Exposé Online banner

FEM - Forza Elettro Motorice — Sulla Bolla di Sapone
(AltrOck Productions FAD-014, 2014, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-09-14

Sulla Bolla di Sapone Cover artSulla Bolla de Sapone is a concept album based on a short story, On the Soap Bubble, written in 1887 by German author Kurd Lasswitz, the father of German Science Fiction. The 15 tracks (instrumentals and songs) on this new album speak to different parts of this story. The FEM Prog Band, aka Forza Elettro Motrice, is the Italian quintet of Giacomo Balzarotti (vocals), Alberto Citterio (keyboards), Paolo Colombo (guitar), Marco Buzzi (bass), and Emanuele Borsati (drums). They have been working hard at recreating 70s progressive rock and Sulla Bolla de Sapone is their debut album, though they released the EP Epsilon in 2012. Their music is mostly progressive jazz reminiscent of Premiata Forneria Marconi with one or two Zappa references, but in their more melodic moments, I hear Genesis and Le Orme elements as well. For my tastes, FEM excels when their music is toned down a bit and not so energetic. Many of the songs segue seamlessly from one to the next, so the album is closer to one piece of many movements than 15 discrete songs. And there is a surprise with track 11, “Il Peso della Conoscenza.” All of a sudden in the midst of the prog-jazz, there is a strong resemblance to Catherine Ribiero and Les Alpes, in the music, not the vocals of course. Concept albums are difficult, and I would say that roughly 50% of the tracks are worthy of note, with the later tracks being the best. The closing track “E il Mondo Scoppierà” is especially excellent. The bottom line is that FEM is successful in achieving their goal of recreating the 70s and making it relevant with today’s music.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): FEM Prog Band (Forza Elettro Motorice)

More info
http://www.facebook.com/femprogband
http://www.femprogband.it

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Walter Hill - Popjazz – There are a few important reasons to consider why slick jazz is still popular, emphasizing passionate sax lines and comfortable grooves. One is that the best session musicians are on tap to record a...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues