Celeste — Celeste (AKA Principe di un Giorno)
(Vinyl Magic VM 039, 1976/1994, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, 2016-06-23:
McLatchey's Second Tier
At the most pastoral, Arcadian side of Italian progressive rock we have perhaps as the archetype the great second album by Premiata Forneria Marconi – Per un Amico (already covered). Celeste's sole album (or at least it was until the archives opened up) was perhaps an even farther step in the direction PFM were going, in fact it's arguable to some extent whether this really was a rock album. It's beautiful, romantic, and layered with Mellotrons and synthesizers to give it a huge, rich 70s atmosphere and the obvious original model must be The Moody Blues on Days of Future Passed. The songs are brilliantly crafted and show just how profound a symphonic album could be at its most gentle and tranquil. I still own the original Japanese CD, I think it even shows an 80s copyright on it; I bought it very early on in my exploration of this era of music. I think maybe only Errata Corrige's original album was even remotely in the same ballpark at least in terms of skill. Great vocals on this one too.
by Peter Thelen, 1995-07-01:
Celeste's first album, also known as Principe di un Giorno, is an absolute gem, an overlooked classic that deserves a place among the best Italian releases of the classic period. Originally released in 1976 on the Grog label, the sound is a delicately woven tapestry of acoustic and electric guitars, flutes, piano, violin, sax, and synths, with a judiciously applied blanket of Mellotron when the need calls. Of course, drums and bass are there also, but – like on parts of Genesis' Trespass – they serve to accentuate certain parts of the music rather than provide an ongoing rhythm. Vocalist Ciro Perrino (who doubles on percussion, flute, 'Tron, and more) has a gentle voice that mixes well with the acoustic-based music, and doesn't dominate or constantly call attention to itself. Some parts, especially where flute and Mellotron are involved, remind this writer of the quieter aspects of the early King Crimson, while other moments recall two other Italian classics: Errata Corrige's Siegfried, il Drago and PFM's Per un Amico, both of which Celeste compares favorably to. This one is an absolute must-have, easily among the ten best Italian albums of the 70s.
Related artist(s): Celeste
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
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
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
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