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Daal - 2011 - "Destruktive Actions Affect Livings"

(60:13, ‘Agla’)



1.  Redroom 2.30
2.  Anarchrist 7.00
3.  Noises from an Interlude 2.07
4.  Level 6666 5.20
5.  The Dance of the Drastic Navels-II 16.35
6.  Cry Hologenic 4.07
7.  Aglatarium 4.15
8.  Destruktive Actions Affect Livings 10.00
9.  Memories of Old Pictures 7.00


Alfio Costa – vintage keyboards, synthesizers 
Davide Guidoni – ac. and el. drums; sampling
A few guest musicians on selected tracks

Prolusion. DAAL is a studio project created by two Italian musicians, drummer Davide Guidoni of Taproban and keyboardist Alfio Costa of Tilion. The project’s name comes from the first two letters of the musicians’ first names: DAvide and ALfio. “Destruktive Actions Affect Livings” (yet another a-la Magma title) is their second album, following "Disorganicorigami" from 2009.

Analysis. As the duo’s main creative purpose still seems to be the same – to re-explore some of the space rock and e-music landscapes discovered by assorted ‘70s bands (to be named in due time), this album has stylistically a lot in common with its predecessor. On the other hand, however, it is somewhat inferior to that musically. According to the CD booklet, Alfio Costa’s arsenal of keyboards consists predominantly of vintage analog instruments, Mellotron and mini-Moog included, whilst in fact, the man quite rarely uses those, most of the time focusing on electronic synthesizers. Davide Guidoni plays electronic drums more often than acoustic ones, besides which, unlike "Disorganicorigami" (which featured a few guest musicians on brass, woodwind and string instruments), most of the material in hand was performed by the duo alone. There are nine tracks here, ranging from 2 to 16+ minutes, of which Redroom and Cry Hologenic are both conventional, if not trivial, creations of e-music, using electronic and natural (the sound of thunder, creek of a door, human steps, voices, etc.) effects for ‘diversifying’ the stuff. The title track is even more boring, however. This is a long, 10-minute, trip – mostly through something two-dimensional where, yet, someone has stolen the signpost, and the starship creeps along at a snail’s pace, as if it was using firewood as a fuel, with the pilot from time to time getting out of his cabin to push it slightly with his back :-). Thankfully, the rest of the material leaves a better, at times a much better, impression, and it runs for 40+ minutes – quite enough time for a full-length release. The music is rarely very slow there and is even mid-tempo in some occasions. The pieces like Memories of Old Pictures, Anarchrist, The Dance of the Drastic Navels-II and Level 6666 (the only vocal track here), blend e-music and symphonic space rock devices in the manner of ‘90s Tangerine Dream and Eloy circa 1988, respectively. Aglatarium and Memories of Old Pictures aren’t too original either, but are nevertheless quality, tasty space rock instrumentals, without any electronic bullshit, both instantly evoking those by The Alan Parsons Project. The first of them (the sole track here whose instrumentation is wider than a standard rock one, due to the presence of saxophone) is a stylistic standout in a way, having a certain jazz-fusion feel to it, almost throughout. The remaining piece, Noises from an Interlude, is quite impressive too. The music is full of dark colorations; most of it lies within the symphonic space rock realm, but there are also a couple of Eastern motifs-inspired moves, so all in all, comparisons with Tiamat circa 1997 are inevitable.

Conclusion. Mixing stronger and weaker compositions, “Destruktive Actions Affect Livings” doesn’t sound cohesive throughout, and is generally somewhat below par, so to speak, hence its rating. I don’t regard e-music as a progressive rock style. I’m not a fan of it at all, but those who are might like the album in its entirety.

VM=Vitaly Menshikov: December 21, 2011
The Rating Room

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