Friday, 7 March 2014

AUTUMNAL COLOURS

Cooperativa del Latte were formed in the mid nineties in the province of Gorizia and in 1998 released a beautiful début album, “Il risveglio” (The awakening), on the independent label Mellow Records. The line-up features Gabriele Benfatto (guitars, vocals), Claudio Farneti (flute, drums, percussion), Sergio Contin (bass, vocals) and Pierluigi Piccoli (piano, keyboards) and their sound largely draws upon 1970’s influences but despite the vintage sounds the song-writing is good and rich in ideas. I had the chance to see them live on stage, opening a concert for Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, and I was favourably impressed. I think that the excellent art work by Ivan Crico, a painter and writer born in Gorizia, perfectly describes in autumnal colours the reflective, crepuscular mood of this work...


The opener “Verso i cancelli della memoria” (Towards the gates of memory) is a kind of dive into the past for a swim against the tide, against the doubts of an empty reality. A church-like organ sets the atmosphere, then the rhythm takes off... “Running after myths of wind / Looking for a living star / Overcoming a world of falsity and appearances... Listening to the silent voice of a timeless truth...”.

Contemplazione” (Contemplation) is a long, melancholic track that begins softly, with a simple, nocturnal acoustic guitar arpeggio, then a light turns on and soaring thoughts begin to fly in the wind... A sudden change in rhythm and the call of an ancient time rises from dreamy organ chords inviting you to set your mind free... “Who do you think your greatest enemy is? / It’s your own home, it’s your own body / It’s your own mind, it’s you / Free yourself from the monsters fed by your pride and your stupid vanity / What is the road you think will lead you to the Right? / Even your brain is getting lost on the paths of solitude...”.

Cooperativa del Latte

Notte volante” (Flying night) begins on the dreamy notes of a flute and of an acoustic guitar... “I’ve been walking for you / In the nights of dream / Among breathing plants I followed the road smelling of forest / Towards far bonfires / I was still sane...”. In dreams you can even play with death but remember that dreams could turn to nightmares... “Now there’s nothing but pain / Just powder shut in a little box / You are my death / I live for you just because you know how to make me laugh...”.

The cathartic “Il respiro dell’alba” (The breath of the dawn) is introduced by a delicate pattern featuring piano and flute. The vocals are just whispered... “I would like to go down to the stream / In the early morning silence / When everything comes to a new life / To find again the warmth of life in the cool water...”. The references to Le Orme are strong and in the second part of this piece there’s even a particular vinyl sound...



Tentazioni” (Temptations) is more aggressive and complex and also features some jazzy passages. Love can be deceitful and cruel, your unfaithful lover could make you fall into the breath of an icy abyss... “Your hand pushes me in the mud / Setting your thighs free for a new trick...”.

Maggio” (May) is a short instrumental introduction to the beautiful last track, “Indagazione strutturale” (Structural investigation). This piece has a strong Renaissance flavour and starts “a cappella”... “Like a tree in the forest of time or a cloud living in the sundown / I’m looking for something I feel I belong to...”. The lyrics are about the eternal search for knowledge while the music could recall some works of Angelo Branduardi with some “deep red” acoustic passages... “I feel the weight of my pride / But I’m walking with the curious pace of man... Before all knowledge I feel my heart pulsing...”.

 
You can listen in streaming to the complete album HERE