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Sangiuliano biography
Antonio Sangiuliano, a composer from Tuscany, released his only album in 1978 on RCA.
Take off is a mainly instrumental album where Sangiuliano plays every kind of keyboards, being only helped by drums (Derek Wilson and Enzo Restuccia) and a soprano singer (Elisabetta Delicato) in some short parts.

The atmospheres remind of some Tangerine Dream's works and the album is rather unusual for the italian progressive style. First side is taken by the 16 minutes long Time control, while the second side only has two tracks.
The album was produced by Adriano Monteduro, who had released his first solo album with Reale Accademia di Musica.

Sangiuliano also recorded a second album, Out of breath, but this was never released at the time in Italy and its rights were sold to a japanese record company.
The artist also composed the music for the film The line (1980-81) and probably some more soundtracks.
He currently has a radio show on the italian RAI network

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Take OffTake Off
Sony Bmg 1997
$9.99 (used)

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3.02 | 16 ratings
Take Off

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Take Off by SANGIULIANO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.02 | 16 ratings

Take Off
Sangiuliano Progressive Electronic

Review by Thandrus

5 stars Interesting is what we have here. There are two collaborators' completely different views about this album's originality. Unique or faceless? I would definitely adhere with former view. True, timeless synthesizer music masterpieces have been recorded before, but Sangiuliano, in his sole album does it in his own way. First, composition is very much Classically influenced. Second, it is for the most part very energetic. Third, this is a Mellotron feast! And last (but not least), there is some truly delightfully magic vocal and grand piano parts.

First piece, "Time Control" is the longest. It's an epic, clocking up to 16 and half minutes. After quiet intro, it builds up for several minutes and then strong and beautiful female operatic vocal improvisations set very claustrophobic atmosphere. After the short cadence and beautiful soft piano passages Mellotron comes to the front. It, with some sequences, dominates the middle portion of the track. My favourite portion starts at app. 9:30 mark, when again quiet Mellotron theme builds up and eventually some short but frantic piano overlays it and female vocals return again? What a bliss! After this some dissonant and melodic passages interchange and at the end the music is swallowed buy some noisy sequence. The way the piece is composed reminds me more of Classical concertos than prior Teutonic way of creating electronic music.

"Saffo's Gardens" is the shortest piece on album (it's still 7:30) and starts with beautiful piano intro over synthesized background. Piano is followed by a beautiful harpsichord melody until quite unexpectedly synths become louder and drums kick in. Music often changes between peaceful and frantic, but somehow always stays lyrical. Piano and harpsichord work fascinates me most on this piece. While not playing leading role (nothing can take it away form mighty Mellotron), both add small but very beautiful details to music, taking them to another level. I find this piece (an in the lesser extent following one) quite close to general RPI aesthetic.

Third is the albums title track, "Take Off". Atmosphere is similar to "Saffo's Gardens", but "Take Off" features more active playing on synthesizers and drums. Also there are some heaviest synth / Mellotron layers on album, creating quite massive sound. There's an quiet, beautiful interlude in the second half of the track, which again leads to energetic and dramatic end with countdown and boom? Takeoff noise!

What else can be said? I was fortunate to come across this album in the start of both my Prog Electronic and RPI journeys and this "crossover" album really ignited in me the zeal of exploring these two different progressive roads. There are couple of Italian electronic albums aesthetically close to "Take Off". If you like it, I'd recommend you Francesco Buccheri's "Journey", Franco Leprino's "Integrati... Disintegrati" and Roberto Cacciapaglia's "Sonanze", as all of these are under heavy influence of Classical music and feature many beautiful melodies and acoustic instruments. We can say that yes, there was considerable Electronic movement in Italy, which went beyond simple cloning of their better-known German and French colleagues. They had their own way, full of lyricism, beauty and passion.

As for "Take Off", I think it is a masterpiece. Hence, 5 stars.

 Take Off by SANGIULIANO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.02 | 16 ratings

Take Off
Sangiuliano Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A rather show-offy keyboard album from Sangiuliano here. The focus is very much on the man and his keyboard skills. Here's the Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze bit to kick off with. Now let's hit them with some Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman to prove that our hero can pull that off. Now let's get a little Vangelis about the place. Some of the passages are reasonably pleasant, but overall the album is marred by the main performer's failure to establish an identity for himself distinct from his influences. Sure, he can play a keyboard or two and he's willing to take his shirt off for the album cover, but who is Sangiuliano? What is his personal musical vision? What does Sangiuliano sound like when he isn't trying to sound like anyone else? The album offers no clues.
 Take Off by SANGIULIANO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.02 | 16 ratings

Take Off
Sangiuliano Progressive Electronic

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Italian keyboardist Tony Sangiuliano (from Turin) released this unique album in '78, it was produced by Adriano Monteduro. This is one of those albums to make the vintage keyboard enthusiast go crazy with delight. Sangiuliano plays everything under the sun, specifically listing Polymoog, Omni-Arp, Steelphone, Eminent, Mini-Moog, Arp 2600, Hammond L22 & X77, Mellotrons, Piano, Clavinet, Harpsichord, Xylophone, and Tubular Bells. Three lengthy pieces add up to a rather short 32 minute album all based around keyboards, with some occasional drumming and vocals. No guitars in sight.

The music reminds me of Klaus Schulze albums I have heard but with more of the "Italian flair" shall we say. Rather than getting lost in spacey soundscapes with little human emotional connection, his employment of piano melody, drums, or the distinct operatic vocals of Elisabetta Delicato appear at just the right moments to provide something more satisfy and interesting. The music itself is nearly impossible for me to describe because I don't have enough knowledge of the hardware to tell you what is making the sounds at a given moment. I certainly relish the piano and mellotron I hear and they are mixed with lots of other keys in arrangements that are sometimes serene and other times very feisty. There is enough drama and beauty on display along with the keyboard pyrotechnics to make this album a satisfying spin even for those of us who are not hardware junkies. I did find a few helpful comments at Planet Mellotron to describe the sound for you, they note "it constantly surprises with its adventurousness and melodic invention, particularly during the superbly-orchestrated 'string' arrangement on the title track... His 'Tron use concentrates entirely on different choirs; I suspect he uses male, female and 8-voice, though it's not always easy to tell. There's an awful lot of it, anyway; the male voices are one of the first sounds you hear on the side-long Time Control, and can be heard across all three tracks, supplying the requisite 'epic' quality that his music required, with the Wagnerian stabs on Take Off itself being particularly noteworthy." [portion in quotations from Planet Mellotron review]

I believe "Take Off" to be a good album although one with rather limited appeal. I recommend the album to two groups of people: Italian fans working towards the deep collection, especially fans of female soprano operatic vocals (though she sings only occasionally) and keyboard fans wanting to hear yet another celebration of vintage keys played with great enthusiasm and talent. For the rest of the readers I think 3 stars is appropriate; good, challenging, but probably not essential. I can almost guarantee that most of you do not have an album in your collection that sounds quite like this one, and perhaps for that reason alone it is worth investigation.

Thanks to ANDREW for the artist addition. and to Philippe Blache for the last updates

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