Almamegretta

Animamigrante

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Almamegretta actually sounds like a self-contained Italian equivalent of Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound gang on their debut album. The title track and "Figli di Annibale" ("Children of Hannibal") in particular recall reggae-rooted dub sound science wizardry à la Sherwood, but Animamigrante is an album full of Almamegretta's own atmospheric tricks and urban mix techniques, groove music that pays careful attention to melody. The opening "'O BBuono E 'O Malamente" evokes Peter Gabriel a bit, but the acoustic "Suddd," with its dub bassline, Arabic-tinged melodies, and vocals in Italian (actually Neapolitan) dialect, shows the quartet's commitment to expanding the dub sound spectrum by bringing their own Mediterranean elements into the mix. "Sangha e Anema" starts off with upbeat ragga toasting before shifting to a mournful, moody Arabic keyboard and vocal melody over the continuing beat for the bridge -- a formula Almamegretta often returns to here and on later albums. "Fattallà" is pure ragga, but very haunting, atmospheric, "heady" music as much as body rock, which is a pretty good description of Almamegretta's style and the intelligence the group displays in balancing both sides of the dub equation. A very strong debut by a group that dub underground fans should make the extra effort to seek out.

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