Wednesday, 21 December 2016

SONGS FROM THE ALPS

The John Silver Band began life in Belluno in 2005 with a line up formed by Gianni Carlin (vocals, flute, xylophone), Emmanuele Burigo (electric and acoustic guitar), Federico Bassanello (bass) and Fabrizio Gaspari (drums, glockenspiel). The band split up in 2011, after a good live activity on the local scene and a self-released debut album entitled La luce che muore nel buio (2009) featuring funny, sarcastic lyrics and an overall sound influenced by Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, blues-rock and psychedelia...




Three years later, in 2014 Gianni Carlin and Emmanuele Burigo started a new project with a rhythm section formed by Antonio Nabari (bass, glockenspiel) and Enrico Tormen (drums) carrying on their previous band's legacy. The name of the new band is Campo Magnetico (Magnetic field) and in 2016 they home-recorded and self-released an interesting debut album entitled Li vuoi quei kiwi? (Do you want those kiwis?). In everyday life magnetic fields are most often encountered as a force created by permanent magnets, which pull on ferromagnetic materials and attract or repel other magnets. Well, in this case the permanent magnets are the hard, raw rhythm section on one side and the clean, soaring notes of the flute on the other side and the nine instrumental tracks on the album draw all their strength from the contrast between the two opposite poles...


The opener "Pane da guardia" (Watch-bread) sets the atmosphere. The pace is slow and heavy, distorted electric guitar riffs lead the march as a storm of iron butterflies fly around. Then the soaring notes of the flute bring in light melodies and songs from the woods... Can you get the picture?

The following "La fiera di Düsseldorf" (Düsseldorf Fair) begins by an experimental section where the voice is used as an instrument and the band seem free to improvise but uncertain about what direction take. Well, Gianni Carlin is not Demetrio Stratos and nothing is easy here. Luckily the experiment is not too long and on the second part of the piece the band stand up, the rhythm takes off and the flute begins to cry you a song...

Campo Magnetico 2016

The long "Sabbia di cammelli di sabbia" (Sand of camels of sand) in my opinion is the weakest track of the lot. Here at times the musicians seem to play almost casually mixing wordless nursery rhymes and oriental flavours but the results are not always convincing and they risk get stuck in the quicksands of boredom...

The lively "Perché hai il fiatone John?" (Why are you getting out of breath John?) is definitely better, even if it doesn't shine for originality. It leads to the short, dreamy "Buccia di pesce" (Fish skin) where the rhythm calms down for a rest before the ride under the stars of the hypnotic "Appuntamento al buio" (Randez-vous in the dark).


"L'osso dell'albero" (The bone of the tree) is another good track that recalls early Jethro Tull as the following "Sig. Tartaruga" (Mr. Turtle) that alternates surges of energy and slower passages. The closer "La tua ciabatta focosa" (Your fiery slipper) starts with electric guitar riffs that remind me of Black Sabbath. This track could describe in a very funny way a kind of parasitical couch potato... But the interpretation of the music is up to you!

On the whole, this an interesting, home-grown album with a strong vintage atmosphere. The sound quality might not be one of the best and personally I think that the use of a Hammond organ could have improved the final result but I enjoyed it anyway.

However, give it a try and judge for yourselves. You can listen to the complete album HERE

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