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Plurima Mundi: Atto I

Many of the most renowned prog rock masters from the past are often referred to as "Quintessentially Enlgish", well in the case of Plurima Mundi I would suggest they are quintessentially Italian. Mixing together jazz, swing and classical with some more recognised progressive elements allows Atto I to be fresh, vibrant, interesting and a little challenging.

Basing the majority of the musical elements around the violin of song writer Massimiliano Monopoli immediately gives Plurima Mundi an unusual angle with which to create their musical landscapes across the four tracks of their debut EP. "Ortius Confusus" is an enigmatic opening track where Monopoli's violin is almosy accordion like, giving that Italian street feel, before Pierfrancesco Caramia interrupts the gentle proceeding with his frantic yet gentle drumming and the violin suddenly has in in a jig and a reel. A seductive shuffle beat is next accompanied by a piece of jazz piano from Francesco Pagliarulo. In the wrong hands this combination could well end up as a complete shambles, however it's to Plurima Mundi's huge credit that not only is the chaos organised, it's accessible and most enjoyable. Not bad for the shortest track on the disc!

"Nei Ricordi Del Tempo" is next and it introduces singer Grazio Maremonti, who's Kate Bush with more classical leanings delivery is one moment beautiful and one momet quite unsettling. There's no doubt she is a talented vocalist, however I'm not convinced her style will be to everyone's taste. I should also mention at this stage that all the vocals are sung in Italian, which may be a problem for some, but is never a stumbling block for me. The last two of the six piece to get a mention make their presence more known on this track with some wonderfully restrained guitar playing from Vincenzo Zecca and support bass playing from Massimo Bozza. Monopoli still uses his violin to augment and colour the music, however he works in complete unison with his band mates.

The longest song clocks in at just over ten minutes and "Laboratorio 30" sees the band show no sign of reigning in their jazzy, progressive tendencies. Once more it's violin taking centre stage, however this time the flowing mesmeric melodies are soft and hypnotic and during the tracks first half it's possible to transpose the songs construction into something that Genesis may have come up with many years ago. Maremonti really lets loose with her vocal delivery in the later passages of the track and as before she follows a fine line between perfection and disaster as she veers from a controlled wail to an almost frantic yowl. "Aria" closes the EP with Maremonti joined by Lino Vairetti degli "Osanna" behind the mic and his rich bass tones work really well with the more scattergun female's style. Musically the songs is happy to allow the two singers to dominate long sections before the violin joins them to close the song. The wah-wah guitar gives the song a bizarre 70's cop show vibe, however with the vocals and violin it never falls into pastiche.

As debuts go Atto I is a bold and confident statement that packs a velvet gloved punch and leaves me desperate to hear their first full length effort.

Track Listing
1. Ortius Confusus
2. Nei Ricordi Del Tempo
3. Laboratorio 30
4. Aria

Added: December 24th 2009
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2050
Language: english

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