Anni di piombo, anni di paillettes.

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

[music:] Roberto Cacciapaglia, Sonanze (1975)

with 9 comments

[edit February 16th, 2009: that’s an interesting case of synchronicity – whatever. I just noticed that Jim at Mutant Sounds released a download link for this long-time lost record a couple of hours before I clicked the “Publish” button for this post. Check out their version too, with huge front/back cover pics, and a different rip encoding.]

Cosmic joker nel blu dipinto di blu. Or: mediterranEurock. It’s not by chance, indeed, that this time the Couriers’ spacecraft is a flying marranzano (the italian for jew’s harp) floating on the cover. After all, there aren’t much italian musicians who had the chance to work at first hand with german krautrock gurus – the only other names which come to my mind are Baffo Banfi from Biglietto per l’inferno, who had a couple of solo albums produced by Klaus Schulze between 1979 and 1981, and Gianna Nannini teaming up with Conny Plank from 1982 until the latter’s death in 1987 for a series of europewide successful records, with Jaki Liebezeit from Can as a session drummer.

In 1974, when Roberto Cacciapaglia entered the studio with Ohr Records founder and cosmic rock éminence grise Rolf Ulrich Kaiser, he was mostly known as the guy who sat behind the keyboards for Battiato’s second album Pollution. Actually, the music which resulted from these sessions – edited and released as Sonanze (“sonances”) the following year – was more or less related with Battiato’s early Seventies works, and somehow recalled the coeval explorations of major kosmische achievers such as Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream or the same Schulze; neverthless, it retained something unique and inherently personal: a peculiar upward structure, an esthetical rectitude, an almost classical composure which placed it out of the space/acid rock canon, and was likely to be an heritage of Cacciapaglia’s academic training as a composer (he graduated at Milan’s “Giuseppe Verdi” conservatory before joining the phonology research team at RAI – the italian national broadcasting system – and working with the CNR – “national resarch centre” – in Pisa).

To strengthen this impression, we’re having a complete orchestra here gliding its way into the stratosphere by drones and blows, which refer to early XX century atonal tradition, while the manipulation of processed vocals (such as in the 2nd Movement) anticipated the monomanic, mesmerizing Tail of the Tiger by Roberto Laneri’s Prima Materia, providing some gusts of high solar wind. When it comes to post-impressionistic/minimal piano patterns, then, such as in the 3rd Movement, there you find yourself effortlessy climbing a spiral staircase to the stars.

Here is the tracklist:

01, 1st Movement
02, 2nd Movement
03, 3rd Movement
04, 4th Movement
05, 5th Movement
06, 6th Movement
07, 7th Movement
08, 8th Movement
09, 9th Movement
10, 10th Movement

Get it: Roberto Cacciapaglia, Sonanze (1975)

After the exploit of Sonanze (oddly released in Italy through PDU, the label founded by Mina and Augusto Martelli), Roberto Cacciapaglia went on experimenting with contemporary classic music and electronics, studying ancient sacred music and the non-musical power of sound and performing with the most diverse artists and in all kind of environments.

He also worked in the pop music industry as a refined and innovative arranger and producer for the model/actress/singer Ann Steel (in the legendary Ann Steel Album, 1979), Gianna Nannini (G.N., 1981), Giuni Russo (Vox, 1983), Ivan Cattaneo (Bandiera Gialla – “yellow flag” – 1983), Alice (Gioielli rubati – “stolen jewels”, a collection of Franco Battiato’s covers – 1985), and is a successful author of music for commercials.

His most recent effort is Canone degli spazi (“canon of the spaces”), recorded with the London Philarmonic Orchestra and released in January, 2009. You can visit his official website (also in english) for more detailed info.


Written by alteralter

February 15, 2009 at 6:37 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Wow, both you and Mutant Sounds posted this on the same day…I’ve been looking for this LP for years now, I can finally hear it…


    Edgar Olivier Charles

    February 16, 2009 at 6:48 am

  2. oh my, you’re right edgar! i bet their rip is even better than mine… anyway, hope you like it.


    February 16, 2009 at 9:30 am

  3. This is a fantastic record, period.

    You don’t happen to have “Sei Note In Logica” by any chance?

    Edgar Olivier Charles

    February 17, 2009 at 5:50 pm

  4. of course i’ve got it! but you can easily grab it at the sdm blog here:


    February 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm

  5. Mon cher, thanx a million…

    Edgar Olivier Charles

    February 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm

  6. Sulla scia del tuo post ho pensato di pubblicare anche il secondo album di Cacciapaglia, che tralaltro preferisco. Ho segnalato il tuo blog come fonte per chi volesse ascoltare anche il primo.

    Ti scrivo pero’ soprattutto per chiederti: ti spiacerebbe se pubblicassi l’album dei Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici che hai messo qualche settimana fa sul tuo blog? L’ho conosciuto grazie a te e mi piacerebbe diffonderlo. Non mancherei di citarti come fonte, chiaramente.

    Grazie mille e buon lavoro. I tuoi post sono spessissimo scoperte: nonostante dedichi ormai un discreto ammontare di tempo alla ricerca di “perle nascoste” del rock italico, ogni volta che vengo qui trovo qualcosa di cui non avevo mai trovato accenno prima!


    February 19, 2009 at 2:43 am

  7. è curiosa e piacevole questa improvvisa attenzione per i primi lavori di cacciapaglia: in pochi giorni sdm, mutant sounds, tu e io.

    certo che puoi ripubblicare gmm. grazie per l’incoraggiamento e a presto.


    February 19, 2009 at 11:42 am

  8. siete fantastici.
    un grazie che tende a infinito—->

    dj nepo

    dj nepo

    February 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm

  9. Salve a tutti! Ho notato che siete riusciti a riorganizzare molti lavori di Cacciapaglia pressocché introvabili…
    Sono alla ricerca dell’album Tempus Fugit. Veramente raro, non ne ho mai visto traccia! Avete voi modo di fare un upload dell’album o di consigliarmi qualche rivenditore?

    Grazie in anticipo per la pazienza!:)



    May 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm

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