AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013) — review by Mark McCawley

AltrOck / Fading Records Releases (2013)


review by Mark McCawley


NotAGoodSignCOVERNot a Good Sign is a project by AltrOck/Fading Records and some bands’ members of the label. Marcello Marinone, Paolo «Ske» Botta and Francesco Zago, after a successful collaboration in Yugen and Ske, proposed a new blend of their musical attitudes. The result was an ominous, fascinating sound melting vintage keyboards, powerful guitars and voice, supported by a compelling rhythmic drive. In 2011, Botta and Zago began to write the music, and Zago provided the lyrics. Soon, Gabriele G. Colombi and Alessio Calandriello, from La Coscienza di Zeno, also joined the band. The drummer Martino Malacrida completed the line-up in 2012. In the following two tracks — “The Deafening Sound of the Moon” and “Afraid To Ask” — many will recognize the Old Prog School sound from the 70s, albeit in a modern key, with a pinch of hard-rock and psych. Resonant vocal melodies and lyrics complete the band’s melancholy but colourful imagery:

The Deafening Sound of the Moon by Not a Good Sign (from Not a Good Sign)

Afraid To Ask by Not a Good Sign (from Not a Good Sign)


Paolo «Ske» Botta, keyboards
Alessio Calandriello, vocals
Gabriele Guidi Colombi, bass
Martino Malacrida, drums
Francesco Zago, guitars


Maurizio Fasoli, grandpiano (Yugen)
Sharron Fortnam, vocals (North Sea Radio Orchestra, Cardiacs)
Bianca Fervidi, cello


1. Almost 1 06:37
2. Almost 2 03:12
3. Not a Good Sign 07:54
4. Making Stills 06:43
5. Witchcraft by a Picture 07:37
6. Coming Back Home 05:52
7. Flow On 06:07
8. The Deafening Sound of the Moon 04:33
9. Afraid to Ask 03:08

Stream the entire album, Not a Good Sign, then order via bandcamp (CD or digital downloads), or directly from AltrOck.

La Coscienza di Zeno SensitivitàCOVERLa Coscienza di Zeno was founded in 2007, taking the band’s distinctive name (meaning “Zeno’s Conscience” in English, and often shortened to CDZ for ease of reference) from one of the masterpieces of Italian literature, the ground-breaking psychological novel published in 1923 by writer Italo Svevo, written in the form of an autobiography meant to help the titular Zeno’s attempts to quit smoking through psychoanalysis. Not surprisingly, La Coscienza di Zeno’s debut possesses a definite intellectual appeal (stream this rare and hard to find album via bandcamp, or download the album digitally).

After the success of their homonym debut CD, the band confirms their Italian prog-rock direction with Sensitività, their sophomore effort: strong powerful vocals and rich instrumental arrangements within a great melodic vein. They started out using classic 70s English prog as their template, yet soon morphed into their own particular version of Symphonic prog and Italian prog rock:

La Città Di Dite by La Coscienza Di Zeno (from Sensitività)

Pauvre Misère by La Coscienza Di Zeno (from Sensitività)


Alessio Calandriello – Voice
Gabriele Guidi Colombi – Bass
Andrea Orlando – Drums
Stefano Agnini – Synths
Davide Serpico – Guitars
Luca Scherani – Piano, Mellotron, accordion, bouzouki


Joanne Roan – Flute
Sylvia Trabucco – Violin
Melissa Del Luchese – Cello
Rossano Villa – Mellotron


1. La Citta di Ditte (06:46)
2. Sensitività (12:22)
3. Tenue (03:31)
4. Chiusa 1915 (07:04)
5. Tensegrita (07:18)
6. Pauvre Misère (07:49)
7. La Temperanza (10:38)

Order Sensitività directly from AltrOck.

RHÙN FANFARE DU CHAOS>Ih coverA relatively young band from Normandy, France, Rhùn Fanfare du Chaos makes their AltrOck debut with a CD containing six tracks; the first three from new recordings by the current line-up of the group entitled Ïh, the second three by a similar line-up from their 2008 demo. They call themselves “Garage Zeuhl”. Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaïan, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma. The members of Magma describe the genre of Zeuhl to mean music of the universal might. The genre is a mixture of musical genres like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modernism and Fusion. Common elements include oppressive or discipline-conveying feeling, marching themes, throbbing bass, an ethereal piano or Rhodes piano, and brass instruments. There’s also a strong jazz-rock and free-jazz thread going on in their music, most evident on the earlier material, mixed in with somewhat bizarre experimental elements:

Intermud by Rhùn Fanfare du Chaos (from Ïh)

Mlyee by Rhùn Fanfare du Chaos (from Demo 2008)


Captain Flapattak – Drums, Vocals
Fabien De Kerbalek – Guitar, Vocals
Thybo – Guitar
Damoon – Bass, Vocals (1-3)
Sir Alron – Bass, Vocals (4-6)
Brhüno – Tenor/Soprano Saxophones, Bassoon, Vocals (1-3)
Sam – Alto/Baritone Saxophones, Alto Clarinet, Flute, Vocals (4-6)
Marhïon Mouette – Vocals, Percussion (1-3)
Emilie Massue – Vocals, Percussion (4-6)
With the Ensemble Pantagrulair (1-3):
Séverine – Flute, Piccolo
Rémi – Oboe
Catherine – Clarinet
Pierre – Horn


1. Toz (09:25)
2. Intermud (02:59)
3. Dunb (08:57)
4. Bùmlo (05:34)
5. Mlùez (06:16)
6. Ïh (08:18)

Stream the three track Ïh EP via bandcamp, or download digital album. Or purchase CD from AltrOck.

image descriptionOne of the most unique aspects of the AltrOck/Fading Records labels is their openness to new bands and emerging musicians. All one need do is scan their catalog for the sheer number of debut albums released on the label. That reveals not only a faith in the concept of their overall mandate of promoting some of best new prog music coming out of Italy, but elsewhere as well. Homunculus Res, an AltrOck offering from Palermo, Italy exposes their deep canterburian roots in the creativity and originality of their debut offering — Limiti all’eguaglianza della Parte con il Tutto. Again and again, Altrock proves musicianship transcends cultural and linguistic barriers:

Culturismo Ballo Organizzare by Homunculus Res (from Limiti all’eguaglianza della Parte con il Tutto)

Nabucco Chiappe D’Oro by Homunculus Res (from Limiti all’eguaglianza della Parte con il Tutto)

Centoquarantaduemilaottocentocinquantasette by Homunculus Res (from Limiti all’eguaglianza della Parte con il Tutto)


Dario D’Alessandro – guitar, vocals, keyboards, glockenspiel, percussion
Davide Di Giovanni – piano, organ, MS10, drums, bass, acoustic guitar, vocals
Daniele Di Giovanni – drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, vocals
Domenico Salamone – bass
Federico Cardaci – minimoog, memotron, organ
Dario Lo Cicero – flutes, wind controller
Mauro Turdo – additional guitar (1)


Paolo Ske Botta: synthesizers, organ, electronics, glockenspiel
Giovanni Di Martino – Microkorg (3)
Totò Puleo – trumpet (3)


1. Culturismo Ballo Organizzare (5.50)
2. ΔU (1:53)
3. Dj Psicosi (3:49)
4. Preparazione Bomba H (3:13)
5. Sintagma (1:09)
6. JessicaLaura (3:18)
7. (che ne sai tu di un) Cerchio nel Grano (3:49)
8. Rifondazione Unghie (3:18)
9. Ballata dell’amore stocastico (3:16)
10. χΦ (1:30)
11. Nabucco Chiappe d’Oro (4:14)
12. Il Papa buono (2:52)
13. Accidenti (0:24)
14. Centoquarantaduemilaottocentocinquantasette (2:06)
15. Profiterol (1:29)
16. Estate 216 solszt (1:24)
17. Puk 10 (2:25)
18. Il Contrario di Tutto (2:21)

Purchase the CD from AltrOck.UG

Posted on by urbangraffito Posted in Audio, Compact Discs, Ephemera, Fresh Raw Cuts, Review

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