Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Marco Machera — Dormiveglia
(Bandcamp Baracca & Burattini B&B23005, 2023, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2023-11-18
We have encountered Marco Machera before as a member of EchoTest, but with Dormiveglia we have him on his own with guests. It’s actually his fourth full-length album, but the first to reach my ears, and it shows a mature artist with a distinctive sensibility and a lot of talented friends, such as Julie Slick (bass), Tony Levin (bass), Pat Mastelotto (drums), Beth Fleenor (clarinet), Alessandro Inolti (drums), Steve Jansen (electronics), Jorge Chacón (guitar), Julia Zenteno (guitar), Dario Acuna (piano), Paolo Iannattone (piano), Frank Ultra (saxophone), and John Porno (trumpet), along with backing vocals from Aria Falco, Susanna Buffa, and Vittoria Mariani. The music can be described as being situated somewhere in the neighborhood of David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, and Tim Bowness. “Dormiveglia” is Italian for “half asleep,” and the music on the album seems to inhabit a realm that is neither full of waking energy nor soaked in somnolent ambience. Machera’s gentle vocals present his thoughtful lyrics in a very soothing manner, and the backing arrangements are full of subtle textures and tasty grooves. While none of the songs can be described as upbeat bangers, there’s a cheerful energy present that is very seductive. Percussive grooves constructed of both real and electronic instruments drive many of the tracks, keeping the beat present even when it’s situated in the background. The touches of trumpet, clarinet, and sax are used brilliantly to provide additional color, none of them falling into typical pop or rock cliches. The attention to detail throughout is very impressive, capable of revealing new facets even after many listens. Dormiveglia is an outstanding album, and serves as an attractive invitation to explore Marco Machera’s previous releases.
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