Altare Thotemico — Sogno Errando
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records , 2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-04-25When most of us think of Italian progressive rock, the first things that come to mind are likely bands like PFM, Banco, and Le Orme — all roughly part of what is generally called symphonic rock. But we shouldn't forget that from the beginning, there was more to Italian prog than that stream. Picchio dal Pozzo, Stormy Six, and Area were all great bands from Italy that had little in common with the symphonic style. Area is most relevant here, as Altare Thotemico are quite similar in many respects. They blur the line between jazz and rock, much as Area did, and also feature a male vocalist who delves into unnusual singing techniques (though not to the same degree as Demetrios Strato). In addition to Gianni Venturi's singing, the keyboards of Leonardo Caligiuri are the most notable presence, with piano being the most common instrument. There are moments when electric piano and synthesizer are used, but they are much less frequent than piano. Saxophone (Emiliano Vernizzi) and violin (Gabriele Toscani) cover both lead and backing parts; the rhythm section of Valerio Venturi (bass) and Max Govoni (drums) keep things on the jazzy side even when the compositions stray a little more to the rock side of the road. Sogno Errando is a refreshing set of music, both fun (Though the lyrics seem to have plenty of broken hearts and other torments, they're mostly in Italian, so it's not obvious.) and musically engaging. It's great to hear a band forging their own path, and doing it so well.
Related artist(s): Altare Thotemico
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more