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ALPHATAURUS

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Alphataurus biography
Formed in 1970 in Milan, Italy - Disbanded in 1973 - Reformed in 2010

Alphataurus is one of those legendary RPI bands who are obscure in the annals of general progressive rock, but much appreciated by Italian prog fanatics who venture beyond the more well-known groups. Not much is known about the group from Milan who sprang on to the scene with a great album before vanishing in typical RPI fashion. A second album was partially recorded and later released by Mellow in the '90s as part of their archival projects. Our original site Bio summed them up like this:

"Expressive Heavy prog band from the classic early 70's Italian prog scene, very similar to MUSEO ROSENBACH and IL BALLETO DI BRONZO. Just like their contemporary 'sister' bands they mix very well the heavy parts with soft melodic passages, with exquisite contrasting strong voice. The keyboards are superb and their long thematic developments alone would merit an interest in their albums. They released two albums, the first one "Alphataurus" considered by many as a masterpiece of the 70's Italian scene. They are an unparallel heavy prog classic to my ears."

They did mix well the light and heavier sections and sometimes even a bluesy, jazzy, or spacey edge. I believe they probably had both English and Italian influences with the former being perhaps VDGG or even Deep Purple. I would say if you enjoy the heavier side of Italian, such as De De Lind, JET, or Museo Rosenbach, you will need to check out Alphataurus. Tragically the band split in 1974 while working on their second album, leaving it unfinished. It was released posthumously but was not even close to finished. Drummer Giorgio Santandrea went on to work briefly in Crystals, and Pietro Pellegrini collaborated with both Riccardo Zappa and PFM.

[Jim Russell/Finnforest]

See also : Italian Prog

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ALPHATAURUS discography


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ALPHATAURUS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 361 ratings
Alphataurus
1973
2.85 | 72 ratings
Dietro l'Uragano
1992
4.01 | 135 ratings
AttosecondO
2012

ALPHATAURUS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 30 ratings
Live In Bloom
2012
3.73 | 13 ratings
Prime Numbers
2014

ALPHATAURUS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALPHATAURUS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALPHATAURUS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

ALPHATAURUS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

4 stars Once one gets a bit deeper into RPI, beyond PFM, Orme, Goblin and Banco there come encounters with the phenomenon of the 'one and done' bands. A plethora of bands in a very crowded prog field in a few years span in a country smaller than California saw competition for attention and sales quite fierce, with many bands not getting the attention they deserved. Alphataurus is one of those bands who delivered an excellent album, then disappeared.

Opener Le Chamadere (Peccato D'Orgoglio) is a combination of excellent dynamic organ led prog with bubbling moogs, complex drumming, harpsichord (spinet) and symphonic flourishes. The instrumental opening section shows off the dexterity of the rhythm section right away before we are introduced to excellent vocalist Michele Bavaro. Catchy and complex at the same time with excellent moog runs that fall into the room shaking bass frequencies. Bits of Dance on a Volcano are a reference point in the closing section. One of the highlights of the album.

Song two, Dopo L'Uragano , is a riff on Led Zeppelin style rock filtered through heavy Tull that still retains a prog edge but shows off their musical abilities before returning to some vocals from Bavaro. It wouldn't be out of place in any early UK proto prog band. The closer to side one is a spinet workout that leads to a full on well charted and sophisticated faux symphonic flourish that would make the Enid proud. (another band that could convincingly simulate an orchestra without any orchestral instruments employed, which the inner sleeve notes here.)

Side two begins with La Menta Vola, a song that any prog head would love-string synths, ringing keyboards, subtle vibraphone, ambient flute, playful drum lines all lay out a slow building journey as deep moog lines begin to build underneath in an ELP fashion, with a bit of Le Orme stirred in there. Finishes with some excellent gurgling sound effects from the moog over the fade out. Ombra Muta is one of the other highlights of the album. It starts like an Italian version of Novalis, but halfway through they are off and running in a high energy instrumental organ/guitar/bass/drums UK style prog workout. (drummer Giorgio Santandrea is excellent in his busy but subtle attacks on the kit). Great synth on this song too, as keyboardist Pellegrini knows how to coax 'sound' out of a synth, rather than just play lines on it. Nice crashing fake ending that leads to an intricate low key Crimson-ish guitar led fade out to the album.

Fairly well recorded throughout, I think this one would play well with non RPI fans if folks want to go out and indoctrinate the unaware. Heavy rock and symphonic classical mix together nicely. Not perfect but an essential addition to an RPI collection. Fans of Campo di Marte and Metamorfosi will probably dig this, as well as Balleto di Bronzo and heavier New Trolls fans.

Absolutely stunning triple gatefold painting on the LP is one of the best album covers in Italian rock. Cool inner photo of the band takes up all three inner panels. Lyrics are printed on the right hand panel.

4.25 stars

 AttosecondO by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 135 ratings

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AttosecondO
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars My biggest regret is not buying Attosecondo when it came out but I can hardly blame myself as I tend to regard these reunion albums with suspicion and for good reason, because so many of them give us such embarrassing and substandard material. You can tell their hearts aren't into it, or clueless what listeners want or they're not into the kind of music they were playing some 40 years ago. Alphataurus avoided all those pitfalls and create what has to be one of the finest releases of 2012. True only two of the members from their '70s incarnation are present but here it didn't hurt them. While not a clone of their 1973 classic this one very much stands on it's own. Tons of wonderful keyboards with the occasional Emerson-like organ moves and great use of Moog, with amazing creative and complex passages. On the opening cut "Progressivo-Mente" it sounded like there's a couple passages where they borrowed from Canadian prog artist Robert Connolly with his 1978 album Plateau but it could be coincidence. But what really amazed me about the album is the high quality musicianship throughout. This is the kind of prog I've been looking for, and when it comes for too many more recent releases quality has been sorely lacking. If a classic prog band from the '70s should reunite they should learn from Alphataurus. Not your typical reunion effort, this is an amazing album and one of the best from the 2010s.
 Dietro l'Uragano by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.85 | 72 ratings

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Dietro l'Uragano
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Even without reading anything about this album first, you notice from the start that this is likely a demo collection - the recording quality below average.However, some tracks

are on par with the debut album. The first track certainly matches them - it provides the needed instrumental complexity.

The second track is also adventureous but has the unfinished feel. I'd like to highlight the work of the drummer here which is put quite heavy in the mix.

Claudette has, despite poor sound quality, nice keyboard layers and emotions.

This album has three stars but if the recording quality were better, add another half-star to it.

 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The debut album by Alphataurus contains all typical ingredients of Rock Progressivo Italiano: multiple keyboard layers, passionate vocals, Italian lyrics, quite strong melodies and decent experimenting.

However, guitar is more present than on a typical RPI album.

Three compositions reach over 9 minutes and the band have enough space to develop the music ideas.

Vocals remind me of early Kaipa because of the expression and voice colour. Guitar player is skilled and shows inclination to hard rock. Keyboards are almost always present and creative, from piano, organ to synthesizers.

The bass and drums greatly support the leading instruments.

My favourite parts are instrumental sections when the whole group shines on and these is evidenced in each song.

The first track sums up the band skills and inspiration. Changes of dynamism won't allow listeners to rest on laurels.

"Dopo l'uragano" has a more rock/hard-rock flavour than progressive rock but can be called anthemic. "Croma" is probably my favourite section on the album because it is so symphonic and solemn with keyboards in the foreground.

"La mente vola" has a nice vibraphone-sounding solo and a clear melody heavily dominated by keyboards.

"Ombra muta" is instrumentally the most complex song with plenty of interactions and it could have been more coherently done without brief vocals.

A good addition to anyone's RPI collection.

 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The year 1973 saw the peak of the progressive rock scene all across Europe and by this time it seemed like everyone was getting in on the act. While many bands were ratcheting up their progressiveness to grandiose pompous excess, many bands were just getting started and leaving behind one small trace of their imprint on the scene before disbanding seemingly as quickly as they emerged. Milan's ALPHATAURUS were in that category of flash in the pan artists that while forming in 1970 took three years to release their eponymous debut and then the very same year while attempting to record a follow up were riddled with personal conflicts and called it a day. Despite this short burst onto stage during the glory days of Italy's prog scene, this Milan unit nevertheless delivered a well respected and eternal slice of the prog rock universe that continues to see a steady growth in both interest and sales, so much so that the band reformed in 2010 to restart their career forty years after they began.

ALPHATAURUS were virtually unknown yet scored some festivals in 1972 when Vittorio De Scalzi of New Trolls scouted them out for his first musical act to be released on his nascent Magma Records. While fitting in with the overall sound spectrum of the Rock Progressive Italiano scene ALPHATAURUS was also notable for utilizing outsider influences such as England's Uriah Heep with their heavy rock approach as well as Van Der Graaf Generator with their moody moog saturated melodic passages that schizophrenically shapeshifted without notice. The band consisted of five members: Guido Wasserman on guitar, Pietro Pellegrini on piano, Hammond organ, Moog, vibraphone and spinet, Alfonso Oliva on bass, Giorgio Santandrea on drums, timpani, congas and Michele Bavaro as the passionately romantic lead vocalist. Their sole album of the 70s also consists of five tracks with three lengthy pieces as well as two shorter with each track having its own distinct identity making ALPHATAURUS' debut a nice diverse listening experience.

The opener "Le Chamedere (Peccato D'Orgoglio) delivers all the classic Italian sounding goods. Moody moog opening sequence followed by the pastoral Genesis inspired acoustic guitar passages that build into heavier and more dynamic crescendoes to follow. Stylistically Bavaro's vocal performances often remind me of Osanna's Lino Vairetti with his passionate pleas subtly ratcheting up into aggressive frenzies. Likewise some of the musical pieces can at times carry an Osanna tinged flavor albeit without the Neapolitan flavors that exist in the Southern Italy regions. ALPHATAURUS also borrow a lot from fellow country dwellers PFM with heavy Hammond organ attacks that hint of an ELP approach but crafted into strong flavors rather than bombastic head butts. "Dopo L'Uragano" follows suit with arpeggiated guitars buttressed with classical piano tinklings and Uriah Heep styled power chord progressions but catches the listener off guard by detouring into funk rock as well as with a roller coaster ride of changes that follow.

"Croma," the tiny track sandwiched between the others is a way cool spinet performance that cedes into a dramatic symphonic dreamscape. "La Mente Vola" features a wickedly cool moog and spinet combo intro with the track progressing into myriad different styles and shapeshifting gymnastics on its way to the ending smoking hot vibraphone solo workout. Augmented by a strong bass line, the guitar is allowed to soar in atmospheric free fall or in tasty blues fashion. Bavaro's vocal antics are hardly a one-trick pony. Versatile in all respects not only reminds of Osanna's Vairetti but has the chops to bring PFM, Banco and Museo Rosenbach to mind as well with sing-along style melodies that take progressive liberties with oft utilized time signature deviations and classically infused piano runs. "Ombra Muta" the near ten minute closer which continues the subtly seductive intro that ratchets up the dynamics scale until it builds into a Moog dominated soundscape with a pumping beefy ostinato bass line, heavy percussive drive and tastily delivered guitar chops complete with soloing techniques.

ALPHATAURUS may not stand out as totally original on the first couple listens as they evoke the other better known acts of the day with aspects adopted from all of them, however this band had an interesting way of presenting those elements in a distinct new form and added dynamics such as the often "reserved for jazz only" vibraphone to the mix with pleasing results. The harmonically rich melodic romps through the by then classic Rock Progressivo Italiano sound is as refined as a diamond cut from the deepest mines in Botswana. Romantic and pacifying, ALPHATAURUS flirted with bombast without ever fully diving in. While not as deftly virtuosic as Banco or PFM, nor as aggressively astute as Osanna, Area or Il Balletto Di Bronzo, ALPHATAURUS was about delivering heavily melodic compositional constructs that took the smoothness of bands like Le Orme and Il Balletto Di Bronzo and added a few new twists and turns. While some regard this as one of the greatest albums of the scene, as good as it is, it seems like it could've offered a few more original takes and not rely as much on the tricks and trinkets of their fellow countrymen. Nevertheless, this debut album is indeed a classic that kicks ass and delivers all the Italian prog goods in perfect pitch and that is a good thing.

 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Hrychu

3 stars A collection of predictable and unexciting tricks

I really want to enjoy this album.... but everytime I try I fail. In my presonal opinion, there's just nothing "uniquely cool" about the album that makes it enjoyable in its own special way (Genesis pun intended). The chords, melodies and arrangements are very very similar to just about any prog album from that era. And on paper everything works. You've got an amazingly proggy album with a ton of sweet little flavors. Except... you've heard it before. You know the drill. You know where this is going. The music doesn't subvert any expectations. Playing with the rhythm - check... synth and guitar solos - check, mellotron and hammond - check, flanger soaked drums - check... yadda yadda yadda. Let's take for example CHERRY FIVE (released later during that decade) It's the same checklist elements.... however that band made up for it with being ridiculously catchy and sort of romantic with touches of star quality. You could hear they played around the the formula. Here you've got all the cliches done in a safe and classicistic way that does neither take any risks nor take you on a musical adventure.

 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars URIAH HEEP made Italian! In a good way! Not the most complex or instrumentally challenging album of the era but a solid representation of a solid band.

1. "Peccato d'orgoglio" (12:26) a wonderful song with lots of power and emotion and beautiful melodies, without a bad section in its long construction. One of the two best songs on the album. (10/10)

2. "Dopo l'uragano" (5:06) I'm not quite sure where the band was going with this one. Led Zeppelin? (8/10)

3. "Croma" (3:17) is an instrumental that opens with harpsichord sounding keys, chunky bass and surprisingly quiet drums. In the second minute a second theme is introduced for a brief time before going back to the opening theme. Buy the end of the second minute we are fully committed to a full blown version of the opening theme. Nicely done in a kind of traditional classical music construction. (9/10)

4. "La mente vola" (9:21) I really like the tight rhythm section and foundational construct to this one. Almost Tangerine Dream-ish but truly rock'n'roll. The song builds in the third minute, with synths soloing over the opening foundation. At 3:25 everything shifts into more of a four-chord blues-rock ballad format--just before the vocals enter--doubled up by the same singer. The melody is okay, the song foundation is not as catchy or mesmerizing as the opening section. Synth and vibes soli are interspersed between the vocal verses and chorus. The descending chord progression used for the verse section reminds me of the awesome and climactic music from Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Gesthemene" from Jesus Christ Superstar. I love the first section, am not blown away by the second. (8.5/10)

5. "Ombra muta" (9:44) feels like a powerful Uriah Heep song. Great song composition and instrumental and vocal performances throughout--especially the multiple keyboards. Also, incredible rendering of all of the instruments in the engineering mix: so clear and defined and yet cohesive. Even the wild and psychedelic final three minutes. I like that the tension is not fully resolved in the end. It seems fitting. The best song on the album. (10/10)

A masterpiece of classic and true progressive rock music.

 AttosecondO by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 135 ratings

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AttosecondO
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Right from the first spin I just wasn't "getting" this latest album from ALPHATAURUS, and many listens later I'm still not "getting" it. Maybe my expectations were too high after enjoying their "Live In Bloom" cd from 2010 and feeling like they had captured the spirit of their debut album an album I consider to be a top two in the RPI field. Two of the tracks on "AttosecondO" are from the unfinished second studio album "Dietro L'uragano".

"Progressiva-Mente" sounds pretty cool to start with the dark guitar expressions as the drums and synths join in. A calm with floating synths after a minute as the vocals and piano arrive. It kicks back in after 2 minutes but the tempo will continue to shift. I really like the prolonged calm after 3 minutes. It's around 5 1/2 minutes before it kicks back in. I'm not a fan of the vocal harmonies to end it. "Gocce" starts off really well with the organ and that heavy sound. Some FLOYD-like guitar early on as well. A calm with piano 2 1/2 minutes in as reserved vocals join in. More of that guitar before 3 1/2 minutes along with mellotron. The tempo picks up with synths and prominent bass as the vocals continue. Good song! "Ripensando E..." and the next song were both on the "Dietro L'uragano" record. Deep bass, synths and drums standout early on in this lone instrumental. The tempo picks up big time after 2 minutes before settling back a minute later. Love those nasty synths after 4 1/2 minutes as we get a great sound right to the end.

"Claudette" is mellow to start as fragile vocals join in before 1 1/2 minutes. It kicks in a minute later with lots of keys and drums. A catchy sound 3 minutes in as it changes again and the vocals return. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes and I love that rhythm with keys 5 minutes in as the vocals continue to come and go. Another calm before 8 minutes with piano and fragile vocals like earlier. Strings too but I'm not a fan of the sound before 12 minutes or the ending. "Valige Di Terra" opens with atmosphere and drums as keys and more join in. It calms right down with piano and reserved vocals as the organ also joins in. It does pick up some until we get a calm with piano 3 minutes in. It builds during this instrumental section. Great sound 6 minutes in and we get passionate vocals before 8 minutes but they are brief. Some nice guitar work 8 1/2 minutes in then the vocals return. Check out the bass 9 1 /2 minutes in!

Clearly I'm in the minority here with my rating but this really does pale when compared to the majestic debut.

 Prime Numbers by ALPHATAURUS album cover Live, 2014
3.73 | 13 ratings

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Prime Numbers
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Son.of.Tiresias

5 stars The mighty Alphataurus the Dove is back !

A few years back completely out of the blue the impossible happened. The triumphant return of the mighty Alphataurus, The Dove had came back and was very alive & kicking ! I have always loved and preferred the heavier & darker side of Italian Prog, namely bands like Alphataurus, Il Balletto di Bronzo, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Campo di Marte, Il Biglietto per LīInferno, De De Lind... and I bought the Live in Bloom 2010 album without hesitation immediately I saw it for sale online four years back. So did my friend as well after having had realized the so long awaited comeback of a true legendary Italian band. And there were great videos on YouTube of their return on stage.... but we had to wait for another thousand years to see the whole gig... and here it is !

This is funny but I never thought that it could be nothing but good, at least. Actually I wasnīt surprised as it proved to be a perfect live album from a Legend. Altough the original vocalist Michele Bavaro with his very very powerful voice isnīt with anymore. So the new singer has a mammoth task to complete the sound, to fit the boots of great Bavaro. I must admit, he does it surprisingly well. Of course Claudio Falconeīs voice is not as impressive as Bavaroīs but actually is just excellent and it fits the music perfectly. Anyway, he must have been the best available and sings the tunes so competently and beautifully. He also adds some theatre in his very funny way of own to the songs. Still a bit shy but a showman and a frontman already. Bravo Claudio !

Also the new bass player Fabio Rigamonti surprises with sheer musicality and fits the bandīs sound just nicely as well. And his not too long bass solo is nothing but perfect and adds virtuosity with sweetness to the song. Bravo ! And with the original drummer Giorgio Santandreaīs very competent percussion work and a very distinctive soft and fat sound of his very own the rhythm section anchors the heavy foundation of this new yet so familiar Alphataurus sound. Guido Wassermanīs very economical style has emphasis on song structures by following the music itself rather than long soloing, a style close to Rodolfo Malteseīs and Steve Hackettīs. And Pietro Pellegrini with a new keyboardist Andrea Guizetti complete the original Alphataurusībold and colourful textures. Itīs a perfect RPI sound, as it can get. And most importantly they are loyal to the original analog textures and atmosphere as close as possibly as it could be with todayīs technology. Perfetto ! The band performs its magnificent debut album in its entirety plus a new tune in between the songs. Luckily it is not a filler, it just slows down the performance for a short while. The return could not have been any better. Also the venue is just small enough to catch this perfect sound on record with an enthusiast Italian audience that donīt make annoying noise but actually listens to this classic prog band from their very own, special culture. Itīs the Italian way. Nothing but perfection and respect to the music. Grazie, Alphataurus !

Ah, thereīs also a CD with new songs. Well, they are good and the heavy almost tortured violin adds something new to the sound but thatīs nothing important for me really.

I bought this is only for the DVD concert. Their first live gig, now a legendary performance is captured on video and thatīs enough for me. This DVD alongside the Prog Exhibition 4 DVD set filmed earlier that year documents what is the very finest of classic RPI today with the best artist still in incredible vital form, like BMS, PFM, Osanna and Le Orme giving their very best. For me, the return of Alphataurus is the greatest thing in todayīs Italian scene. Alphataurus proudly continues carrying the Italian torch ! Prog is saved again from boredom :)

 Alphataurus by ALPHATAURUS album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.11 | 361 ratings

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Alphataurus
Alphataurus Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by MyDarling95

3 stars This one's pretty wierd to me, and I know I am in the minority. Alphataurus' debut is one of Italy's best ever isn't it? I mean, compositions are awesome, instrumentation too, vocals are also fantastic and god look at that cover art. That is what most say about this album. Well, I don't know, it is not that special to me, I really have trouble trying to appreciate this album. The only song that I really like is Dopo L'Uragano, but the rest doesn't really do nothing for me, they fail to excite me, to captivate me. Peccato D'Orgoglio begins well but the whole instrumental part is kind of dull. Croma is short with keys. Side 2 hast two 9-minutes songs and, as side 1, they don't apear to be excellent for me. I'm sorry, but this has become more of a disappointment the more I listen to it, I give it 3 stars because of its (I have to admit it) fantastic art. I think there are many classic RPI albums better than this one.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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