Exposé Online banner

Ossi Duri — L'Ultimo dei Miei Cani
(Electromantic FRFRFRZ 87453, 2005, CD)

Ossi Duri — X
(Electromantic FRFRFRZ 87451, 2003, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01

L'Ultimo dei Miei Cani Cover artX Cover art

Ten years after his death – that’s what this “X” marks – one sees little decline in the interest in and dedication towards the music of Frank Zappa. The “X” also represents the tenth anniversary of Ossi Duri, an Italian band that has made something of a career of performing Zappa’s work in concert. This live album offers six pieces by Zappa, mixed in with five originals by the band. The blend isn’t always seamless, but the results are engaging enough. There’s some sizeable terrain between pieces like “Take Your Clothes off When You Dance” and “Florentine Goose.” Plainly trying to be more than a “tribute” album, X winds up in its own odd category. In the absence of that 60s social milieu – and missing the blatant sarcasm that Zappa managed to point at everything, including the music business – the bite of social satire that made so much of the early Mothers of Invention pieces so memorable is here felt more like some sort of nostalgia. Context aside, the compositional challenges Zappa offers both performer and listener leave a few big questions about performance once removed from the studio. Ossi Duri’s answer seems a practical one. By basing their performance on more guitar-centric arrangements X manages to offer some fine playing and some wit, along with somewhat self-consciously dispatched collage and spoken word passages sprinkled here and there – less gleefully perhaps than they ought to be. Like the following CD, the group eschews many subtleties of the music in exchange for force and seem to align their aesthetic behind the “Art is not a mirror, it is a hammer” banner. So, a few years on we are not so surprised to find the all-original L’Ultimo dei Miei Cani to be a big, brash, and brassy sounding line-up that sets a hectic and often heavy-handed pace. The music slams and bangs its way along without any pretense to finesse. The great slabs of melody and chunks of rhythm blow by with the sole interest of colliding, violently at times. While the traces of Zappa’s influence are found throughout, the record as a whole starts to tilt more and more to that sort of biggish-band Chicago-style sound. The pieces here are generally shorter, with emphasis on arrangements in favor of the fine points of composition and pretty well non-stop overtness: loud, up front, and unapologetic. The name of the band, after all, translates as the sort of people you’d imagine hanging out with Willie the Pimp: “Tough Guys.” No kidding!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2005 releases, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Ossi Duri, Frank Zappa

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Metal / Crystal – If it's true – at least in creative work – that quantity yields quality, the recent releases by Richard Pinhas are proving that maxim possesses a limited applicability. Built as a...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues