Wednesday, 8 September 2021


Il Buco del Baco (the name means “the bug’s hole”) is a strange, mysterious project based in Milan. According to their website, the band came to life in 1970 under the name Gli Altri and disappeared soon after the recording sessions of what should have been their first album. According to their biography, in 1971 the band escaped an unlikely plane crash, got hibernated in an iceberg and woke up in 2016 emerging from a long cryogenic sleep... Then, in 2018 they changed their name into the current one and in 2021 released a concept album entitled Sotto il segno della lampreda (Under the sign of the lamprey) on the independent label Lizard Records with a line up featuring Carlo Mastrangeli (drums, vocals), Gianni De Scalzi (bass, vocals), Fabrizio Nocenzi (Moog, piano, vocals), Daniele Graziani (Hammond, keyboards, vocals), Gaetano Trionfanti (guitars, vocals) and Saverio Silvani (flute, vocals). Are the names of the musicians listed in the booklet nothing but pseudonyms hiding their real identity? I don’t know. Are they serious? Maybe not... Anyway, although Il Buco del Baco might look just as the parody of a seventies Italian prog band reunion their music is worth listening to...
The opener “Lo scafandro di Sandro” (Sandro’s diving suit) introduces the subject matter of the concept, a surreal submarine journey where the protagonist is looking for his sweetheart, a kind of siren called Rosalisca. The music draws unashamedly on vintage sounds and seventies influences while the lyrics tell of the protagonist who borrows the diving suit of his friend Sandro and sets off for his quest into the deep see...

“Mi immergo negli abissi” (I dive into the abyss) and the following “Dimmi, calamaro!” (Tell me, squid!) describe the first impact of the protagonist with the submarine world and its creatures. He meets some scared mackerels and a squid... A man who talks with the fishes asking for information? Well, the atmosphere of this concept is that of a funny comic strip full of irony and double meanings!

“Il disprezzo della sogliola” (The contempt of the sole) recalls Franco Battiato and tells about the meeting with a monstrous, raging sole. Next comes “Un dedalo di corallo” (A coral maze) where the protagonist gets lost into the coral reef, under the mocking glares of a sawfish. Despite the difficult situation he keeps on looking for his goal... Here the music reminds me slightly of BMS.

“Forse è lei” (Maybe it’s she) blends Jethro Tull and Lucio Battisti and tells about the distorted visions of the protagonist who think he sees his sweetheart among swordfishes, sharks, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, cuttlefishes and other creatures... But he’s wrong!

Then it’s the turn of the long “Nel regno delle lamprede” (Into the lampreys kingdom) where the protagonist meets a hammerhead shark, a pearly razorfish, a spine trumpet fish, a clownfish, a triggerfish, a blowfish and finally enters the palace of the great lamprey. Here he realizes that Rosalisca doesn't love him: the great lamprey submitted her to his own power reducing her into a state of subjection and there’s no way to bring her up back home with him...

The last track, “Il plagio di Rosalisca” (Rosalisca’s plagiarism), is the weakest of the lot, a clumsy patchwork made of quotes from Lucio Battisti best known songs. Eventually the protagonist emerges from the sea alone and ends up to get drunk at the Milly Bar...

On the whole, a funny exercise of style with some ups and downs that deserves a try.
You can listen to the complete album HERE

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