Exposé Online banner

Art and Illusion — Seasons
(Mellow MMP 283, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Seasons Cover art

When I first broke the seal on this disc and saw the booklet photos with people playing accordions, mandolins, and balalaikas, my curiosity was piqued, hoping for some kind of folk-rock ensemble or such. In fact Art and Illusion is an Italian four-piece pop / rock / prog band which uses such instruments to a minor degree, but on most occasions sticks to the standard guitars, bass, synthesizers and drums as the meat and potatoes of their sound, with guitarist Luca Sabia capably handling the lead vocals. The compositions have a strong pop sensibility, with enough twists and turns and clever arrangements to keep them interesting. The band has an exceptional ability to shift gracefully from gentle introspective phrases into out-and-out rocking force. But A&I is neither neo-prog, nor a 70s AOR throwback; their style is very 90s, in many ways like some other prog-pop bands that have spring up in the last year or so like Germany's Tea in the Sahara and Sweden's Ritual. Lyrics are in English, and Sabia handles them much better than most, while delivering some excellent guitar based song structures, like on the Led Zep influenced "Springtime Again." Barbara Martini tastefully applies the supportive synth colorations, piano, Hammond, and harmonium without dominating the bands' sound. There are plenty of memorable tunes here, plus a rather modern sounding cover of the Genesis classic "I Know What I Like." A strong debut from a band with a future.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Art and Illusion

Latest news

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Neo - Broadcast – Prog rock super groups just won't go away. First there was Transatlantic (the rumor is that Neo were going to originally call themselves Non-Pacific as a joke) and now we have this ensemble, founded...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues