Monday, 26 September 2011

EMILIA - ROMAGNA (part 1)

Now we jump over to EMILIA-ROMAGNA and its capital BOLOGNA, famous for its University, the oldest in Europe, and its cuisine. In the past the city gave us a band called Sensitiva Immagine, but in the seventies the prog scene of this city was not very prolific although Bologna is the home of important singer-songwriters such as Francesco Guccini, Lucio Dalla and Claudio Lolli.
 

Times have changed and now the musical scene of Bologna features many very interesting prog bands. Here we can find some excellent experimental jazz rock bands such as Deus Ex Machina (MySpace) and Accordo dei Contrari (Official Website). Accordo dei Contrari in 2011 released a very good album, Kublai, featuring Richard Sinclair from Caravan as a special guest. 


Then there are some psychedelic projects such as Pelican Milk (MySpace), Stereokimono (Official Website), Ellephant (MySpace), Miss Patty Miss & The Magic Circle (Reverbnation), Mariposa (MySpace), Chandra (MySpace) and Alhambra (MySpace). Alhambra’s leader Andrea Monetti (who plays the flute in La Maschera di Cera’s albums as well) also started other projects such as Amanita, Arjuna, Ku and AMR and leads a small independent label called Fly Agaric! Records. Another excellent band from Bologna are Sithonia (MySpace), whose members are also involved in interesting side projects such as Meseglise (MySpace) and Sipario (MySpace).



Other very interesting local bands are Akt (MySpace), Barock Project (MySpace), Stranafonia (MySpace) and TenMidnight (MySpace). Among the local emerging bands which also deserve mentioning, in no particular order, are Moorder (MySpace), Antikythera Mechanism (MySpace), Madre (MySpace), Chance:Risiko (MySpace), Adharma (MySpace), Alma Ensemble (MySpace), Daniele Faraotti Band (Facebook), feat.Esserelà (Facebook), Semeion (MySpace), Palco Numero Cinque (Facebook), Prophexy (MySpace) and AltaVia (MySpace), the latter formerly named Ennerdale and born from the ashes of a band called Zabov (Official Website).


If you like a heavier, theatrical approach you can listen to In Tormentata Quiete (MySpace), certainly closer to Opeth than to the classic Italianprog masters. On the prog folk side there are Andrea Gianessi's project La Via della Seta (Bandcamp), Caffé dei Treni Persi (MySpace) and Antica Tradizione (MySpace), the latter linked to right wing movements. Bologna is also the base for an Italianprog artist from Switzerland, Alex Carpani (Official Website): his latest album The Sanctuary, released in 2010, features a beautiful art cover by Paul Whitehead



The contemporary prog scene of Bologna is effervescent and rich but you can find some good music also in the other cities of the region. From a small town south of Bologna, Porretta Terme, comes the singer-songwriter Stefano Testa (MySpace) and his excellent “prog cantautorale” while San Giovanni in Persiceto is home to Res Gesta (Facebook). 



From FERRARA, 50 km north of Bologna, come Marchesi Scamorza (Official Website), the young, hard Liquid Shades (MySpace) and a post rock band called Penelope sulla Luna (MySpace) while the nearby town of Cento is home to a band called Cormorano (MySpace), strongly influenced by Area. Cormorano’s singer and leader, Raffaello Regoli, had the chance to meet Area’s singer Demetrio Stratos and to learn singing from him in the seventies. Since 1996 he has organized a music festival dedicated to the “Master of the Voice”, the Rassegna di musica diversa - Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos (Official Website).