|......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH|
Around the last forty years, have emerged many incredible band, coming from many places around the world. Here are a few countries that still preserve their traditions and roots in Progressive Rock style, England, Germany, Holland, Spain and Italy, but Italy is the only one which even today retains exactly the settings of the instrumental Progressive Rock developed in the 70s. Using the same references that consecrated icons like "Banco", "PFM", "Le Orme", "Osanna" and many others. The first thing that drew me to this conclusion is, the amount of Progressive Rock italian's bands, that ilustrate the musical scene today, all those bands that arose over the last twenty years, soon settle down, with an ability to create an unique and amazing progressive rock sound. I'm talking about the band Syndone, where musicians know exactly develop an intriguing, amazing, dramatic progressive rock, totally inspired by the style of the '70s. Their musical influences fit perfectly in with a symphonic sensibilities, very well dominated by a set of instrumentation, into a perfect harmony, where we can listen a dominant piano's sound, with atmospheric keyboards, hammond and moog, that fit perfectly by floating instrumental, together with some violin passages, creating a gloomy and atmospheric environment and a lush flute complementing the violin crossings, naturally you will be delighted with a impressive sound, that is very well balanced by many frequent musical interludes and also, a constant musical orchestration, with a lot of instrumental passages. Across the ensemble, the vocal have a special flavour, singing in italian, is one of the main element in the arrangements, that adds incredible power into the arrangements, it is like a maestro of a great orchestra, leading all musicians in a single direction. "Melapensante" is a nice enough album, full of sensitive musicianship, where the musicians know how to mix subtle lyrics with inspired arrangements, a blending of many experience and styles, adding intriguing musical ingredients that come together to create a really enjoyable and rewarding listening. In fact, Syndone has produced a very varied album, covering all major nuances of the best Italian progressive rock style. You can bet your life, Syndone is one such group who everyone will like forever, and it must be part of collections of CDs from everybody who really enjoy the Italian Progressive Rock. Using as best reference the music from the band, follows in the same line such as the bands "Le Orme", "Jumbo", "Stormy Six", "Alphataurus", "Il Paese dei Balocchi", "Banco del Mutuo Soccorso", "Delirium", "Semiramis", "Quella Vecchia Locanda", "Osanna", "Nuova Idea", "Arti & Mestieri", "De De Lind", "Cervello", "Latte e Miele", with a rich instrumental and a technical innovative skill. Brilliant, fantastic, and an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Syndone are:
Syndone is an Italian prog band born at the end of 1989 thanks to the composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio. Nik planned to create a symphonic rock trio focused on keyboards, inspired by "ELP"; he involved Paolo Sburlati (drums) and Fulvio Serra (bass), concentrating on ideas and completely avoiding self-referential arrangements and above all any use of electric guitars, for too long an instrument too central and characteristic in any genre.
…“We were looking for a name that would suggest at the same time Sacredness, Turin, Spirituality¸and Grooves (like in an old vinyl record), so I thought of Syndone, with a Y to distinguish from the famous holy relic and to make it more international without being blasphemous. Anywhere you are, anywhere in the world, this name reminds of Turin… and I liked this”. (Nik)
The trio released two records with Electromantic Music: "Spleen" (1990) and "Inca" (1992), both produced by Beppe Crovella, the keyboardist of the legendary "Arti & Mestieri". Those two album received a major international exposure and received a wide consensus amongst the prog-rock critics worldwide. After a small number of live concerts, the band breaks up for personal reason and each of the musicians will follow an individual path.
Nik Comoglio carries on his work throughout different expressive environments, composes rock operas and “cultivated” records and in 2009 decides to start again with Syndone but, rather than initiating a reunion, he builds up a brand new band, a quintet of young and motivated musicians.
In late 2010 they release – again for Electromantic – "Melapesante", a concept album dedicated to the symbology of the apple, completely in Italian and mastered in the famous Abbey Road studios in London."
Malum is Latin for Apple.
Malum means apple and evil at the same time evil intended as temptation, transgression, and sin. But mostly, for a long time, Apples were the symbol of seduction by Eros.
The use of the Apple symbolism in the biblical myths, in the Homeric times, in fairytales, in science, or, more recently, in advertisement appears as a summary of the steps of our collective morals discomfort towards instincts.
Apples are tasty, sugary and easily accessible fruits; they are as captivating as the young womens breasts and bottoms to which they were consistently compared in a thriving erotic literature, both lay and religious. Apples invite to be picked and eaten right away, without any commitment or tests to be passed.
The strength of Apples lies in their simplicity, availability, and lavishness as they only ask not to be left there to rot away.
Apples are ephemeral, they stand for fall, they summarise evil in the form of fire-breathing dragons or subtle and tempting snakes fought by courageous heroes.
Apples corrupt fantasies. Sexuality and imaginary life of the unconscious, represented by the Apple symbolism, have both been used by the Western culture to judge eroticism.
In order to pick the Apple, the Ego has to get rid of its armour, put on hold its defence of great ideals, and abandon its ideology of battle to rediscover short-lived sweetness.
Below a great interview with the Syndone band members:
Melapesante marks the return of Syndone after over fifteen years; what made you want to get back together?
Mind, Syndone 2010 is not a reunion but a new band with new musicians (as a quintet), each of us with an individual musical background. And it is this idea, to have a band as a basis to a recording project, that pushed me to try to restart working on this thread that has been hanging fir eighteen years, to try to create the most original music I could, because I think that originality in music is created by a group of people, a synergy of minds with as big a cultural baggage as is possible, each one giving in proportion to how much they have been assimilating during their career.Melapesante is a concept album; how did you conceive the apple topic?
While thinking back to issues linked with apples in the Western culture, we found several small aspects that link back to our world and the development of our civilization: from Newton’s scientific discoveries to Magritte’s paintings, from Adam and Eve’s Garden of Eden to Greek mythology. Within the history of humankind, the apple has always been a symbol that, especially until the early twentieth century with the appearance of psychoanalysis and of new science, represented something negative, linked with sin, desire, with the unknown: an idea that we owe to our traditions and to our religious culture.What are the differences between Melapesante and your two previous albums, Spleen and Inca?
The differences are mainly two: the main one is that Melapesante is a mature record: artistically, in its composition and for what concerns the research beneath the sound. Secondarily, it is less pop/jazz than Spleen, better fitting in the genre, more orchestral and symphonic. It still partially recalls the ‘90s Syndone clichés; we didn’t want to completely renounce that peculiar sound we had created back then. For instance, we still don’t have an electric guitar, but we opened to different timbres with the use of a vibraphone or of different keyboards.The first two records by Syndone were vastly appreciated abroad; how do you explain this success?
At the time I was looking for a new sound and was experimenting as much as I could with the effects on analogical synths – something I still do, actually – even if those were the times in which synths such as “Mirage” and Roland S50, that ended up opening a whole world of timbre possibilities, had been created.In this third record, Syndone renewed their line-up. Who played in the album?
Syndone are: Nik Comoglio on piano, Hammond, Moog and keyboards; Federico Marchesano on electric bass and double bass; Francesco Pinetti on vibraphone and symphonic timpani; Paolo Rigotto on drums and percussions; Riccardo Ruggeri on vocals.Syndone are one of the big names in the Italian new-prog genre. What interpretation of the genre do you stand by, in 2010?
I think that talking of “baroque” rock is not a correct definition any longer. The fact that prog doesn’t rely on the immediate communicability other genres depend on don’t make it a disappearing genre like many say, not at all. Prog enthusiasts look for experimentation and challenging composition, for a new sound that transcends the limits but is scary for those who “always” expect a soloist playing distorted guitar. That’s why it is both loved and hated as a genre; as it is very hard to ideate, compose and even more to play live, many musicians ignore it aprioristically.Melapesante was released by Beppe Crovella’s Electromantic Music and was mastered in the world-famous Abbey Road studios in London. How did those two collaborations come to happen, and what experience do you car eto remember?
Our experience with Beppe Crovella dates back to late 1989, when we met in his studio. I had some “prog” songs… and from that first collaboration Spleen, our first album, came. Then, pretty much two years later, came Inca… there have always been good vibes with Beppe because, as besides being a producer he is a musician too, he is very open to expression, to art, to music and to the musicality of each song.Nik Comoglio, from rock-musicals and the contemporary classical music of Acqueforti to the vintage prog rock of Melapesante: how can all those souls coexist?
I think they do because I always considered music as an inseparable unity, something that can not be split into genres, sales pitches or what have you. If the music is real, if it comes from an inner struggle, it can not be labelled, it can not be caged and above all it can not be copied… it becomes universal and can only be imitated. You are correct in talking about souls and not genres: there is only one soul.The record market has deeply changed since the ‘90s; what are you expecting from this comeback?
Myself, I hope that this record will create some kind of bridge between the people who listened to our music in the 1990s and those who don’t know us yet. Sure, the market has changed and there are many more bands around. Thanks to the internet, the worldwide visibility a band can have is immediate… but as the awareness and the availability of a product are immediate, so is the loss of interest in case such product is not successful.
at Discodarte Recording Studio, Turin, Italy, Mastering at Abbey Road Studios,
London. Engineer Andy Walter. Produced by Beppe Crovella by Electromantic
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