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Beppe Crovella

Crossover Prog

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Beppe Crovella What's Rattlin' On The Moon ? album cover
3.34 | 11 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tarabos (5:10)
2. Chloe and the Pirates (7:57)
3. All White (6:24)
4. The Man Who Waved at Trains (3:54)
5. As If (4:15)
6. Hibou, Anemone and Bear (3:28)
7. Out-Bloody-Rageous (8:35)
8. Pig (4:28)
9. Esther's Nose Job (6:04)
10. Slightly All the Time (9:33)
11. Leonardo's E-Mail (4:11)
12. Moonvision (2:19)
13. Many Moons, Many Junes (3:06)
14. Lunar Impression (1:17)
15. Circular Lines in the Air (2:46)
16. Moon Geezers (3:28)

Total time 76:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Beppe Crovella / Hohner & Wurlitzer E200 electric pianos, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes Stage 73, Hohner Clavinet D6, grand piano, Hammond organ M102, Farfisa Professional, arranger & producer

Releases information

A personal vision of the music of Mike Ratledge plus six original compositions by BC (tracks 11-16)

CD Moonjune Records ‎- MJR030 (2010, US)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BEPPE CROVELLA What's Rattlin' On The Moon ? ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (55%)
Collectors/fans only (18%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BEPPE CROVELLA What's Rattlin' On The Moon ? reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Raff
4 stars The subtitle to Beppe Crovella's "What's Rattlin' on the Moon?" reads "A Personal Vision of the Music of Mike Ratledge" - which alone should put paid to any allegations that this is yet another run-of-the-mill tribute album. An extraordinary musician in his own right, with an impressive career both as a solo artist and the mind behind Italian jazz-rock outfit Arti e Mestieri, Crovella is clearly not interested in faithfully reproducing music that is available elsewhere - but rather in offering his own reinterpretation of some of the legendary Soft Machine keyboardist's ground-breaking compositions. The result of this daring, enlightened operation (conceived by Crovella and MoonJune Records mainman Leonardo Pavkovic) is a disc that, while anything but easy to approach, and obviously possessing very limited mass appeal, is a fascinating listen, especially for anyone with a keen interest in vintage keyboards.

Since the music of Soft Machine is undeniably an acquired taste in itself, commanding an almost fanatical adoration on the part of its fans, and an equally strong rejection on the part of 'unbelievers', an album offering an apparently one-dimensional take on said music is very likely to send a lot of people running for the exits. First of all, it requires quite a bit of patience on the part of the listener, even from those who should be used to the less than easily digestible nature of most progressive rock. Moreover, the distinct lack of the 'rock' part of the genre definition can prove a turn off, and the sheer length of the project (close to 80 minutes) is not likely to help sceptics warm to it. However, those who will stick with the album and give it the attention it deserves will reap their rewards, because "What's Rattlin' on the Moon" offers many moments of real interest, and some of sheer delight.

A master of his craft, Crovella recreates the sound of an entire band with his array of vintage keyboards, ruling out the use of those synthesizers and their ilk that have become so indispensable in modern music-making. It is often astonishing to hear those keyboards fulfil the role of the bass or drums, though in most cases they just weave layers of sound in the Softs' typically free-form style. As the album is divided into three recognizable parts, the pauses between the individual numbers are almost non-existent - as if each part was meant to be listened to as a single track. This makes for a very distinctive listening experience, the polar opposite of a conventional song-based approach - though equally far removed from the somewhat sterile displays of technical dexterity that are often an integral part of 'prog' recordings.

The ten Soft Machine compositions are reinterpreted in such a way as to be nearly unrecognizable. This is especially the case of the two tracks from the band's iconic "Third" album, "Out-Bloody-Rageous" and "Slightly All the Time", the latter being possibly the highlight of the disc with its hypnotic yet melodic line and fascinating use of the Mellotron to provide choral effects. All the compositions share the same rarefied, riveting texture, which is intended to be savoured slowly, possibly not in one take. At every successive listen, different effects will unfold - pulsating, surging, solemn, sometimes flowing, sometimes choppy, creating subtly shifting layers of sound. It is the kind of music that will fade in the background if left unattended, so to speak ? meant to be listened to, not just heard.

The two mini-suites at the end of the album are original Crovella compositions intended, in some ways, to 'describe' the creative process behind the album. Both are largely piano-based and less idiosyncratic than the first part of the disc, with a stronger melodic development and some jazzy touches. "Moon Geezers", dedicated to the sadly deceased former Soft Machine members Elton Dean and Hugh Hopper, closes the album on a suitably measured, melancholy note.

As already intimated, "What's Rattlin' on the Moon?" is not an album that will appeal to everyone, especially not those with short attention spans. It does, however, stand head and shoulders above the many hackneyed tribute albums that flood the progressive rock market. Experimental and very personal (even if a tad too long), this is a must-listen for Soft Machine fans, and highly recommended to lovers of genuinely personal takes on the classics of prog.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Errors and Omissions Team
3 stars This review will be brief, because 1)I realized that not much more than Raff (thank you very much for so much info) already wrote is needed, so short review will illustrate my point well 2)I've just lost long review and realizing that I'll have to remember it back again is painful. So say we all.

This is certainly one of the weird albums and certainly not "your usual" kind of Crossover you would expect. I've never listened The Soft Machine, so I'll have to evaluate this music based on what I hear only, not on what I know. It's weird and it's very tempting to simply sabotage effort of this album and drown it by low rating. Especially given that I'm someone with extremely short attention span. Something in me however tells me to pay attention, to stick with this music and listen to it. Closely.

It's mellotron heaven + combined with dark moods implicates some King Crimson atmospheric tracks of 70s, so this is quite good. What's not good is that this music is so damn alienated from the rest of music I listen that it actually gives it great deal of originality in my mind. And that counts for something. This is daring attempt to pay a tribute (again, thanks for info), but it would be unfair to give it 1 star rating only because I would be following literal meaning of "for fans only". Nah, I'm not fan and I can enjoy it. To some extent of course.

3(+) is fair I suppose. Even I'm trying to be daring explorer of uncharted lands of inaccessible Prog (only as a part time job), this music doesn't strike me. But I can enjoy it a little bit.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Trying to achieve the impossible. That is what Beppe Crovella is doing here. Mike Ratledge wrote some intense, complicated pieces of music for Soft Machine. A band I am a fan of. Hence my interest in this album. But as a Soft Machine fan, I recognize it is close to impossible to strip down t ... (read more)

Report this review (#411881) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, March 6, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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