Anni di piombo, anni di paillettes.

Music from a country on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

[music:] Juri Camisasca, La finestra dentro (1974) + 7″

with 9 comments

Franco Battiato is an epidemic. He massively and deeply influenced italian music in the last forty years, with both his seventies’ cosmic/avant seminal efforts and his early eighties’ art pop masterpieces. In addition, he also wrote for, played in and produced a huge number of records by artists as different as Telaio magnetico and Ombretta Colli, PFM and Giusto Pio, eventually establishing his own style as a stand alone genre. We will have many chances to speak about his work as the blog goes on.

Anyway, most of this was yet to come in 1974, when Battiato joined his friend Roberto “Juri” Camisasca (they met while serving in the army) to play VCS3 and keyboards and co-produce the latter’s debut album, La finestra dentro (“the window inside”). The result was something slightly different from early seventies’ Battiato classics like Fetus (1972) and Pollution (1972): the driving forces here are Camisasca’s excellent acid-folk songwriting and his unique, thrilling voice, which could be somehow compared to Demetrio Stratos or Claudio Rocchi, and yet sounds completely personal and sincere.

The circular, monotonous grooves and the contemporary classic elements, which are likely to be Battiato’s key contributions to arrangements, helped in creating an obsessive atmosphere that reflects the mood of the lyrics. This is just an example, from “Un galantuomo”: “Ora mi decido, prendo un martello, me lo picchio sulla testa ed ecco che i topi mi escono dal naso, i topi mi escono dalle orecchie. Ma ora me ne pento perché oramai io sono troppo vecchio. E come una pianta che perde le foglie, io perdo i capelli, io perdo le dita, io perdo le gambe, io perdo il naso, io perdo il controllo della lingua.” (“Now i decide, i take a hammer, i bang it on my head and the rats come out of my nose, the rats come out of my ears. But i repent, because by now i am too old. And like a plant losing its leaves, i lose my hair, i lose my fingers, i lose my legs, i lose my nose, i lose control of my tongue.”).

This combination of haunting lyrics and sounds from outer space landed as an unidentified object in the middle of a scene then mainly focused on progressive rock and cantautori, and Battiato’s name was not yet such a warranty brand to gain to the album the attention it deserved. As a result, La finestra dentro has been for too many years one of the best kept secret of seventies’ italian music – and a highly valued collectors item. The releasing of two singles during 1975, which coupled tracks from the album with more “easy” songs on the a-sides, did not help either.

The same Juri Camisasca became a desaparecido joining a monastery in 1976, after some minor contributions to some Battiato’s projects. He came back to music at the end of the eighties, and since then he has been writing some amazing songs for the likes of Alice, Milva and Giuni Russo and has released three solo albums: Te deum, Il Carmelo di Echt (“the echt’s carmel”), and Arcano enigma (“occult enigma”, with Bluvertigo as a backing band).

He is also a painter of orthodox icons, and has acted in the last two Battiato’s feature films as a director, Musikanten and Niente è come sembra (“nothing is as it seems”, with Alejandro Jodorowski playing a tarot reader).

Here is the tracklist:

01, Un galantuomo (“a gentleman”)
02, Ho un grande vuoto nella testa (“i’ve got a big void in my head”)
03, Metamorfosi (“metamorphosis”, also released as the b-side of “La musica muore”)
04, Scavando col badile (“digging with the shovel”)
05, John
06, Un fiume di luce (“a river of light”, also released as the b-side of “Himalaya”)
07, Il regno dell’Eden (“the realm of eden”)

The two 7″ contain:

Himalaya (1975)
a, Himalaya / b, Un fiume di luce

La musica muore (“the music dies”, 1975)
a, La musica muore / b, Metamorfosi

Get the whole package: Juri Camisasca, La finestra dentro (1974) + 7″

Check juricamisasca.it for news and stuff (in italian).

Written by alteralter

March 26, 2008 at 7:58 pm

9 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Greetings.. I’ve added your blog to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blogroll @ http://music-bloggers.blogspot.com The Various/Eclectic category has been overused and has grown rather lengthy as a result, so I hope you don’t mind that I’ve added your blog under the category for country specific blogs, since this blog focuses on Italian music. I’m considering re-organizing the blogroll to find better categories for some of those listed in various/eclectic, and if so I’ll consider moving yours to that category.

    Thanks for linking to me, and for making this music available to a wider audience. Take care.

    Zer0_II

    April 8, 2008 at 7:45 pm

  2. thank you pal. i’m proud being the first of my kind in your “italian” category…

    alteralter

    April 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

  3. Hey alteralter…thanx for this post, this is a kick-ass record! I’ve been listening to it obssessively in the past coupla days and it has really grown on me. I can hear Battiato’s influence but it is still very unique and original. Do you know anything else from that era who is just as singular?

    Edgar Olivier Charles

    June 8, 2008 at 4:39 pm

  4. thank you edgar, olivier, charles. supplying you with amazing italian music from that era is one of the main goals of this blog – even if i’m not posting that often lately, due to a work overload. if you are looking for stuff somehow related to camisasca’s work, i suggest you to search for albergo intergalattico spaziale, le stelle di mario schifano, andrea tich, claudio rocchi, mario barbaja, prima materia, telaio magnetico. check this page from time to time ’cause almost all of these names are in my posting schedule. cheers.

    alteralter

    June 9, 2008 at 11:42 pm

  5. Yes, I have the Albergo Intergalattico Spaziale. I will look up all the others, and I have been trying to find Claudio Rocchi’s first record but I’ve had no luck! I’ve also discovered Alan Sorrenti’s Aria record…good stuff…

    I’ll come by again!

    Edgar Olivier Charles

    June 11, 2008 at 6:34 am

  6. guess what? yesterday i came across a collection of old – and incredibly cheap… – vynils in a second-hand shop, including some rare cramps releases and claudio rocchi’s 1974 album il miele dei pianeti, le isole, le api, so expect to find it here sooner or later…

    alteralter

    June 11, 2008 at 11:06 am

  7. That’s excellent news! Lucky find…

    Edgar Olivier Charles

    June 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm

  8. Hi,
    I am a big fan of the Italian music i guess i have something like 500 CD’s(just Italian)
    so if you need any thing juat ask
    bye
    Richard
    Alla Prossima

    Richard

    September 10, 2008 at 5:48 am

  9. thank you for your support richard!

    alteralter

    September 10, 2008 at 8:15 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: