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HABELARD2

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Habelard2 biography
Sergio Caleca - Born 1958 (Milan, Italy)

A composer from 1977, Sergio Caleca plays keyboards, guitars and electric bass. After short experiences with various progressive-rock groups, he started solo activity, moving through everything from electronic, new-age, rock, folk & other styles. He was the keyboardist with Italian RPI Prog group AD MAIORA from Milan until 2018.

Biography submitted for publication by Sergio CALECA, updated by Michael Hodgson (Aussie-Byrd-Brother)


photo by Francesco Renne

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HABELARD2 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

HABELARD2 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.22 | 9 ratings
Qwerty
2013
3.89 | 9 ratings
Il Ritorno Del Gallo Cedrone
2015
3.85 | 20 ratings
Maybe
2017
4.04 | 6 ratings
Hustle & Bustle
2017
4.00 | 5 ratings
The Black Swan
2018
3.83 | 10 ratings
Il Dado È Tratto
2019
3.09 | 3 ratings
Sgnautz !
2019

HABELARD2 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HABELARD2 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

HABELARD2 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

HABELARD2 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Copriferro Semantico
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
Carne, Ingranaggi, Tibie & Pulegge
1985
5.00 | 1 ratings
Sgnautz!
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
Diskusic
1987
4.00 | 1 ratings
Il Ritorno Del Gallo Cedrone
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
C'est La Vie
1991
2.50 | 2 ratings
20 Anni Dopo
1994

HABELARD2 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sgnautz ! by HABELARD2 album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.09 | 3 ratings

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Sgnautz !
Habelard2 Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars Habelard2 is the project of composer Sergio Caleca from Milan, Italy. His album "Sgnautz!", released in September of 2019, is his 2nd full studio released in 2019. Once again, Sergio is the sole performer on this release playing all instruments. The only guest is a vocal by Paolo Callioni on the title track. This album originally came about from unused material from a demo tape in 1986. The 4 tracks from that demo have been refined and other new songs were crafted from that. The final product is a 13 track album that has a total run time of over 55 minutes. There are no long tracks like the 16 minute ending track on the previous album. This time around, the tracks stay between one minute and just over 6 minutes. The album is available as a FLAC download on bandcamp.

The album starts off with what Sergio says is probably his first ever composition "Alta Marea" (High Tide). The sound of waves brings in a solo piano that plays a repeating motif and the piano later improvises over the motif which is fairly straightforward, but has just a touch of dissonance on the back end. Just before 2 minutes, other instruments (drums, soft guitar, light synths) are added in. The music builds a bit bringing in electric guitar and synth to play off of the motif. "Carruba" follows with a rolling percussion and an organ/synth that builds to a solo. This has a catchier, yet somewhat tricky beat at times. "Scuiscia ca Vola" (So Thin That It Could Fly) has a funk vibe to it and is led mostly by synth layers. The vibe mellows to a more soft jazz fusion sound as it continues. The synth improv towards the end is nice.

"Mocassini Babe" (Baby Shoes) is led by soft guitar layers that have some contradicting lines that provide a slightly unnerving feel, and this texture continues as it goes while it builds and then softens to sustained effects and then returns to the main riff with the addition of a cool synth/organ improv around the main theme. The dissonance that is felt through out the track is a nice touch. "Music For an Imaginary Crime Action Movie" is led by piano chords and organ with some strange synth chords. There is a cinematic feel to the expansive sound the synth reaches for at times, but there seems to be a lack of tension that the title implies should be there. Later, there is an addition of scratchy, funky guitar that might echo "Shaft" or something like that, but there still isn't the tension there.

"Notturno Nr. 2" is led by layered electric guitars with some synth background and an even rhythm. Later, a single guitar line plays the melody with embellishments, but it always leads back to the layered sound. Since the track is a Nocturne, or named as such, it doesn't seem quite as peaceful or pensive as a typical Nocturne, maybe a bit busy, more like a city at night. "Gualdrappa" starts with solo piano playing a repeating motif with drums and smooth synths coming in later, making for a slow swaying sound. Halfway through, an organ builds a bit more excitement as it drives more emotion into the track that culminates in a more driving beat with the guitar coming in heavier as it goes along and then finally calming with strings (could be effects) calm things down and build it all up again to a sudden ending.

"Sgnautz!" (the title track) comes along next with a more dramatic sound as pounding drums and smooth synths build the music. When it reaches the apex though, it's not really the payoff that was expected. Instead you get some synth chords. Finally the guest vocalist comes in well into the 2nd minute. The track remains surprisingly flat and lifeless throughout unfortunately, even the lyrics or melody from the vocalist don't help. In the end, it's hard to understand why there was a fuss around this track. "Split" returns to the instrumental tracks. This one at least has the tension in it that was missing from the last track, and is led mostly by piano and organ with the drums working well to create tension. This is a return to a better sound with a nice expansive feel as it continues. It's a very nice track. "Sabrena" goes for a much heavier sound with an extended guitar riff in the beginning, but it lightens up to more jangly guitars later. The guitar textures keep changing back and forth and end up making a nice contrasting track that does well holding its weight, even when the sustained synths come in later. It ends up being another nice track with some great texture contradictions throughout. Strangely enough, it all works well.

"Perle ai Porci" (Pearls to Pigs) begins surprisingly smooth, but throws in some squealing pig sounds and an occasional dramatic piano riff to just through you off. The music makes you keep thinking there is going to be this cool payoff, but it never really happens as it stays a bit lackluster, even when the guitar layers threaten the somewhat meandering feel of the song. "Salve" (Hello!) is the shortest track just over a minute, and features some nice glitchy synth effects that are warped and muffled. The album ends with the longest track just over 6 minutes called "Il Giudizio Universale" (The Universal Judgement). The beat is moderately slow and the guitars and synths are a bit too passive for such an apocalyptic title. It sails along on layers of synths and mellotron with an underlaying guitar. It slowly builds a bit and the drums try to get a little more excitement out of the instruments, but they are content just to sail along. Tension builds as it continues, and again you wait for the big pay off that keeps threatening, but never really comes about.

The album is pretty decent, but has its share of downfalls too. Some of the tracks are pretty good while others seem a bit pointless, especially the title track with the unnecessary vocals. While some tracks are quite satisfying, there are just as many that don't really go anywhere. As was the case with "Il Dado e Tratto", the previous album, there are no real "focus" tracks here, but that still doesn't say that this album doesn't have it's moment. There is still some great material here, but overall, it comes across as being a bit inconsistent. It all seems to even out at the end, so this one gets 3 stars.

 Il Dado È Tratto by HABELARD2 album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 10 ratings

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Il Dado È Tratto
Habelard2 Crossover Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Since 2013, Sergio Caleca has been releasing solo albums, and "Il Dado è Tratto", released in February 2019 is his 6th studio album released under the name "Habelard2" which is listed as a Crossover Prog project, thus his music is varied under this project name. He has been a composer since 1977 and has had experience playing with other progressive bands, and, most recently, with the RPI band from Milano, Italy, "Ad Maiora". He is a multi-instrumentalist playing keyboard, guitar and bass. He plays all the instruments on this album, which is entirely instrumental. But even so, it is full of variety touching on several styles.

"Bad Shape" starts off with acoustic guitar and drums which lay the foundation for the lilting synths and either flutes or a reed effect that provide the melodic line. The sound is along the lines of a folk style, but the synths lead the melody. At first the melody is simple, but later it becomes more complex as the piano, guitar, mellotron and drums establish an odd meter, but it eventually goes back to a standard meter. The sound is pleasant, pastoral, folkish and sometimes complex.

"Carne, Ingranaggi, Tibie e Pulegge" begins with all synths and occasional cymbal rolls making it sound like electronic music. This changes when drums come in at 2 minutes along with bass and a guitar playing arpeggio riffs. Later, you get a synthesized orchestra and organ as the tempo picks up a bit. This is a nice and relaxing track that stays mostly simple and soft with a few crescendos to keep it all moving forward.

"Idiosincrasia" is a bit harder and much more suited for Rock Progressivo Italiano. It is quite dynamic in its meter changes and complex rhythms. The tone is usually quite dark and sinister utilizing mostly guitars, but also some jazzy piano and drums. Synths are also used later mostly for anchoring the track.

The next three tracks are below the 6 minute mark where the previous tracks were longer than this. "Il Pianto della Iena" has a progressive jazz foundation mostly created by piano and other keyboards and a melodic line created by synthesizer. It starts out quite cheery and upbeat, but later slows down to a moderate straightforward tempo with reed effects. It later returns to the original jazz style. "Empty Pages" is quite straightforward with a good upbeat feel with a slight pastoral feel to it, mostly produced by keyboards. "E7sus2" starts as a piano solo with jazz chords as hinted at in the title. A flute joins in later with light percussion. At 1:30, other instruments join in with a walking rhythm and guitar taking over the melody line with a synthesized brass section trading off. Other instruments trade off doing improvised melody over the jazz foundation before things get more complex and progressive with a start/stop section before returning to improvising on the main theme again.

The last track is the title track with a duration of over 16 minutes. It starts with a stately theme and some organ and heavy percussion continue before things get more progressive. The track has a jazz/rock fusion, always changing its meters and moods, going from pastoral to jazzy to heavy, yet everything keeps holding together quite well by creating continuous themes generated by the music's complexity. All of the instruments get a chance to shine usually against unique backgrounds. After 16 minutes, though, even with the ever changing atmosphere, it tends to go on too long without anything to really anchor it. Don't get me wrong, there is some awesome stuff going on here, but it's a bit too long and even then, it ends quite abruptly.

The album is quite pleasant with a lot of variety and styles throughout. There are some great passages and the music, although quite progressive in sections, is quite accessible and never abrasive. The reason this music is considered Crossover Prog is because of the variety in it. The production is great and the musicianship is close to perfect. The reason for the 4 star rating is because it could have been better with a little more heaviness, but that might not have fit well on this album. There are also sections that tend to wander a bit and some unexpected surprises would have been nice, but it is still an excellent album with some major high points.

 The Black Swan by HABELARD2 album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 5 ratings

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The Black Swan
Habelard2 Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars From Tomita, to Wendy Carlos, to Rick Wakeman, Emerson Lake & Palmer and no shortage of others, there's a long history of artists working in progressive-related styles adapting countless classical music pieces in a variety of ways that can be of great interest to prog-rock fans. Now it's the turn of Italian multi-instrumentalist Sergio Caleca, with Haberlard2 the alias project name for the solo project of the Ad Maiora keyboard player (and if you haven't checked out the work of this talented modern Italian band, bookmark this page and divert into checking them out right away, then come back here!), and he changes direction again here with 2018's `The Black Swan' by reinterpreting a range of classical compositions as prog-rock styled arrangements, and the results are a constant delight!

Of the highlights, `I Remember' is a warm and elegant acoustic theme, Satie's `Gymnopedie no 1' is a gorgeously embracing electric piano shimmer that gently springs to life, and both Beethoven's `Moonlight Sonata' and the sighing synths of `Ornaud '77' now sound like they could have wandered off an early Genesis album with their regal and weeping Steven Hackett-like guitar strains. `Symphony in D' is a charming organ-driven stroll, and The Nutcraker's `Dance of the Mirlitons' is given an amusingly kitsch synth-pop makeover that sounds right out of the Eighties! Bach's `Sleepers, Awake' now resembles something off an early Flower Kings disc with its romantically whimsical tone and Mellotron-like strains, `Reverie' has a late-night/early AM hours placid jazzy mellowness, and the title-track of `The Black Swan' bristles with danger from ever-looming organ and grinding guitar menace.

Although slightly overlong, and the drum programming can be a little unengaging in spots, there is no denying the painstaking effort, passion and even sense of fun that was gone into Sergio's work here (all his own playing, not with additional musical guests this time around), and the accompanying press release conveys how influential the music of numerous classical composers were to the artist growing up. Perhaps classical purists will be wary of `The Black Swan', but more open-minded listeners should greatly enjoy these inventive and lavish recreations of some grand pieces of music, and it's another varied and colourful effort from the always unpredictable Mr Caleca performed with exemplary skill!

Four stars.

 Hustle & Bustle by HABELARD2 album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 6 ratings

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Hustle & Bustle
Habelard2 Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Italian keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Sergio Caleca not only keeps busy with his `day job' band Ad Maiora (who've put out two superb albums being `Ad Maiora!' in 2014 and `Repetita Iuvant' two years later, if you haven't investigated them yet), but he's also devoted to his own solo project Haberlard2, and just this year (2017) alone he's offered two complete studio albums! The earlier one `Maybe' proved to be a joy for symphonic and eclectic prog music fans with a touch of vocal pop-rock where Sergio was backed up by a range of notable Italian prog guests both of the vintage and modern era, but `Hustle & Bustle' sees the man go it alone, yet still managing to deliver another colourful and diverse collection of fully instrumental pieces across an eclectic range of styles.

Looking at some of the highlights, the album opens infectiously with a full-blown unexpected jazz-fusion take on classic ditty `Frère Jacques', coursing through everything from jangling guitars, funky murmuring bass and dizzying fuzzy keyboard runs! That unpredictability will maintain the rest of the album, and the laid-back whimsy with a touch of playfulness and warmth from Sergio's electric piano touches gives `Dolce' a light Canterbury flavour in parts before more strident and dramatic rises. `Giada' is a quirky electronic/symphonic hybrid, and `Alice' is a darker Hammond organ-powered symphonic workout with jazzy accompaniment courtesy of keyboard emulation (with the real instruments this could have easily popped up on any of the recent Tangent albums).

The longest piece at almost seven minutes, `Folk e Martello' is lavished with prettiness and dignified pomp, `Tragico nr.2' bristles with classic Genesis and Steve Hackett-esque symphonic majesty (and Sergio's glorious guitar soloing would have fit in nicely on a Flower Kings piece if Roine Stolt needed a day off!), and `Celtic Dream' is, sure, enough, a lovely Celtic theme both gentle and proud. Much of `DeboleFortePiano' is a sparkling electric piano-led piece with a bouncy spring in its step that means it could have shown up on many Alan Parsons Project albums, lovely Canterbury sound flavours waft through `Cinc Ghei Pusè Ma Rus' and `Seventies' is a shorter reflective interlude. The title track `Hustle & Bustle' finds a good balance of dramatic and quirky moments as it brims with colourful keyboard soloing, and album closer `Finalino' is a mix of grand symphonic rises and sprightly jazzy piano touches.

While the album would have greatly benefited from being performed with all real instruments as opposed to being constantly aped on keyboards (how about getting some musical friends to re-record some of these pieces together over time, Sergio?), `Hustle & Bustle' is no less grand in scale and ambition than its predecessor, as well as being more intimate with a thoroughly admirable `anything-goes' approach. If you want to hear a superb modern musician displaying a huge range of his technical and compositional skills, Sergio Caleca/Haberlard2's `Hustle & Bustle' has plenty to offer progressive music lovers!

Four stars.

 Maybe by HABELARD2 album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.85 | 20 ratings

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Maybe
Habelard2 Crossover Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Putting out two superb albums with modern Italian band Ad Maiora - `Ad Maiora!' in 2014 and `Repetita Iuvant' two years later - wasn't enough for keyboardist Sergio Caleca, he also spends his time with a solo project that goes by the name of Haberlard2, with his latest work, `Maybe', proving to be a joy for symphonic and eclectic prog music fans, and it's one of the most diverse and colourful progressive music albums of 2017, Italian or otherwise. Predominantly instrumental but finding time for some charming English rock/pop vocal pieces to slot in as well, multi-instrumentalist Sergio has not only enlisted the help of his Ad Maiora bandmates to help flesh out the disc and give it a more full, rich sound, but he's also received valuable contributions from members of a diverse range of Italian groups such as The Watch, Phoenix Again, Silver Key, Ubi Maior and even RPI legends Maxophone amongst others!

The propulsive drum-beat and relentless bass of opening instrumental `In A Bell's House' instantly reminds of `Nude'-era Camel, with lots of momentum-building piano and bubbling runaway synth noodling. Slinking electric piano gives `Barlafüs' a cool laid-back lightly jazzy flavour that could have easily found a home on the debut Arena/Di Tollo/Marras album `ADM' from 2012, but some fiery electric guitar bursts throughout bring a darker hint. `A Lie' is the first vocal piece of the album, a lightly melancholic ballad featuring both Soulengine/Redzen member Ettore Sallati's haunting guitars and his brother Giorgio (Joe) on charmingly accented English vocals, and `Waiting For A Saviour' is a half playful/half damning pop/rocker also performed in English by lead vocalist Alberto Ravasini of legendary vintage RPI band Maxophone with lovely additions of violin, sax and flute throughout.

The album then hits another fifteen-odd minute stretch of instrumental tracks again, and `Stress' is one of the longer pieces that darts through a range of tempos and moods, made up of groaning sitar, brooding electronics, serene ambient passages and urgent symphonic turns. `Stringa' is a warm classical guitar interlude that seems to have wandered off from a Steve Hackett album, as does `Chi Era Laynson?', a lavish and regal (if too short!) symphonic instrumental with harpsichord, viola, oboe, brass and Mellotron choirs aplenty. Ad Maiora's vocalist Paolo Callioni enters for `Looking For An Ashtray' that almost sounds like the more introspective Adrian Belew sung moments of King Crimson's `Thrak' and `The Power to Believe' albums (and watch out for the synth-tastic freak-out in the middle and lovely serene Mellotron in the finale!), but then it's back to a final stretch of three vocal-free tracks. `Anonimo' is a hybrid prog-electronic/symphonic mix with Phoenix Again's Antonio Lorandi's bouncing bass guitar, and Sergio himself even lets rip with a fiery electric guitar solo in the climax! The piece is something like classic-period Genesis and early Steve Hackett solo meets `Stratosfere'-era Tangerine Dream - very tasty indeed!

But it's the title-track `Maybe' that leaves the biggest impression, an elegant swoon of classical acoustic guitar delicateness, thoughtful flute, grand organ and sweeping orchestral grandness, and its exemplary build and control means it lifts to the heights of being one of the best symphonic-prog pieces of 2017 so far. `Taste The End' is then a reflective and sweet piano-led closer with lovely bluesy guitar soloing from Ad Maiora's Flavio Carnovali.

`Maybe' is a symphonic prog fans delight, and if you don't mind the three vocal tracks, this is seriously one of the best instrumental albums of 2017 to date. All of the guests offer valuable contributions (in particular Francesco Lattuada's viola is a constant highlight on several of the pieces), but it's Sergio that shines brightly with his brilliant performance across a range of instruments and keen ear for melodic and luxurious compositions. Maybe? More like absolutely completely YES!

Four stars.

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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