Méséglise is an alternative music project led by Paolo Nannetti and Marco Giovannini, two members of Italian progressive rock group Sithonia. On Stranamente Sereno (Oddly peaceful) you’ll find a mix of classic Italian progressive rock, traditional folk music and pop.
Songwriting plays an essential role in the music of Méséglise. Paolo Nannetti’s lyrics are deeply influenced by poetic Italian singer-songwriters.
I gravitated towards the songs with deeper progressive and folk roots versus the pop-leaning ones. Nannetti and Giovannini are joined by three additional band members, the rhythm section of Maya Seagull and Maurizio Lettera and the exquisite violin and mandolin work of Maria Robaey.
Definite keepers include the first two tracks, ‘Il Tempo di Un Caffe’ (The time for a coffee) and ‘La Strada Verso la Collina’ (The road to the hill); the folk-oriented, accordion-driven ‘Caporale Milt’ (Corporal Milt); the prog rock conclusion of’ Interno Notte’ (Internal Night); the classical-influenced ‘Confusi In Mezzo Ai Simboli’ (Confused among the symbols); and the last two instrumentals, the folk-rock piece ‘Il Gioco Delle Parti’ (The game of the parts) and the instrumental version of track 2, ‘La Strada Verso la Collina.’
The lineup on Stranamente Sereno includes Paolo Nannetti on keyboards, organ, guitars, accordion, and vocals; Marco Giovannini on vocals and acoustic guitars; Maurizio Lettera on drums, percussion; Maya Seagull on bass, vocals; and Maria Robaey on violin, mandolin. Guests featured: Alberto Celommi on acoustic guitar and Enrico Capalbo on ebow guitar.
The CD booklet includes lyrics and excellent cover and interior illustration artwork by Paola Baiesi.
One of the progressive rock sensations of 2017 is Italian band Cellar Noise. The young group plays symphonic rock inspired by 1970s classic acts loaded with mellotron, organ, and synths interweaved with guitar. Their debut album is titled Alight (Btf – AMS).
Multi-faceted Italian musician Fabio Zuffanti is the artistic director of the project.
Maxophone, one of Italy’s classic progressive rock bands is back with a new album after many years. The new recording is titled La fabbrica delle nuvole (the cloud factory) on AMS Records.
La fabbrica delle nuvole contains progressive symphonic elements as well as fusion. The lineup includes original members Sergio Lattuada on piano, keyboards and vocals; Alberto Ravasini on guitars, keyboards and lead vocals; along with Marco Croci on bass and vocals; Marco Tomasini on guitar and vocals; and Carlo Monti on drums, percussion and violin.
Maxophone is an essential name within the vast realm of Italian progressive rock. Like many other acts, they disbanded after only one self-titled LP, Maxophone that was released in 1975 and became a collector’s item.
Italian progressive rock band Astrolabio has a new album titled I paralumi della ragione. This is the follow-up to the band’s much-admired debut recording “L’isolamento dei numeri pari” (2014).
Astrolabio is influenced by 1970s progressive band such as Rovescio della medaglia and Il Balletto di Bronzo, as well as Frank Zappa and Arthur Brown.
The lyrics examine everyday life and of the sociopolitical reality.
Legendary Italian progressive rock band Il Rovescio della Medaglia has a new album titled “Tribal domestic”. Il Rovescio della Medaglia returns to a more symphonic, well-defined progressive music. It features many influences from the “Contaminazione” era.
Guitar player Enzo Vita brought back Il Rovescio della Medaglia’s original vocalist Pino Ballarini.
Nuova Era, one of Italy’s essential progressive rock bands from the late 1980s and early 1990s is back with “Return to the Castle”. This time, Nuova Era sings in English for the first time. “Return to the Castle” contains 75 minutes of symphonic progressive rock,
“Return to the Castle” includes band leader and composer Walter Pini, along with vocalist and guitarist Alex Camalti.
The group’s debut album “Il passo del soldato” (1995) is considered Italian progressive rock classic.
Il Castello Di Atlante – ‘Arx Atlantis‘ (Aenima Recordings, 2016)
This is the new album by Il Castello Di Atlante, an Italian progressive rock band that has been around since 1974. “Arx Atlantis” brings back many of the original musicians.
Il Castello Di Atlante is deeply influenced by the early progressive rock bands form the UK and Italy. On “Arx Atlantis” the group opens the album with a hard rocking progressive piece titled ‘Non Ho Mai Imparato.’ However, the album heads in a different direction starting with track 2. ‘Il Vecchio Giovane’ begins with high energy drums, violin and synths. Four minutes into the piece, the sound gets more captivating with notable piano work, call and response vocals and, to top it off, a memorable great Genesis-style guitar solo and splendid violin, guitar and keyboards interplay. This second part sounds like the real deal, excellent rock progresivo italiano.
The progressive rock direction continues on track 3, ‘Ghino e L’Abate di Clignì’, featuring wonderful violin, keyboard and vocal work.
Track 4, ‘Il Tempo del Grande Onore’ shifts to folk-rock and pop hooks. The highlight here is a fine synth solo.
The grand piece is the final track, ‘Il Tesoro Ritrovato,’ an epic that contains all the tasty ingredients that we like about symphonic progressive rock: delectable guitar, synth and violin interplay; classic Italian prog vocals featuring two vocalists; piano and violin duet; and an epic conclusion.
The lineup includes Aldo Bergamini on guitar and vocals; Dino Fiore on bass; Andrea Bertino on violin; Davide Cristofoli on piano and keyboards; Massimo Di Lauro on violin; Paolo Ferrarotti on keyboards, vocals and drums on track 5; Mattia Garimanno on drums. Le Orme’s legendary Tony Pagliuca appears on keyboards on track 3.
Although Il Castello Di Atlante was formed in the mid-1970s, the group did not release its debut album until 1992.
The set will also be available in a 4-LP vinyl format.
1 River of Life
3 Photos of Ghosts
4 Old Rain
5 Il Banchetto
6 Mr 9 ‘Till 5
7 Promenade the Puzzle
8 21st Century Schizoid Man (Live)
9 La Carrozza Di Hans (Live At Reading Festival)
10 Mr 9 Till 5 (Live)
1 L’isola Di Niente
2 Is My Face On Straight
3 La Luna Nuova
4 Dolcissima Maria
5 Via Lumiere
6 Is My Face On Straight (Live)
7 Cleveland Keyboard Jam (Live)
1 The Mountain
2 Just Look Away
3 The World Became the World
4 Four Holes In the Ground
5 Is My Face On Straight
6 Have Your Cake and Beat It
7 Four Holes In the Ground (Live)
8 La Carrozza Di Hans (Live)
Italian multi-instrumentalist Marco Ragni recently released a superb new album titled “Land of Blue Echoes.” Ragni is deeply inspired by psychedelic and progressive rock. He talks to Progressive Rock Central about his music and career.
Angel Romero – What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
Marco Ragni – The main element of my music is emotion. I always try to write and play what is in my heart… Then I love so much to create a landscape as a painter while describes your imagination in a painting. I’m an impressionist! I love to melting acoustic and electric elements. My music is passionate as me.
Who can you cite as your main musical influences?
My main musical influences are: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, PFM, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Steven Wilson, Motorpsycho, David Crosby, The Beatles, Gentle Giant, Ozric Tentacles and all the progressive and psychedelic scene of sixties and seventies.. I listen to this music since I was a child.
Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.
My first recordings was funny and totally experimental!! I used a four analogical tracks with cassette… I’ve composed a lot of psychedelic songs. My evolution was both from the point of view of the recordings and the composition. I studied a lot, especially, how to compose a song, how to record a song and how to mixing a song. I tried to use my knowledge to get what I was trying musically. Sometimes I will have succeeded!
Unlike other Italian artists, you sing in English. Why English and not Italian?
Because I wanted to be international and ’cause I always loved English as the language used in music. Sometimes I write in my language for example as “Canto d’amore” of my last album “Land of Blue Echoes” but usually I love English. Maybe one day I’ll record an entire album in Italian language.. What do you think about it?…
From my point of view, Italy has one of the finest and most original progressive rock scenes in the world. Why do you think Italy produces so many first-class artists?
I don’t know really, but I think Italians have a great taste that comes from our “culture of beauty” and from the Opera. We have many great Conservatories (Schools of music) and people are very creative and crazy! I think it’s because we need to express in music all that is beautiful around us, but there’s also a magical way that I can’t understand…
What instruments do you use?
Mainly I use guitars (especially acoustic 6 and 12 strings) and keyboards. I love so much mellotron and bass and sometimes I play bouzouki (a typical Greek or Irish instrument, I use Greek), lap steel guitar and ukulele (baritone). Rarely play the flute..
What effects do you use?
I’m a slave of delays, reverbs and phasers! All from Boss. I love so much to use a “backward delay”, a must for all the lovers of psychedelic music of 60s. It sounds like the Beatles’ Tomorrow never knows” or Hendrix’s “1983” or “Axis bold as love” for example . I use this delay to create a backward guitar, especially when I play lead. It’s funny!
If you could gather any musicians or musical groups to collaborate with, whom would that be?
I would like to have David Gilmour, Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson or Jonathan Wilson… But I think would be cool to have any musician of the psychedelic period.. It’s a dream, my dream. I’m trying to have one in my next album.. By the way, an EP called “California” is coming out (early October) and I’m also working on a new album. A concept prog rock Opera with a single 50-minute suite.. See ya soon folks!!
In My Eyes (Crow Records, 2010), this first studio album was remastered with bonus tracks.
Live at the house of thunder, with the Velvet Cactus Band (Crow Records, 2011)