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(74:28, Melodic Revolution Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Between Moon and Earth 3:23 2. Horizons 15:24 3. Land of Blue Echoes 3:57 4. Money Doesn't Think 5:42 5. Canto D'Amore 4:34 6. Deep Night 4:34 7. Beltane 7:28 8. Nucleus Parts 1-8 22:46 9. Queen of Blue Fires 6:40 LINEUP: Marco Ragni - vocals, guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, bouzouki With: Durga McBroom - vocals Peter Matuchniak - guitars Jeff Mack - bass Jacopo Ghirardini - drums Vance Gloster - keyboards, organ Colin Tench - guitars Hamlet - keyboards, bass
Prolusion. Italian composer and musician Marco RAGNI have a career that stretch back to the 1980's, but then as a member of a variety of different bands. From 2010 and onward he has catered for a solo career, one that have seen him release five albums so far. "Land of Blue Echoes" is the most recent of these, and was released through US label Melodic Revolution Records in the spring of 2016.
Analysis. It has become quite the customary thing for solo artists to include a great number of musical friends in their ventures these days it would seem. Which is to the benefit of all, presumably, as the guests will lend their talents and their particular strengths to elevate the total experience for the listener purchasing an album. Those familiar with the musicians lending their skills to this particular album will easily hear where they contribute their particular skills, and Ragni should be given credit for highlighting the contributions of his guests as much as he does. They do operate inside the landscapes crafted by Ragni of course, so while the additions of outside talents does add something to this album it doesn't change the kind of music one would expect to hear from this Italian song-smith and musician. His specialty is psychedelic progressive rock, and that is what you'll encounter on this album. Quite a lot of the music here can generally be described as atmospheric laden progressive rock with a psychedelic twist, the latter aspect most commonly provided by the guitar with echoing reverb, gently floating or more shrill psychedelic laced solo runs or other variations that will be familiar sounding to most people with an interest in music from the psychedelic part of the progressive rock universe. Sometimes with something of a 60's, almost garage rock tinged flavor, but most commonly in a gentler, more smooth manner that at times touch base with late 70's Pink Floyd. Most times Ragni operates in a slightly separate field from the masters of mainstream psychedelic progressive rock however, where the inclusion of folk music details replace the more dark and cosmic orientation Gilmour and his men had a tendency to hone in on. Ragni also adds a slight touch of jazz here and there, although not in a way that will scare away anyone that doesn't really fancy that type of music. Perhaps with one exception: The spirited, playful and funky Money Doesn't Think, a creation that should please the hearts of anyone with a taste for vintage 70's funk-oriented escapades.
Conclusion. Ragni's fifth solo album showcase a composer and musician that appears to be confident in what he wants to achieve and how he wants to achieve it, using guest musicians in select places to elevate the total experience for the end listener and otherwise paving out a path for himself in a subtly folk music inspired and distinctly atmospheric laden psychedelic part of the progressive rock universe. Similarities to Pink Floyd is a part of the totality, but not to any great extent. That being said, I still suspect that those with a taste for late 70's Pink Floyd may well be something of a key audience for this album.
Progmessor: November 28th 2017
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