Having recently been converted and classified as a bonified Area fanatic, I find myself pulling this one out of my collection daily. Maledetti holds all of the elements that make Area such a hair raising listening experience, while exploring new territory foreign to the Area camp. Most of the information on Area comprises their releases up to this one and stops short of really describing this torrent wave of musical experimentation called Maledetti. All of the Area elements are intact; from the Mediterranean sonic fusion, rhythmic assaults that leave one breathless, to newer elements of African rhythmic percussion via Paul Lytton, classical jazz elements courtesy of Steve Lacy, and a classical music overture with the aid of a string quartet, making Maledetti a monster in the Area catalog.
Along with Ares Tavolazzi on bass and keyboard genus Patrizio Fariselli, Demetrios Stratos has never sounded better with his vocal intonations. Starting off with "Evaporazione" we hear Stratos running back and forth spouting some Italian nonsense which ends abruptly with him screaming "Ladies and Gentlemen", leading to "Diforisum Urbans": a glorious glide of rhythmic keyboard mayhem that breaks with a keyboard run halfway through and Stratos vocalizing like never before. "Gerontocrazia" contains one of Stratos's most incredible vocal workouts. If I had to pick one track that was most representative of Demetrios's style of singing this would be it, minus the yodeling inflections. "Scum" is one of those tracks that will have you reaching out and pulling your old Monk and Bud Powell recordings and dust them off for a second listen.
Side two: enter the string quartet with a Bach concerto, magnificent in it's own right, and into "Giro, Giro, Tondo". Damn this is incredible from Stratos! So full of emotion and energy, many vocalist could take lessons from listening to this! Patrizio Fariselli shines like the brightest beacon in a dark harbor with his keyboard work which makes this one my all time favorite Area tracks. And ending Maledetti is "Caos", a workout of structures of insanity guided by no one. What would an Area work be without "CHAOS REPRESENTED in the final inflection of an out and out masterpiece from one of the most innovative and exciting groups to have ever graced these shores and ears. They don't make em like this anymore!!
Mark Gaines [July 2002]
1. Evaporazione (1:45)
2. Diforisma urbano (6:18)
3. Gerontocrazia (7:30)
4. Scum (6:30)
5. Il massacro di Brandeburgo numero tre in sol maggiore (2:20)
6. Giro, giro, tondo (5:55)
7. Caos (parte seconda) (9:00)
8. Intervista a Stratos, Tofani, Fariselli (2:07)
9. L'Internazionale (5:58)
- Giulio Capiozzo / drums, percussion
- Patrizio Fariselli / piano, electric piano, bass clarinett, synthesizer, percussion
- Ares Tavolazzi / electric & acoustic bass, trombone
- Paolo Tofani / guitar, synthesizer, flute, tcherepnin
- Demetrio Stratos / vocal, organ, cembalo, steel drum, percussion
- Eugenio Colombo / kazumba
- Hugh Bullen / bass
- Walter Calloni / drums
- Steve Lacy / soprano sax
- Anton Arze & Jose Arze / txalaparta
- Paul Lytton / percussion
- Paolo Salvi / cello
- Giorgio Garulli / contrabass
Links in comments. Enjoy!