Exposé Online banner

Area — La Mela di Odessa
(Black Hole BH001/2, 1977/1998, 2CD)

by Steve Robey, Published 2000-05-01

La Mela di Odessa Cover artFirst off: to the best of my knowledge, this is a bootleg recording, of dubious legal origin, and the sound quality is marginal at best. If that scares you away, no need to read on further. Area fanatics, however, may be able to look past these shortcomings and successfully ingest this double CD taken from two Area concerts recorded in Italy in 1976 and 1977. The set lists from the two shows are nearly identical, and heavily feature tracks from their Maledetti album, which I've always felt was their most avant-garde, difficult outing (and unsurprisingly, one of my favorites). The song structure on these tracks ("Il Massacro di Brandenburgo Numero Tre en Sol Maggiore," "Gerontocrazia," "Scum," "Giro, Giro, Tondo") is quite abstract, even by Area's standards, and I believe the bootleg level sound fails to bring out the best in these already-weird pieces. The sets also contain older favorites like "Cometa Rossa," "La Mela di Odessa," and "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre," but as Area fans know, fine live recordings of these seminal works appear elsewhere on legit releases. If you listen carefully, the peculiar magic of Area's avant-jazzy instrumental attack and the heretofore unmatched skill of Demetrios Stratos's vocals are here in abundance, but this set is recommended to completists only.

Filed under: Archives, Issue 19, 1998 releases, 1977 recordings

Related artist(s): Area

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rosebud - Rosebud – Ten songs give almost as many stylistic snapshots. The sound of a love-in, with a keyboard, in Latin America; no trace of Carlos anywhere. A moody testament with sultry vocals grazing...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues