock Presents Prog. But even their compilation CDs is not that varied as the My Grandmother's Space Suit album by Fonderia. I am almost lost for words.

It is pretty pointless describing the music here any further. Those two thousand words will frustrate both me and the reader. But the basis in this Italian Stew is jazz. That is the only red thread that run through this album. Jazz and the need to explore every possible avenues. Which sometimes leads this album astray and into dead end avenues. The problem for me, as now a pretty frustrated listener, is that whatever Fonderia does, they pulls it off. Every song here is good to great. Sometimes with a narrow margin. Their playful approach to everything they tries out is very refreshing and dare I say it...... progressive ! That's what this album is. A true progressive album, but in the vein of Picchio Dal Pozzo and the bands who once populated the Canterbury Scene. And this is another thing I have noticed; Fonderia is in fact the true children of this scene, either they like it or not.

Quality wise, this album is great with a very long shelf life. This review is based on fourteen listening sessions. Yes, that is 14 times listening to this album. And I am afraid this album require at least fifteen x times before it make any sense. Well, kind of sense. It is an album that grows and ferments over a period of time. In my case, probably forty years or so. Fellow inhabitants of Glenview retirement home; beware. But I guess they would not protest when the brilliant laid back jazz tune Istanbul is blaring through the speakers. This is the best song of this album and it proves that Fonderia is a band which should be followed with great interest in the future.

This is an excellent album which will both puzzle and please those who dares seeking it's company. Seldom has the band name been more appropriate.

4 stars

Report this review (#296304)
Posted Thursday, August 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "My Grandmother's Space Suit" is, in itself, the answer to the question "how will Fonderia create a new repertoire of creative works after the delivery of magnificent sounds and moods in their previous album "Re>>enter"?". Well, they did so by reformulating their modern jazz framework. This album is a novelty in various aspects for Fonderia, one of them being the inclusion of two (not just one) sung tracks: 'Loaded Gun' (with lyrics based on a couple of poems by Emily Dickinson) and 'I Can't Believe This Is Just a Pop(e) Song' (a real musical parody featuring Belgian guitarist-singer Emmanuel Luis). 'Moebius Onion Rings' opens up the album on a melancholic note, bearing abundant shades of sonic warmth and introspective flairs (due mostly to the dynamics that Vicarelli creates at his electric piano). Even when the pace gets faster, the eerie melancholy prevails all the way through. This exercise on serene jazzy ambiences contrasts the robust exoticism of 'Istambul', one of the highlights in the album: its combination of fusion and acid-jazz owes much of its success to the exciting alternations of Bultrini and Pietropaoli's tasteful solos (actually, this is one of the most consistent musical strategies in the band's repertoire) for the development of the basic compositional subject. 'Loaded Gun' features guest vocalist Barbara Erame: relaxed in a tense way, atmospheric yet adorned with pertinente moments of density, this piece states some sort of mixture of 90s Gabriel and 00s Bjork: at least, this is how I can describe it. Eramo delivers the emotions beautifully. 'Gravity Wave' establishes yet another moment of vibrant modernity with its combination of trance and nu-jazz: this is really a piece that could feed a multitude's groove on a dance floor. 'Liquid', on the other hand, bears a majestic sort of progressive musicality, somewhat related to the band's second album. The synth solo in the middle section and the acoustic guitar arpeggios that go meandering in and out are my fave elements in this track. And so we get to 'A Billion Electric Sheep' (a tribute to Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?", I presume) is an exercise on un-jazz wrapped up in psychedelic wool (a-la Ozric Tentacles) and electronic satin (early 80s Kraftwerk). 'Gojira' continues in this electronica-friendly trend Albert with a rockier punch, which certainly helps the band to properly exploit the track's essential dynamics, mostly sustained on the rhythm duo's funky groove. There is an ethereal spacey interlude that adds an interesting variation before the return of the original drive for the closing part. With the 'I Can't Believe This Is Just a Pop(e) Song', Fonderia an guest Louis indulge in a Zappa- esque sort of pop parody (in the mould of "Zoot Allures" or "Joe's Garage", I guess). But let's not forget that this band is constantly experimental, and the use of Frippian guitar tricks in this song makes it no exception at all. The album's last track is 'Doctor's Hill', a piece that shares much of the intimate introspectiveness of the opener during its first 3 ˝ minutes; the remaining part shifts toward a powerful climax. This end is tremendously colorful, which makes the album's conclusion an exciting experience. More exciting it is, of course, listening to the whole album many times in order to enjoy it more thoroughly with each listen: after all, this is a Fonderia album, which a guarantee of great quality eclectic jazz-rock.
Report this review (#299404)
Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars My Grandmothers Spacesuit is Italian act Fonderia's third studio release, and the first I have heard. The music is, in general, instrumental music that has a fair amount of jazz and rock in it, but it seems to me there's a tiny bit of the techo/dance ethos going on behind the scenes as well. I wouldn't mind dancing to Istanbul, for example - not that I could, of course (whether it's a pandemic that applies to all proggers or just to me, dancing is not my strong suit).

As such, a lot of the tracks on this album are high energy, usually with a consistent rhythm section while the guitar, keys, and / or trumpets do cool things on top of it. The rhythms are what makes the music have that "danceable", energetic feeling, but it's what's done on top of it that makes these songs more interesting and give them a sense of development. Really a great combination.

The album features two songs that feature guests; Loaded Gun (the third track) and I Can't Believe This Is Just A Pop(e) Song (the eight). The positioning of these tracks was quite masterful, for they break up the album nicely. I'm particularly fond of Loaded Gun; it was in fact based off the strength of this track that I decided to purchase this album. It features the vocals of Barbara Eramo and poetry by Emily Dickinson. It really is a very beautiful track, and quite mysterious as well. The end section hits the emotions quite nicely. (On that note, there is also a wonderful music video for this track that is really good - a story based on, no images of the band playing, and it has a really cool feeling and level of mystery to it. Check it out, it's on youtube!)

The Pop(e) song is not about pops, the chorus sounds more like "poppy poppy poppy poppy pop over you", or something along those lines. It's upbeat, and fun, and closer to what the rest of the album sounds like (a bit less atmosphere than Loaded Gun).

There aren't really any bad songs on this album, but in my eyes, the standout tracks are Istanbul, Gravity Wave, and A Billion Electric Sheep. Enjoyable from beginning to end, this is definitely a recommended listen!

Report this review (#413850)
Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. These guys haven't lost their humour anyways with that album title. I really like the album cover too. This is their third and final studio album released in 2010 with their first two albums being released in 2002 and 2006. I felt album number two was more streamlined and less diverse and avant than the debut and this process continues with this record as it's more accessible and we get a couple of vocal tracks which in my opinion are the worst two songs on here.

We get guest vocalists on those two songs. A female on "Loaded Gun" with vocals that are too sweet for my tastes and then the "I Can't Believe This Is Just A Pop(e) Song" which is simply terrible even if it's a joke song. I also was surprised at all the dance beats on certain songs. The overall recording is just a step back in my opinion from the first two records. They started out as a four piece than added a bass player for the second album, a man who was playing with them in live gigs already. He is invisible on here except for "Gojira" my favourite track on here by far.

Tough picking a top three but the opener "Moesius Onion Rings" and the second track "Istanbul" would probably be my second and third favourites. Again "Gojira" just stands out from the rest and if this was an album more like this song then man I would be excited about this recording. There's mellotron and plenty of atmosphere on this track and I love the inventive guitar expressions. The trumpet is great and there's experimental stuff too. This is what FONDERIA used to be about. Still a good album that the other collabs have given 4 stars to so this is simply my opinion.

Report this review (#2737935)
Posted Sunday, April 17, 2022 | Review Permalink

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