Exposé Online banner

Banco del Mutuo Soccorso — Darwin!
(RCA Victor 88697976912, 1972/2011, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-03-16

Darwin! Cover art

One of the most alluring aspects of Italian progressive rock from 1972-1977 is the wide array of tonal coloring, particularly due to experimentation with analog synthesizers. This was a completely different era from the "patch" and a lot of these bands really seemed to work through their sounds so that very few of the monophonic synths had the exact same tone, even within a five minute period. This gave a lot of these albums a great deal of color and warmth. Banco del Mutuo Soccorso really expanded their sounds on their sophomore album, released months after their debut, and while the song lengths went down on average, it often seemed like they were cramming more ideas in. The dual keyboards here were almost luxurious at this point, featuring a skill usually only seen in classical music. This is the kind of record where multiple plays are mandatory due to the compositional depth, not to mention the lyrical range in expressing the album's concept, it sort of fulfills that cliché where the more you listen the more it reveals. If the first album was the one I prize most due to the heaviness, Darwin is one I most prize for its sheer range, it has an almost mindboggling amount of key and meter shifts, intricate group melodies and harmonies, all within the service of its brilliant songwriting.


Filed under: Reissues, 2011 releases, 1972 recordings

Related artist(s): Banco del Mutuo Soccorso

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Stinkhorn - Stinkhorn – Stinkhorn is a Seattle jazz group with more than a little rock in their stylistic bag. Not quite as much as Kilgore Trout (reviewed in #16), but way more than is typical these days. They also have a...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues