zondag 21 november 2010

Alusa Fallax - 1974 - Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione

Alusa Fallax
Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione

01. Soliloquio (2:58)
02. Non Fatemi Caso (4:28)
03. Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione (4:13)
04. Fuori di me,Dentro di me (3:03)
05. Riflessioni Al Tramonto (3:04)
06. Il Peso Delle Tradizioni (1:40)
07. Carta Carbone (3:36)
08. Perchè Ho Venduto Il Mio Sangue (1:43)
09. Per Iniziare Una Vita (4:20)
10. E' Oggi (3:05)
11. E' Così Poco Quel Che Conosco (2:32)
12. Ciò Che Nasce Con Me8 (4:12)
13. Splendida sensazione (5:45)

- Guido Gabet / guitar
- Massimino Paretti / keyboards
- Guido Cirla / bass
- Duty Cirla / percussion, vocals
- Mario Cirla / saxophon, flute

ALUSA FALLAX are amongst the ranks of Italian prog bands who only released one album in their career, perhaps surprising when you realise the band existed for around ten years.

The band was formed in Milan in 1969 by keyboard player Massimo Parretti who went in search of musicians to play on a piece of music he'd been asked to write. His search led him to GLI ADELFI, a band that featured an old school friend on guitar and vocals, Guido Gabet. Impressed, Parretti enlisted their help but shortcomings with the keyboard player led him to take his place for the recording. The band changing its name to ALUSA FALLAX was completed by three brothers with the surname Cirla, Augusto (drums, vocals and recorder), Guido (bass and vocals) and Mario (sax, flute, French horn and vocals).

The result was a single titled "Dedicato A Chi Amo" followed the same year by another called "Tutto Passa". They then started playing live shows but it wasn't until 1974 that the album "Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione" was released. Musically the album is largely in a symphonic style with classical and occasional jazz influences, with intelligent utilization of acoustic and electric instrumentation. Although comprising of thirteen tracks they are divided into two long suites with strong musicianship throughout.

The album received very little promotion and was only pressed in a quantity of 5000. They continued to make their living from the live circuit but not through playing progressive rock. Disco became big news towards the end of the seventies and they adopted this style for their live shows and even released a single under the name BLIZZARD before finally splitting up in 1979.

Alusa Fallax were formed in Milan in 1969 as a "beat band". In the early seventies they turned to progressive and in 1974 they released an interesting debut album, "Intorno alla mia cattiva educazione" (About my bad education). On it the line up features Agusto "Duty" Cirla (vocals, drums, recorder), Guido Gabet (guitar, vocals), Massimo Parretti (keyboards), Mario Cirla (flute, sax, French horn, vocals) and Guido Cirla (bass, vocals). According to an interview with Massimo Parretti on the site italianprog.com, this work "was in fact conceived as an opera, or, better, as a concert arranged into scenes, and not as an LP". The subject matter is the criticism against a hard and strict upbringing and lyrics tell the story of a boy who tries to change his way of life. The band used to have a strong theatrical approach on stage where the main character of the story was represented by a puppet that the members of the band used to manipulate in turn during the show. The music ranges many sources of inspiration, from Italian "cantautori" like Fabrizio De Andrè and Gino Paoli to prog bands like BMS, PFM and Focus, from classical to Inti Illimani. In my opinion, the mix is not always convincing since some "quotes" are too evident and, despite the good musicianship and some excellent ideas, every now and again the final result sounds too derivative.
The opener "Soliloquio" (Soliloquy) is a short instrumental featuring a good flute work and the feeling of an "evolution in progress". It leads to the evocative and melodic "Non fatemi caso (Do not mind me). "I will keep on walking / Defeating the shadows, losing my soul / Come with me... Nobody is like me / I will try to change my skin / I will do all the necessary to hide myself... I will destroy time and boredom / Without trembling, without asking / I will do it!".
"Intorno alla mia cattiva educazione" (About my bad education) is a beautiful instrumental full of classical suggestions that leads to "Fuori di me, dentro di me" (Outside of me, inside of me) where the "heavy wheel of time" keeps on spinning around hidden thoughts... "If only for once could I get rid of my false attitude / I could live into reality / It's hard to believe / That you don't know what people think about me...".
On "Riflessioni al tramonto" (Reflections at sundown) flute echoes coming out from "the house of a king" and soaring light melodic lines draw dreamy reflections on a beach in front of the sea at sundown... "All around here there is light / In the hour when sun and ocean join like two lips... I'm looking for a dream and a moment / Among the dark rocks in front of the glittering light of a violent sun / Staring at the sea...".
The mood suddenly changes on the next short instrumental "Il peso delle tradizioni" (The weight of traditions), frenzy and in some way dark. It leads to "Carta carbone" (Carbon paper), where music takes a long "Via Crucis" leading through a dangerous path... "Time becomes a discrete instrument as well / Beloved supporter of complicity / It will never revolt... The wind sweeps away the useless footsteps / Of a vital emptiness that lies outside me... I will be the only fair judge...". An explosion concludes the side A of the album, symbolizing the breakthrough from inhibitions and the beginning of a new life.
The first track of the second part, "Perché ho venduto il mio sangue" (Why did I sell my blood) features recitative vocals that could remind of Demetrio Stratos. The weight of traditions has gone and a new life begins with its burden of doubts and questions... "Why did I sell my blood? / Who are the owners of my hands, of my incertitude? What to do now?... There's no doubt about it, my life has changed / I've changed my skin, friendships, hatred... / The world is rising as it was living in me / I close my eyes and begin to live...". Next track "Per iniziare una vita" (To begin a life) is soft and melancholic, doubts are still hanging on... "How could you still think / To be empty inside... You are still trying to avoid the judgement of people / You don't realize that you have changed...". The second part of this track "quote" a beautiful song by Violeta Parra that was interpreted by Inti_Illimani in the early seventies, "Run Run se fué pa'l Norte".
"E' oggi (It's today)" is a short instrumental with a jazzy touch that leads to the dramatic "E' così poco quel che conosco" (What I know is so little). It's not easy to get rid of your past, there are so many troubles and struggles to overcome the beliefs of people who are still prisoners of the common moral... "I've been wondering so long / About how to find the right way / I can't always look back to yesterday, no!... I've always hoped to get some help from Heaven / But there's no saint for me... I never want back what I've forsworn in you...". The atmosphere is more relaxed on the following "Ciò che nasce in me" (What is coming to life in me), a dreamy and melodic piece where optimism eventually prevails leading to a happy end where the protagonist discovers that he's not the only one who made the choice to change his life. The fear to be lonely forever slowly fades away... "I've just read into your silence what do you think about me... We are here tonight in this haze... Before me with you, winners and losers... I thought I would never do it / To be true / To be alive / To be like I'm now...". The final track "Splendida sensazione" (Wonderful sensation) tries to describe in music this optimistic feeling celebrating the new freedom with a dreamy finale.

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