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martes, 24 de noviembre de 2015

Il Rovescio Della Medaglia - Contaminazione (1973)


Elo Mago Alberto nos trae más de progresivo italiano a pedido del público cabezón, ahora en su faceta más clásica. Pasen y vean, sin prejuicios, sin ataduras auditivas, se van a llevar una grata sorpresa...

Artista: Il Rovescio Della Medaglia
Álbum: Contaminazione
Año: 1973
Género: Progresivo sinfónico italiano
Duración: 36:34
Nacionalidad: Italia


Lista de Temas:
1. Absent For This Consumed World
2. Ora Non Ricordo Più
3. Il Suono Del Silenzio
4. Mi Sono Svegliato E... Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi
5. Lei Sei Tu: Lei
6. La Mia Musica
7. Johann
8. Scotland Machine
9. Cella 503
10. Contaminazione 1760
11. Alzo Un Muro Elettrico
12. Sweet Suite
13. La Grande Fuga

Alineación:
- Enzo Vita / guitars
- Pino Ballarini /vocals, flute
- Stefano Urso / bass
- Gino Campoli / drums
- Franco Di Sabbatino / keyboards
With:
Luis Enriquez Bacalov / orchersta direction




En el derrotero cabezón nos encontramos con "Contaminazione" de Il Rovescio Della Medaglia, el tercer álbum que superó a todas sus producciones anteriores. Y es tan genial que merece llamárselo por su nombre completo: "Contaminazione di alcune idee de certi preludi e fughe del Clavicembalo ben temperato di J.S. Bach" (o sea: "Contaminación de algunas ideas de ciertos preludios y fugas de El clavel bien temperado de J.S. Bach", chupoate esa mandarina!). Disco dedicado a la vida y obra del señor Bach. Acá tenemos el comentario del Mago Alberto que es quien nos trae este disco:


Il Rovescio Della Medaglia (RDM) banda italiana que deambulo por los pasillos de lo más elaborado del progre setentoso, combinaron con gran acierto lo más referencial del clásico con lo más rockero del progresivo y la mezcla le dió gran reconocimiento en el ambiente.
Este trabajo del año 1973, Contaminazione, fue el mas conocido de su dicografía, y es una verdadera joya del progresivo italiano, son esos discos que con el tiempo van adoptando su verdadera forma, su esencia, se perfilan con el matiz verdadero del cual fueron creados, se comprende el concepto, y el concepto en si es muy arriegado, por cuanto los tanitos crean una obra conceptual para mostrar su particular visión sobre la impronta de J.S.Bach. Como anécdota comento que en este trabajo los RDM solicitaron la colaboracion del compositor y director argentino Luis Enriquez Bacalov, quien ya había trabajado con los New Trolls en aquella inmensa obra "Concerto Grosso" (material que tambien está pendiente).
Aquí van a encontar una orquesta clásica, entreverada con solos de teclados, solos de guitarra, coros, etc. etc, para el amante del progresivo más clásico este disco es imperdible.
Generalmente en las reseñas gráficas este tipo de trabajos siempre dan para la eterna muletilla de que "se parece a tal o cual grupo". Voy a prescindir de la misma y solo mencionar que RDM se parece a RDM.
Ayer leía el comentario de un cabezón, mencionando casualmente a esta banda y especificamente este trabajo y como este disco ya estaba subido sólo me quedaba acercarselo al Vampiro, también estan Campo di Marte, Corte Dei Miracoli, Arti & Misteri, que oportunamente serán publicados.
Pasen y vean, sin prejuicios, sin ataduras auditivas, se van a llevar una grata sorpresa.
Alberto



Con ese dramatismo que le dan los italianos; sintetizadores, orquestación, voces corales, violines y rock se suman armónicamente en la mejor media hora y unos minutos que podes tener. Ningún desperdicio ni nota de más. Un album fantastico, completo, compacto en donde las voces nunca interrumpen el avance de la música que es parte de la historia. Una maravillosa consistencia y balance entre el manejo de instrumentos eléctricos y acústicos, lo que hace del album una pieza única del rock progresivo italiano.
Realmente, y para sintetizar, una prueba de la maravilla misma, del sinfonismo en su máxima expresion. Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés, como siempre, por si hace falta otra opinión...

This is one of the most essential prog classic to adorn any prog lovers collection. This is pure progressive magic from start to finish. Based on the life of JS Bach, RDM create a dream-like environment to tell the story from. Lyrics are in Italian and the musicianship is exceptional throughout. RDM deliver a wide contrast in moods and atmosphere here ranging from the pure and serene to loud crashing of guitars and synths. Orchestration is obviously filtered throughout and work very well for the listener making this a real gem all the way around. This is beautiful Italian tension building prog at its finest. The vocal portions are also amazing and sound great on the 'ol stereo....great speaker seperation
James Unger

"Contaminazione" is a concept album, based on themes from Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier". 13 sections alternate from straight-forward prog rock to aggressive, Bach-influenced, instrumental passages where harpsichords, trumpets, and strings compete with electric guitars, bass, and an energetic drummer. A couple of the sections are mellow, and only serve to balance the more intense passages. RDM are worth adding to your collection.
Steve Hegede

Well actually this "contamination" is a bit dated nowadays, but in the course of the seventies this operation was so much acclaimed as one of the best re-arrangements from an opera by J.S. Bach. Honestly in this case the work should be inspired by such Bach's "Well Tempered Clavier", but the similarities are not so evident; rather I find a personal imprinting by an heavy rock band which made his first attempt to become more "progressive", thanks to this interesting idea. The concept works quite well instrumentally, even though it is not much inspiring from the point of view of the connection between a song and another. For the considerations above the score should be inferior, but the impact was so strong that the album deserves for sure a major attention.
Lorenzo

"Help me out! Find the key! Break the lock! Set me free..." This is what I'm talking about!! Simply divine. After 2 medium/poor albums, R.D.M. suddendly jumps both feet in the big leagues with this record. A record, by the way, that you will never be ambarrassed to play loud. I heard it on an LP (the english version), and now I finally posess the original italian version (way easier to find). This don't disappoint. Pure gold. No kidding. Along with "Felona e Sorona" and "Per un Amico", this record jumps right in the all-time italian classics. It's groundbreaking and agressive but also fragile and subtle. A perfect approach of a (true) story by combining heavy rock with Bach's work. And what a marvelous combination. It's not in Trace's way (dazzling and speedy baroque), but...it's like attempting to an extravagant play featuring R.D.M. and Bach. It takes it time to breathe and to shake you at the right time. My hat to Rovescio della medaglia for being an obscure band and showing us that talent is not always hiding in dazzling performances but also in crafting and building a record that stands proudly on it's feet, not being afraid to compete with prog giants. UNDENIALBLE CLASSIC. * 5/5 CONTAMINATED STARS*
Jonathan Payeur

PROGRESSIVE SUMMER RAMBLINGS 2
Abisso, abside, accantonare, affogato, allenatore, Alpi, amaretto, arrivedérci, asinino, aspettare, auguri, avanti, babbo, bacio, bambino, befana, Beretta, birra, bolognese, buonasera, calcio, caldo, calzone, cappucino, cercare, chiesa, cinquecento, cipolla, condottiero, conoscere, consigliere, conzucione, croce, culo, cuore, destra, doge, domani, dopo, ebreo, ecco, espresso, fascio, fica, formaggio, fragola, freddo, ghibelino, giallo, giorno, gli, grazie, guardare, guelfo, ieri, insegnante, insieme, latte, loggia, maccherone, madonna, malato, mascarpone, mensa, mezzo, moglie, nave, negozio, nessuno, niente, nocciolato, nodo, nudo, occhio, ogni, olivo, parmigiano, paura, pazzo, permesso, piccolo, pipistrello, pizza, pomodoro, quartiere, quindici, raccogliere, raccolta, ragazza, rapporto, regno, risotto, rovescio, scopo, scusare, sfumato, siccome, specchio, spunto, squadra, stampa, strappo,sviluppo, tagliatelle, tarantella, tasca, testa, tifosi, tonno, treno, tridentino, uscita, vecchio, volere, zio, zucchero, zuppa.
The above list is, rudely put, my entire Italian vocabulary, not counting, obviously, the long array of words similar or alike in my native tongue. A few of those were picked up on trip to Italy last year. Of course, my goal there was not to learn the language, but to attend a Gilmour concert and do a little sightseeing. The Gilmour concert was great, the sightseeing even better, but I feel I could have done more and maybe dive into the cradle of a fantastic musical genre, Italian Symphonic Prog. I knew PFM and La Maschera di Cera were around performing, but one of the downsizes of travelling accompanied is that you can't always go where you what. Still, back to the list, it is not, as you can probably conclude, a very flattering one. And it is probably one of the reasons why I can't appreciate Italian Symphonic Prog (from now on referred to by the Italian initials to Rock Progressivo Italiano - RPI) in full.
I was "introduced" to RPI, surprisingly, by a dear lady friend (prog-chicks - gotta love them!). The band in question was Banco del Mutuo Soccorso. When I asked her where she had got those tracks, she replied "Prog Archives. Don't you know it?" I had never heard of it. I can't say that I would continue not knowing it if not for her, but I agree she speeded up the process of me joining this wonderful resource. She and RPI, that is. For my first moments on this website were spent downloading (when you still could) the massive array of RPI samples available in this prog El-Dorado. From ba-rock bliss to heavy folk-rock, from eerie to exciting, at every track I got, my curiosity and devotion to this amazing genre grew. Progressively.
It seems only fair that my first RPI review refer to my first RPI album: Roverscio della Medaglia's CONTAMINAZIONE di alcune idee di certi prelude e fughe de «Il Clavicembalo ben temperato» di J. S. Bach (don't you just love long titles?). Sure, I had previous contact with the RPI samples here on PA, including the one for RDM, Cella 503, yet Contaminazione. was the first full experience of appreciation I had, which is to say, the first RPI album I purchased. It was an impulse of the moment. I received a mailing list from a music distributor that featured one copy of this album. As soon as I saw it, in 5 minutes I had it bought. Two days later, there he came knocking to my door. Needless to say, the first listen wasn't all I expected it to be. First off, there was the album length - 36 minutes. When you pay some dosh for an album, you might expect it to be filled. Then, as if the album length wasn't enough, there were the tracks - one had 4 minutes and 10 seconds, the rest not even 4. Of course, after a few listens, I realized this wasn't important. As far as I could and can tell, the album compromises only one piece of music, as all the songs segue into the next to form a 36 minute opus (the only exception is between tracks 6 and 7 where, I can only imagine, the division for vinyl was made, an assumption confirmed by other reviewers).
What wondrous music and musicianship! The keyboards are omnipresent, but they don't embark as much on the psych ups-and- downs we are used to in many progressive rock acts as much as they serve an eerie ambient sound. Electric guitars are less present throughout the album, but they do come out sometimes, and what a joy it is when they do! The vocals, both individual and in chorus, are spot on. The orchestra gives it a classical ambience that the band fits into so well and therefore there is plenty of classical instrumentation to go around, driven by the obvious harpsichord and strings, delightfully present throughout the opus. The first half of the album, compromising the first 6 tracks, has an exiting start, but then gets progressively more mellow and emotional. From the second half on, opened by Johan it gets slightly heavier, faster and wackier. Every song before Alzo Un Muro Eletrico sounds like a display of fireworks at Louis XIV's Versailles. When that track does arrive, it does so in a funky blast, after the small 1-minute intro provided by the flute-dominatedContaminazione 1760. Distorted guitars dominate the landscape here, by far the heaviest track of the album and a real highlight. The heaviness is slightly interrupted at the middle by what Ian Anderson could describe as a "sleazy piece of hotel elevator jazz". This amazing track gives way to the climatic yet phantasmagorical, keyboard dominated Sweet Suite (such a sweet name!), that repeats the intro from Alzo Un Muro Eletrico before segueing into the fast-paced, baroque-psyched ending that is La Grande Fuga. Harpsichord, strings, electric keyboards, all compete in this track to see who's stronger and who's faster, and while they do so, the only winner in the competitions is us, the listeners. You can just picture in your mind the fireworks in the end.
This is not an album to hear and discard after one listen. It has to be repeated, listened to carefully, it has to mature in the ear. When it does, you can't keep from seeing it as it is. A masterpiece.
João Cotrim

I see the contaminated world is a beautiful world.
For only one year, what should alter IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA (RDM) into a really progressive band? Before listening to Contaminazione, I've heard their previous two albums. The first album was one of the heaviest products of all Italian progressive ones in 1971 and I think this is a great one in that period. The second got freer style than the first but the mainstream was almost same.
In spite of previous heavy (but not lyrical) style, Contaminazione, the third album is quite different from previous ones. I consider the most important point is RDM could bring keyboard as one of the main instrumentals, and could make good use of the strings. Of course, we can't tell the point without the keyboard player FRANCO DI SABBATINO and LUIS ENRIQUEZ BACALOV's production (Luis is the producer of Concerto Grosso and Milano Calibro 9) . I'm sure, whatever we say, this aggressive change was the potential and motivation of RDM itself.
In this work, sounds of guitar and percussion is as heavy as previously, and there is lyrical and fantastic style previously unexpressive. Classical melody is brought from Bach's and this is written on the sleeve. Wonderfully and interestingly, this work is balanced between heavy guitar & percussion and lyrical keyboard and strings. Namely, this balance is the core of Italian Progressive Rock World. RDM could do this for only one year...and soon be broken out...oh well, as Close To The Edge by Yes, to be broken away after climbing the top of the mountain (named as Italian Progressive Rock) is the destiny, isn't it? Even if it's so, we are very happy to listen to this excellent album. I wanna say, Contaminazione is one of the most brilliant of all progressive rock albums.
IMPRESSED AND AMAZED. ABSOLUTELY 5/5 STARS!
Keishiro Maki

Il Rovescio della Medaglia were one of the many bands of the Italian prog scene of the early seventies. They were from Rome and after two albums in a hard rock style, "La bibbia" and "Io come io", in 1973 they collaborated with composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov and lyricist Sergio Bardotti for a third album in a more symphonic style. The result was a very peculiar concept album blending classical music and rock entitled "Contaminazione di alcune idee di certi preludi e fughe del Clavicembalo ben temperato di J.S. Bach" (Contamination of some ideas from some preludes and fugues from the well-tempered clavier by J.S. Bach). The line up on this album features Enzo Vita (guitars), Stefano Urso (bass), Gino Campoli (drums), Pino Ballarini (vocals, flute) and Franco di Sabbatini (keyboards) but in studio the band interacted with a baroque orchestra directed by the Maestro Luis Enriquez Bacalov himself with excellent results.
The album tells the story of an imaginary character, a Scottish guitarist called Jim McCluskin that, back from a journey in Nepal, believes to be the "avatar" (the incarnation) of another imaginary character, a Scottish musician called Isaia Somerset, supposed to be an illegitimate son of Johann Sebastian Bach who abandoned him during his stay in Britain. The guitarist is hospitalized in a psychiatric structure where he is haunted by his crazy musical dreams. The plot is ironic, all the tracks are linked together and the music flows without interruptions drawing a kind of well crafted "divertissement".
The opener, "Absent For This Consumed World" is a short instrumental introduction that leads with a drum roll to the ethereal and melancholic "Ora non ricordo più" (Now I can't remember). "Now I can't remember what kind of music I used to play / I saw white and I fell over / It's the imagine of an imagine... I run after my music / My music is running forward, away from me / Like dark never touch light / Where time comes to life and immediately dies / She is there and she's waiting for me / She is calling me...".
Next comes "Il suono del silenzio" (The sound of silence). Don't worry, it's not a cover of Simon & Garfunkel but an experimental track where classical passages of harpsichord, organ and violin are mixed with a vibrant and pulsing rhythm section. In the mind of the protagonist a question comes up... "Maybe, am I the son of Bach?".
"Mi sono svegliato e... Ho chiuso gli occhi" (I woke up and... I shut my eyes) tells of a sad awakening... "Why am I here? Why did they shut me here? Because for them I'm like a strange child...". From a lullaby take off a desperate electric guitar solo in Jimi Hendrix style... The protagonist wants to go back into the world of dreams... "I woke up this morning and... / I shut my eyes...". Well, definitively dreams can be better than reality...
The short and frenzy "Lei sei tu: lei" (She is you: she) depicts a troubled dream where music becomes a beautiful woman inviting the protagonist to follow her in another world where she is waiting. Next comes "La mia musica" (My music), a sweet and romantic love song dedicated to the charming woman that incarnates the music... "She is there... And in the light of thought even the faintest souvenir becomes clear / I run after her when she runs away / To have her one more time... Sing on the roof / And I'll call you swallow / Sing on the bank / And I'll call you sea / I can hear thousands voices / They sing the secrets hidden into the soul / They sing the thoughts of a free spirit / It's for me that they are singing / It's for you... Now she is here / Now she is mine...".
The mad rock guitarist believes now to be Isaia Somerset, the illegitimate son of Bach and on "Johann" the contamination of styles is perfect The interaction between rock band and baroque orchestra is absolutely brilliant... "Johann Sebastian Bach had twenty-one children / He loved twenty of them / But one was abandoned in Scotland...".
"Scotland Machine" blends classical music and rock with Celtic echoes... When the protagonist awakes he's driven into cell number 503 that now is free and all for him... "Cella 503" (Cell 503) is an instrumental where we find a peculiar Spanish flavour mixed with baroque music, then a rock part precedes a closing section featuring a powerful organ solo. Then comes "Contaminazione 1760", another short instrumental featuring only flutes.
"Alzo un muro elettrico" is one of the best tracks on this work, where you can find tasteful reminiscences of Brazil... "I build an electric wall / A sky of organs is opening / She is there / Now I'm again myself...". "Sweet Suite" begins with a church-like organ, then a short reprise of "Alzo un muro elettrico" follows... "Now I'm again myself!". The fiery and passionate instrumental "La grande fuga" (The grat fugue) is a perfect "gran finale" for this amazing album.
An English version of this album was also released for the international market, but I prefer the Italian one. A must have for every prog lover.-
Andrea Parentin

Contaminazione is a concept album based on a fictitious Scottish guitarist who is driven to insanity by his obsession with J. S. Bach. However, what is probably of greater relevance to non-Italian speaking listeners is that the music is inspired by preludes and fugues by the said composer. From ORA NON RICORDO PIU (Prelude No. 1 in C major) to LA GRANDE FUGA (Prelude from the cello suite No. 1 in G major), and pretty much everything in between, the tracks blend familiar Bach melodies with the band's original material. All 13 tracks are short but they segue seamlessly, and the band's instruments combine perfectly with Luis Enriquez Bacalov's orchestral arrangements. For example, the dreamy MI SONO SVEGLIATO E... contrasts dramatic strings and timpani with Hendrix-inspired guitar while IL SUONO DEL SILENZIO, where the protagonist questions if he is the illegitimate son of Bach, features a fine meshwork of Baroque and rock elements.
Although Bach had 20 children by his two wives, he apparently has no known descendants living today. JOHANN concerns the protagonist's false belief that he is Bach's 21st child, abandoned by him in Scotland, and this track leads into SCOTLAND MACHINE. This features a squelching synthesizer intro that sounds like soggy bagpipes, and the main riff reinforces the Scottish flavour with the synth mimicking the skirl of the pipes to wonderful effect. CELLA 503 begins with classical guitar that introduces a seemingly flamenco-inspired passage, and closes with an organ solo as the character is confined in a mental institution. I don't know what happens to him thereafter, but I do know there's some glorious music here. LEI SE TU is built around a nimble-fingered harpsichord continuo and a simple but effective snare drum pattern. The romantic LA MIA MUSICA features wonderful strings and organ, and ALZO UN MURO ELETRRICO is a great rocker with shades of Martin Barre in the lead guitar.
As a rule, I tend to dislike albums that fuse orchestral and rock music. However, Contaminazione wipes the nose of albums like Days Of Future Passed and in my opinion is *the* greatest work of this kind.
seventhsojourn

This band had made two albums of heavy prog when they collaborated with L. E. Bacalov, who had made Concerto Grosso with NEW TROLLS. The difference to their previous works must be notable, since they didn't even have a keyboard player before. Contaminazione is loaded with organ, piano and synths, without forgetting the excellent electric guitar of Enzo Vita. It also has a Baroque-style orchestration by Bacalov. The album is based on the harpsichord work The Well Tempered Clavier by J. S. Bach.
Apart from a couple of opposite opinions, this album is highly respected and enjoyed. Quite rightly so. The arrangements are gorgeous, combining the world of Art Music and that of (relatively hard) rock. The result is shamelessly ambitious, dramatic and emotionally powerful. I also like the presence of vocals (sadly my Italian's too bad for understanding the lyrics!). ELP did their interpretation on Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition in their own style, Renaissance owe something to Rimsky-Korsakov with their Scheherazade, etc. In my opinion this album is among the best Art Music adaptations - and other orchestral works - in Prog. Bach melodies are recognizable here and there (e.g. the opening of 'Ora non ricordo piu'), but the group made a unique, original work of their own. Many tracks are very progressive even separately, and more so when they form the whole concept.
Classic RPI albums are often short; this is 36 minutes. Some tracks may be too heavy for my taste, but I agree this is a masterpiece in its field (though I can understand not everybody enjoys it at all). Bach could be at least as proud of this innovative adaptation as of numerous jazz versions of his works. I like the cover art too.
Matti

I had the english version LP in the 70's, and I recently purchase the Italian version which I find more sensitive. The mix of classisism, synth, rock, a bit of jazz, is unique. The sound in particular the strings, organ and the voice is magnificent. Thru the sensible interpretation we feel the obsession of the musician who loved Bach so much that he became insane. RDM is not a well known band but they are for me in the same class as PFM, Gentle Giant. A masterpiece.
guilmetp

Really great!! Maybe just for Italian Prog fans, but it's one of the best albums of the 70's. Just hear the voice of Pino Ballarini and you'll understand what I mean. Very classical, this tribute to JS Bach sounds like a real symphony with powerful keyboards arrangements by Franco Di Sabbatino. It mixes very different styles including jazz and latino sounds, but the climax of "Alzo un Muro Elettrico", "Sweet Suite" and "La Grande Fuga" really blows my mind with an epical ending. Essential for every prog collector.
Ivan Avila

Not a simple album... But if J.S. Bach is a Rock composer...
Certainly with this 'Contaminazione' (eng: 'Contamination') Il Rovescio Della Medaglia becomes the protagonist of a series of acute readings of compositions (preludes and fugues) of J.S. Bach, contained in ''Il Clavicembalo ben temprato' (eng: ''The Well-tempered Harpsichord').
The musical style of 'Contaminazione' is an athletic power RPI with Hard Rock parts and melodic parts. More that in emotions (presents) is the technique in first line. Also the recordings and the pruction is good and in my opinion helped the power and the beauty of music. Normally this type of album are not totally good but in this case I think that this album is excellent.
I do not have a preferrec song in 'Contaminazione' but 'Cella 503' (eng: 'Cell 503') or 'Alzo Un Muro Elettrico' (eng: 'I Raising An Electric Wall') hit my immagination because they are both great Heavy songs but also 'Lei Sei Tu: Lei' ( eng: 'She Are You: She') captured my immagination with a good melodic athletic and technical RPI.
In a certain sense 'Contaminazione' is a summary of the more pure 70's RPI style, with all its facets. And because of this fact I considered 'Contaminazione' a pure masterpiece.
Andrea

This is the essense of progress. One year after the disappointing "Io Come Io", Il Rovescio Della Medaglia released their best album and one of the best Italian prog rock albums. "Contaminazione" is a concept album based on J.S. Bach. Their sound is much more symphonic. The addition of Franco Di Sabbatino on keyboards was an excellent choice by the band. The combination of guitars and keyboards is magnificent and the production is great for a 1973 album. You can hear pure classical music here which turns into symphonic prog rock, I mean typical Italian prog rock at its best. The vocals are very good, but the main thing is the high compositional level from start to finish, the artistic orchestration and the sequence of the songs. The concept flows through the speakers and before you know it, it's over and then you play it again, and again, and again. A true masterpiece of progressive rock music. It is really hard to pick some songs as album highlights. My favourite moments in "Contaminazione": "Cella 503", "Alzo Un Muro Elettrico", "La Grande Fuga".
DeKay

Absolutely Marvelous!
It has been a while since I reviewed an album, mainly when I first joined the forum and picked some of my old favorites (plus a new one or two) until the novelty for me wore off. Since reviewing is harder and more time consuming than it appears, at least if it is to be one worthwhile, I prefer to read others. That being said, I am at my 1 year anniversary of hearing RPI music for the first time and then fell head over heels into it. So I felt compelled to pay homage to the genre by reviewing a RPI album that continues to amaze me, that being Rovescio Della Medaglia's Contaminazione.
It would have been easy to pick PFM's Per Un Amico as that was my first album that started it all and was blown away by it, as well as albums by Le Orme, Area, Quella Vecchia Lonconda, and some others. I do not speak or understand Itailian which does not bother me, but adds to the mystery and charm of the music. I have a feeling if I understood the lyrics, I would not be nearly as fond of RPI as I am (like some of the english speaking bands I have heard). The vocals are another instrument for me.
Now for the album, it is a remarkable blend of various forms of prog and classical music. Don't be misled by the classical reference, it is prog at its finest. However, from information on this album, it is a work based on J.S. Bach's "The Well Tempered Clavier". I always like reviewers who let me know their interpretation of what the tracks sounded like, so here goes:
The first two tracks, Absent for this Consumed World and Ora non ricordo piu merge together as a dreamy interlude with some vocal harmonies that have a Queenish flavor to them.
The third track, Il suono del silenzio, covers a variety of musical territories mixing in some heavy riffs, playful psychedelic keyboards which later morph into heavier classic organ, good vocals, and baroque style moments. Sort of lets you know what to expect for the rest of the album.
Next is Mi sono svegliato e... ho chiuso gli occhi, just beautiful orchestra and organ beginning that builds into a darker mood with vocals that fit perfectly. This jumps into Lei sei tu: Lei, sort of a duel effect of clean guitar, excellent bass and drum work with great vocal harmonies with a mid section of seamless mix of orchestral strings.
The 6th track is La mia musica, a very soulful sad, but beautiful song with piano and organ mix, and oh yes, great vocal and string section harmonies again.
Johann is a short song that for some reason reminds me of a Zeppelin folk song with haunting, distant vocals and guitar.
Scotland Machine and Cella 503 go hand in hand into each other and we are back at our theme of covering many wonderful territories in varied time signatures as in the 3rd track (and throughout the album). Lots of psych keyboards, guitar riffs, strings, great flute work, a flamenco acoustical moment, and a lovely dueling banter of classical instruments (a little brass also) versus a proggy synth and drum combo. Then breaks into heavy guitar form into a dramatic pipe organ. What a delight.
Contaminazione 1760 is very Ian Anderson sounding with excellent soloing flute play.
Alzo un muro elettrico is a nice heavy guitar driven song and the usual excellent mix of orchestral strings and vocal harmonies, with a light jazzy moment in between. Very nice.
Sweet Suite begins with soft, erie classic organ with clean guitar mix which feeds into the finale, La grande fuga, just a majestic and very climatic end with all instruments in full glory. Makes goose pimples on my arms every time!
It gets a rating of 5 stars. It is a RPI classic and the musicianship is excellent. I hope that those who have not ventured into this genre give it a try, it has more to offer than the beautiful compositions heard here, it has many varied styles. I love it and am getting constantly surpised that music like this was around back in the 70s and I had not heard any of it until a year ago.
Jim

Que pedazos de discos que estamos publicando últimamente!
Cabe aclarar que el disco fue regrabado por la banda en 1975 en inglés y con algunas modificaciones en las letras. Me dijeron que la versión en inglés es horrible, ya que cuando la prepararon la banda se había disuelto, Pino Ballarini no pudo ser localizado (o no quiso participar) y contrataron a otro cantante, pero como éste no dominaba el inglés maquillaron las partes vocales con coros femeninos y excesivas dosis de eco; un desastre, aunque ni falta que hace dado lo espléndido del album original.
Disfrútenlo!




3 comentarios:

  1. Download: (APE + CUE + Log + Scans)
    http://adf.ly/1SFqKH

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  2. alberto, gracias! larga los de arte y misteri! jajaja

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