Syndone — Mysoginia
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records MRC074, 2018, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-03-21Over their last few albums, Syndone has risen to the upper echelon of current Italian progressive rock bands, presenting music that is firmly grounded in classics like Banco and PFM but has a modern edge. Mysoginia is another solid entry in their catalog, full of what makes this band so good. “Medea” opens the album with a kick-ass instrumental blast of vintage keyboards, complex rhythms, flashy guitar-like sounds, and orchestral support. It’s a statement of intent — the intent to seduce listeners into a world where prog rock never succumbed to the lure of 80s pop or hair metal. The album is full of brilliant moments, like the orchestral beginning of “Caterina,” which slips into a sad piano backing emotive vocals. The arrangement is masterful, building to peaks with the full band, pausing a moment for flute and piano, then building back the intensity. With “12 Minuti” they bring in another flavor, which features a touch of old-time music hall, and might even remind listeners of something Queen would have done in the mid-70s (“Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” or “Seaside Rendezvous”), though with Italian lyrics, no backing vocals, and a different kind of build-up. Singer Riccardo Ruggeri has a beautiful, strong voice, capable of delicate passages and high-intensity rock wailing. He’s the real standout on the album, followed by leader / composer Nik Comoglio’s keyboards, which touch all the bases you expect in Rock Progressivo Italiano. It is noted in the credits that there is no guitar on the album except a guest appearance on one track of Luigi Venegoni — several other tracks feature what sounds a lot like electric guitar, but that must be Comoglio on some kind of keyboard. There is no shortage of great music coming out of Italy these days, and Mysoginia affirms that Syndone is in the top echelon of bands.
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more