Saturday, 2 May 2020

DYNAMICS AND CONTRASTS

Violato intatto, the fourth studio album by Bolognese band Accordo dei Contrari, was released in 2017 on the independent label Altrock with a renewed line up featuring Marco Marzo (electric and acoustic guitar), Stefano Radaelli (sax, bowed zither), Cristian Franchi (drums) and Giovanni Parmeggiani (Fender Rhodes, organ, Minimoog, Arp Odyssey, Mellotron). According to the liner notes, this work was recorded live at Le Dune studio in Riolo Terme, a small town in the province of Ravenna, with the help of some guests such as Alessando Bonetti (violin), Gabriele Di Giulio (tenor sax) and Patrizia Urbani (vocals). The recording sessions took only three days, with some overdubs, and the final result is the expression of a very cohesive collective that reflects the positive atmosphere of the period the band spent together with the aim of depicting the dynamics or the contrasts you see in everyday life through sounds...


The excellent opener “Folia Saxifraga” combines funky, jazz and mysterious Mediterranean atmospheres and every and now could recall Area. It was composed by Giovanni Parmeggiani who, in the liner notes,  dedicated it to his band, Accordo dei Contrari. The following “Monodia” is darker and sprinkled with touches of jazz and psychedelia while “Blue-S”, composed by guitarist Marco Marzo, is a nervous track that every now and again could recall King Crimson.


The nightmarish “Shamash”, begins by a disquieting electronic section,  then the rhythm takes off driving you through Middle Eastern deserts ravaged by war. In fact, according to the liner notes, this track is dedicated to the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud and to the victims of terrorism and in my opinion the music is perfect to evoke the present-day landscape of the tormented cities of what was ancient Mesopotamia... 

Next comes “Idios Cosmos”, a weird track composed by Stefano Radaelli and led by the notes of the saxophone. The title refers to a view of the world that is developed from personal experience and knowledge and is therefore unique... Then it’s the turn of the nocturnal “E verde è l’ignoto su cui corri” (And green is the unknown on which you run). Despite the Italian title, this piece is sung in English by the guest Patrizia Urbani who evokes dreamy inner worlds and colourful, ethereal landscapes...

Accordo dei Contrari 2017

“Marienkirche” begins by the sound of the bells of a church in Mollis, Switzerland, recorded on the field in a July morning in 2015. It’s a short evocative track, almost an example of musique concrète, that the composer Giovanni Parmeggiani dedicated to his family. It leads to the interesting experiments of  “Di eccezione in variante” (From exception to variant) and to the mysterious, sparkling “Usil”, a beautiful piece named after the Etruscan god of the sun... 

“Eros vs Anteros” was composed by guitarist Marco Marzo and is another excellent piece with strong Mediterranean flavours that could recall Area. The title suggests the contrast between two gods in ancient Greek mythology: Eros, the god of sexual attraction, and Anteros, the god that represented requited love and used to punish those who were not interested in love or not returning other people’s love... Then, “Il violato intatto” (The violated intact) ends the album with a good dose of energy and vibrant contrasts.


On the whole, in my opinion this is an excellent (almost) instrumental work recommended to fans of bands such as Area, D.F.A. or Perigeo.

You can listen to the complete album HERE

Accordo dei Contrari: Violato intatto (2017). Other opinions:
Michael “Aussie-Byrd-Brother”: Don't be put off by the seventy-three minute running time here, as the wide variety of material always keeps the disc fresh, vibrant and exciting through bring a range of emotions - some attack with a fury, some challenge the mind, others craft immersive atmospheres and then there are just blasts of cool energy aiming to be fun. It all amounts to `Violato Intatto' likely being Accordo dei Contrari's true masterwork… Until their next album most likely! Instrumental album freaks, jazz/fusion fans and lovers of challenging and off-kilter progressive music, here's very likely your favourite album of 2017... (You can read the complete review HERE)

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