Fiamma Fumana

Onda

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On their third outing, Fiamma Fumana are still mixing the ancient and very modern in their own particular fashion, but there's a definite change. The balance has tipped toward original compositions, perhaps because this particular lineup has put in extensive roadwork and gelled into a really solid unit. There are a number of guests (like Lorenzo Cherubini and MC Navigator, who rap on the opener, "Prendi L'Onda"), but they seem to be here to fulfill the group's studio vision rather than simply to add numbers. The central instrument remains Lady Jessica Lombardi's bagpipes, and her style has moved away from the more obvious Celtic overtones (however, there remain definite connections between the band's Emilia Romagna roots and Celtic music, as the ceilidh sound of "Manifesto" shows) to forge a more individual sound. More than ever, the seams between real instruments and programming, between old and new, can't be seen. What they produce here is as much dance music as anything on their first two discs, whether original or traditional, although they do catch their breath with "La Vien Giu." Transglobal Underground provide a remix of "Immagina" to end the proceedings. As a loving touch, the group includes a couple of voice samples from the late Martyn Bennett, one of the pioneers of mixing traditional and electronic music.

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