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Stereokimono: Prismosfera

As a music reviewer, I never like to repeat myself. But I am struck when listening to the second album from this instrumental Italian trio that I could begin my review of Stereokimono's Prismosfera with the same words I used to start my review of the band's first album, 2000's Ki: "Sometimes music defies description. Or better yet, it needs no description. Such is the case with an eclectic instrumental trio like StereoKimono. The three Italians label their music as "psychophonic oblique rock," which must mean something like progressive, post-rock, free-form fusion. Or not. With Italian song titles, a few spoken passages pronounced in foreign tongues, and elaborate tri-fold glossy packaging with a separate CD sleeve, this is one of those esoteric recordings that impacts listeners in different ways at different times."

That said, Prismosfera differs from its predecessor in that it is a more laid-back and mature record than Ki, with elements both jazzier and more progressive. The King Crimson influences are unmistakable, especially in the bass lines of opener "Onda Beta." "Rosso Di Luna" – meaning "Red by the Moon" – is an upbeat yet mysterious exploration of a sonic universe that melds the sun and the moon, while "Xetrov" goes around and around in circles, blurring shred guitar with electronica. The nine-and-a-half-minute progressive "L'Uomo Nuvola" concludes with a one-minute hoedown, and "Salamandra" pays musical tribute to – what else? – the salamander. About four minutes at the end of Prismosfera are reserved for Stereokimono's tribute to spacey and experimental prog bands from the Seventies. It serves, surprisingly, as this album's quietest four minutes.

Prismosfera is the first release by the new Italian label Immaginifica, dedicated to releasing "evolutionary music and progressive rock." This is refreshing and feel-good instrumental music that still challenges listeners. Making diverse music that's neither too heavy nor too light, Stereokimono – two men and one woman – will reward listeners who seek out this one…

Track Listing:
1) Onda Beta (8:39)
2) Rosso Di Luna (8:08)
3) Bahnhofstrasse (5:40)
4) Xetrov 5 (6:02)
5) L'Uomo Nuvola (9:26)
6) Salamandra (4:33)
7) La Seffitta Volante (7:20)
Total Time: 54:28

Added: September 6th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Stereokimono Web Site
Hits: 2991
Language: english

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