Franco Battiato


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Dedicated to a towering musical figure indeed -- none other than avant-garde giant Karlheinz Stockhausen -- Clic found Battiato working with a smaller core group than on Sulle Corde Di Aries, though both guitarist/bassist Gianni Mocchetti and drummer Gianfranco d'Adda make return appearances. Aside from backing vocals and a string quartet, everything else is Battiato's doing, with the Krautrock touches apparent in his previous work starting to surface all the more readily here. Things are generally more meditative and reflective, though certainly Battiato isn't far from his usual wry humor (thus "Propriedad Prohibida," the title of his bitterly wry take on more-leftist-than-thou Italian bands of the time like Area, though the song itself is a quietly entrancing instrumental). Such fun spirits turn up on the album on "Rien Ne Va Plus -- Andante," the string quartet gently going berserk and quirky vocal flutters interspersed with chopped-up piano and random fake audience applause. "Il Mercato Degli Dei" is as representative of the album as anything, an instrumental composed of various parts and consisting almost entirely of Battiato's various keyboard explorations arranged and overdubbed, but emphasizing calm, quiet arrangements rather than Rick Wakeman-like orgies of sound. "I Cancelli Della Memoria" makes for a great start to the album, soothing Tangerine Dream-like airs and bubbling synth bass loops mixing with everything from (apparently) Battiato's own sax work to his more expected piano parts. "Nel Cantiere di Un'Infanzia," meanwhile, finds Battiato in one of his spookier, moodier moments, the low tones of his keyboards setting an initially unsettling air, while familiar elements from the past -- cut-up radio samples and the like -- sound all the more alien and strange here. More of the same crops up at the start of the concluding "Ethika Fon Ethica," sounding like a romantic film continually dropping out of sync with itself.

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