Chance:Risiko — Sleep Talking
(AltrOck Productions ALT 010, 2009, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01
The first thing I’d have to say about this four-piece from Bologna is that they really don’t sound Italian, which of course is an absurd thing to say, since a whole country can’t be expected to have a single sound. But the two closest artists I can come up with for comparisons (Pattern Is Movement and Cheer-Accident) are both American, and all the lyrics here are in English. Certainly there are few of the qualities of classic Italian prog on exhibit here, unless you count musical audacity and ambition as part of that. The arrangements are as complex as math-rock, though not as fast or aggressive, so maybe I should call them “math-pop.” This is very melodic music of such shifting metric structure that it’s hard to keep track of, you just have to sit back and be amazed. Or you can just soak it in, as it’s a lot of fun to hear. The frequent presence of mallet instruments (vibes and marimba) occasionally even recalls classic 70s Zappa, and there are forays into noisy chaotic banging to provide contrast to Paolo d’Alonzo’s high, clear voice. Keyboards and guitar both provide backing for the vocals, usually doing arpeggiated chords or polyphonic parts rather than block chords. The whole thing is just dripping with talent and originality, and necessitates a backtrack to my Best of 2009 list for a revision.
Related artist(s): Chance:Risiko
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
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
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