Exposé Online banner

Alex Carpani — So Close. So Far.
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC060, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-08-02

So Close. So Far. Cover art

We managed to miss out on Carpani’s previous release, 4 Destinies from 2014, but I’m happy to report that 2016’s So Close. So Far. is a stellar example of modern progressive rock that honors the past without wallowing in it. Carpani’s songs are well written, consisting of ten tracks of moderate length — no epic suites here, just concise statements that do their thing and get out of the way for the next track. The artwork has a dystopian edge to it, with figures in gas masks, but the lyrics (almost all in English) don’t seem to coincide with that at all, instead consisting mainly of personal observations that apply to modern life. Vocal duties are balanced between Carpani himself and Joe Sal, and in general this sounds more like a band effort than a keyboard player’s solo album. Ettore Salati’s guitars in particular are given lots of great spots, whether it’s beautiful picked acoustic or soaring electric. Carpani’s keyboards are of course stellar, and the instrumentation and details of tone are chosen well. Many tracks take unexpected turns in the keyboard department, like the percolating sequence that runs through “Next Time.” There are occasional sampled voices from historical sources, though the connection between the voice and the song where it appears seems arbitrary. This is a really solid album, and it’s hard to find fault anywhere. I’d have to say that even though the vocals (both lead and backing) are outstanding throughout, it might be nice to get an instrumental workout thrown in the mix to see what these guys can do. My only real complaint is that Carpani is indulging in the modern trend of over-punctuating album titles (see Hand. Cannot. Erase.), presumably for some kind of emphasis.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Alex Carpani

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Sancious and Tone - Transformation (The Speed of Love) – David Sancious came at the genre of jazz-rock fusion from a rather different direction than most of the key figures. Rather than coming into it as an established jazz player or from the progressive...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues