Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sulle Corde Di Aries
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop, Classical
More great avant-garde/prog from Franco Battiato
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although less "prog rock-like", the four pieces on Sulle Corde di Aries (1973) continue the bizarre vocal passages and synthesizer-heavy experimental progressive rock of his first two albums. There are noticeable differences however, including the absence of a full drum kit and bass guitar. Another new element includes Terry Riley (minimalist) influences, which are nicely integrated on the lengthy (16'21") opening track Sequenze e frequenze. Instrumentation on the album consists largely of spacey VCS3 synthesizer passages and acoustic/electric guitar, with an admixture of mandolin (I think), prepared piano, "free-jazzish" saxophone, clarinet, oboe, and cello, along with various and sundry percussion instruments. Although the compositions are largely instrumental, vocal parts include "standard" vocal sections, spoken word passages, and odd experimental vocal parts by Battiato in addition to sopranos Rosella Conz and Jutta Neinhaus (Jutta contributes some spoken word passages in German). All in all, this is a great album that marks the gradual transition towards a more thoroughly avant-garde approach adopted on the follow - up album Clic (1974) - evidently, Battiato was smitten with composers like Terry Riley, Varese, and John Cage. Recommended to fans of experimental electronic music and the avant-garde."
Another Battiato Gem From The Early 70s
EmperorTomato | Massachusetts USA | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sulle Corde Di Aries (1973) [Bla Bla / Ricordi]
One of my favorite new musical obsessions over the past year has been Franco Battiato. I picked up Battiato's Fetus (1972) and was blown away (I think I may always associate the sound of the VCS3 synth with this album in particular). Minimal but imposing synth work with wonderfully strange vocals (I've still only heard the Italian version although an English version was recorded). The following record Pollution (1972) features a more grand sound employing some rock instrumentation along with Battiato's experimental synth explorations. The track "Areknames" in particular has an amazing build up from minimal sounds to a powerful full-on space rock explosion at the climax.
I just recently picked up Sulle Corde Di Aries (1973). Most of what I had read about Battiato seemed to view his career from '74-'78 as being a step down from his early work, but I have to say after hearing Sulle Corde many times now I find it to be just as fantastic as Battiato's first two LP's albeit a different type of record taking Batiatto's music in a new direction. This is not the beginnings of his 80's pop phase (some of which is not as bad as proggers make it out to be) but an exploration of more long form avant-garde electronic works with a notable de-emphasis on vocals. This might sound tedious but instead Batiatto makes it beautiful.
The album is made up of just 4 pieces. One sidelong and three that are around 5 minutes. The sidelong opener "Sequenze E Frequenze" features plenty of Battiato's signature VCS3, and vocals and at first sounds like it might fit perfectly on either of the previous two albums , until this drops away and a single thump of percussion becomes a static backdrop for walls of beautiful pulsating feedback, twinkling piano and synth washes. Definitely more abstract than his previous work, it lacks none of the creativity, grace and attention to minute detail that makes his work so enthralling.The shorter tracks are also great. "Aries" has some fantastic horn playing and "Aria Di Rivoluzione" is a classic. Battiato delivers an impassioned vocal performance over a ponderous, spacey rhythm with more great horn work.
After Sulle Corde Di Aries, Battiato continued down this avant-garde path to arrive at a highly minimal approach which was poorly received and possibly cost him a record contract which may have contributed to his conversion to electronic-pop on L'Era Del Cinghiale Bianco (1979). At any rate I will have to hear those remaining Battiato albums between Sulle Corde and L'Era, those being: Clic (1974), M.elle Le "Gladiator" (1975), Battiato (1977), Juke Box (1978), and the infamous L'Egitto Prima Delle Sabbie (1978).
Bottom line, you can add Sulle Corde Di Aries to the list of early 70's Battiato masterpieces if you haven't already. A perfectly good introduction to this amazingly talented artist if you need one, but make sure you hear either Pollution or Fetus as well so you get the full scope of Battiato's talent."