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The Radiata 5tet - 2012 - "Aurelia Aurita"

(52:21, Den Records)


1.  Bile dal Po 9:32
2.  Eumetazoa 5:50
3.  Planula Larvae 5:37
4.  Diploblastic 5:36
5.  Single Germ Layer G 2:23
6.  Echinoderms 2:58
7.  Spiralia 3:06
8.  Radially Symmetrical Cnidarians 6:26
9.  Vectensis 2:30
10. (C)Tenophores 8:23


Luca Pissavini – bass 
Cecilia Quinteros – cello 
Claudio Milano – vocals 
Stefano Ferrian – saxophone 
Vito Emanuele Galante - trumpet

Prolusion. Italy’s THE RADIATA 5TET developed out of a collaboration between Stefano Ferrian from Italy and Cecilia Quinteros from Argentina, with Milano, Pissavini and Galante supplementing the formative duo. "Aurelia Aurita" is their debut album, and was released on the Italian label Den Records in 2012.

Analysis. Much can be said and has been said about the music explored on this album. But the most important fact to establish straight away is that this isn't progressive rock nor does the music belong to a sphere of reference that implies any kind of rock music as such either. This is an album that will find its audience within the realms of jazz music, and a specialized segment within it to boot. Avant-garde and experimental are the main key words to describe this excursion, and, as is often the case with music of this kind, improvisation can probably be added to that list. And while it's tempting to throw in free form as well, in this case I'm pretty certain that this would be inappropriate. I have a strong feeling that some basic boundaries and rules have been applied when this album was made, and as long as that is the case, the free form description doesn't really belong as far as I'm concerned. Case in point is the rhythms department. While bassist Pissavini does cater for quite a few aspects otherwise handled by a drummer, on this project the other instruments all have their fair share of duties in this department too. Which, I suspect, is why brief and mostly dramatic instrument bursts is a fairly common element on most of these pieces. Whenever the bass doesn't establish a pattern of sorts, trumpet, sax or cello will cater for this aspect instead. Even vocalist Milano appears to have a minor role in that department on occasion, unless my ears deceive me on this late March evening. Otherwise we're treated to an accolade of experimental arrangements firmly placed in a jazz context. Improvised soloing by sax is perhaps a subtly dominating feature, but all instruments are given ample time in the limelight for such tasks. But there's also a fair share of tortured instrument noises, dampened droning textures and the occasional rare lapse into freeform territories with abbreviated cacophonous sequences applied as a planned effect. If I have managed to decode this music correctly, that is, all along with the voices of Claudio Milano flavoring the arrangements with spoken words, operatic vocals, vocal noises and a wide variety of voice effects. I'll readily admit that this kind of music strays pretty far away from my comfort zone, hence the rating, but there's no denying the skill of the performers, and the individual pieces all come across as accomplished creations. Occasionally rather intriguing too, even for someone who tends to shy away from music of this particular kind. Personally I'd pull out Spiralia as the most interesting creation on this disc, as this particular item with its frantic, pace-filled and nervous atmosphere gave me distinct associations towards extreme metal. As odd as that may sound to the musicians involved in this project.

Conclusion. The Radiata 5tet is a group of musicians who explore one of the more challenging musical territories around, at least as seen from a listener perspective. Uncompromising, experimental and distinctly avant-garde jazz is the name of the game, art made for the sake of art itself by musicians I suspect all desire to be seen as artists in their own right rather than modern day entertainers. A band and an album that come with a firm recommendation to those with a special interest in jazz of the most challenging variety.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 19, 2012
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Den Records
The Radiata 5tet


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