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

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...

Lubimov, Trostianki, Rybakov - Misterioso – As part of ECM's continuing new music series, enter a semi-classical trio who embrace the quietudes of modern compositional expression with a keen sense of space and beauty by focusing on modern...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues