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Area - Anto/Logicamente CD (album) cover

ANTO/LOGICAMENTE

Area

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.04 | 5 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The earliest compilation from Italy's weirdest band collects a random half-dozen tracks off their first (and best) four albums, released between 1973 and 1976. According to the CD booklet (which I haven't seen: my copy is a library download) the selections were meant to follow the odder angles in an already obtuse musical geometry, in retrospect an easy task with this group of virtuoso misfits.

One thing is certain: the music isn't Rock Progressivo Italiano, despite the heading on their page in these Archives. This is pure, unadulterated Avant-Prog of a sort to strike a familiar chord in any Zappaholic, midway between the funny bone and the solar plexus: an incredibly busy and often bizarre mix of jazz/rock/what-the-fck fusion, featuring a lead vocalist whose demented mock-operatic warbling was a unique instrument all by itself.

Area at its creative peak was a challenging band, to say the least, and lots of fun when heard the right way: with both ears bent into pretzel-shaped knots. But the constraints of a vinyl didn't allow room for anything more than a limited, lopsided view of their music, in this case making it sound even more obscure than it actually is. And with the exception of the 1974 B-side "Citazione da George L. Jackson" - a short atonal improvisation played over spoken text - there isn't any unfamiliar music here.

Consider it instead a sonic litmus test for adventurous newcomers: if you can safely navigate this quick, 40-minute sampler by all means tackle the full albums. There are only four of them from this time-frame, each one fairly short and all essential.

So: three stars, for beginners only. Otherwise the collection is aimed at completists who can't live without hearing the one (somewhat disposable) non-LP track.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |

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