Area — La Mela di Odessa
(Black Hole BH001/2, 1977/1998, 2CD)
by Steve Robey, Published 2000-05-01First off: to the best of my knowledge, this is a bootleg recording, of dubious legal origin, and the sound quality is marginal at best. If that scares you away, no need to read on further. Area fanatics, however, may be able to look past these shortcomings and successfully ingest this double CD taken from two Area concerts recorded in Italy in 1976 and 1977. The set lists from the two shows are nearly identical, and heavily feature tracks from their Maledetti album, which I've always felt was their most avant-garde, difficult outing (and unsurprisingly, one of my favorites). The song structure on these tracks ("Il Massacro di Brandenburgo Numero Tre en Sol Maggiore," "Gerontocrazia," "Scum," "Giro, Giro, Tondo") is quite abstract, even by Area's standards, and I believe the bootleg level sound fails to bring out the best in these already-weird pieces. The sets also contain older favorites like "Cometa Rossa," "La Mela di Odessa," and "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre," but as Area fans know, fine live recordings of these seminal works appear elsewhere on legit releases. If you listen carefully, the peculiar magic of Area's avant-jazzy instrumental attack and the heretofore unmatched skill of Demetrios Stratos's vocals are here in abundance, but this set is recommended to completists only.
Related artist(s): Area
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 Liberation. 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