Area - International POPular Group


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The third mid-'70s album from Italy's progresssive rock forerunners Area originally appeared on the experimental Cramps label and is reissued here for the first time. Favoring incredibly complex rhythms à la King Crimson, the group's fusion of folk and ethnic music, leftist political diatribe, and free jazz and hard rock coalesces into a distinctive sound further accented by the abstractions of vocalist Demitrio Stratos. His inimitable avant-garde vocal techniques are something to be heard to be believed, and the agility with which the ensemble cuts between genres and motifs is astonishing, deploying techniques way ahead of their time. Laced with high energy and abundant humor, Crac! is a standout concept album in avant-garde and progressive rock scenes, yet somehow neither genre would appropriately house this music. Further evidence of their groundbreaking fusion can be heard on their Maledetti and Arbeit Macht Frei albums.

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