Monday, January 21, 2008

Orient Express su Musicalnews

Cinque concerti pugliesi per il rock illusionista degli Orient Express

Per continuare a promuovere il loro cd Illusion, la band barese annuncia una serie di occasioni live. Il loro sound prevede il synth e la chitarra distorta che li porta su terreni lisergici tipici della fine degli anni'70.

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Il nostro diretur Giancarlo Passarella del loro cd ha scritto ...Il synth e la chitarra distorta li porta su terreni lisergici tipici della fine degli anni'70: partiti dal classico line-up a tre di rock pesante, gli Orient Express produco un buon cd, perfetto pero' nei brani piu' tirati...Su il loro cd ha raccolto questi pareri ...La musica degli Orient Express non può essere giudicata solo con criteri razionali, sarebbe assurdo: l'emozione, il sentimento, l'impulso irrazionale sono tutte componenti essenziali in una proposta come la loro. Insomma, per quanto mi riguarda, gli Orient Express hanno realizzato un lavoro interessante, personale e ricco di sfaccettature....mentre su leggiamo che ...Le due facce della medaglia, le iniziali e diverse “Eternal Child” e “Madness”, descrivono meglio di mille recensioni i due aspetti fondamentali di questa compagine, assolutamente atmosferica ed avvolgente la prima, vigorosa e scorbutica la seconda....gli Orient Express costruiscono i propri brani in maniera che il refrain venga quasi esploso in faccia all’ascoltatore, in un crescendo di atmosfere rarefatte ed introspettive....
Questi i cinque momenti live previsti per le prossime settimane: 24/01 - Bucanieri pub, Barletta - h22,30 01/02 - Casal dei pazzi, Bisceglie 09/02 - Taverna Vecchia, Bari 22/02 - Internet Cafè, Canosa 28/03 - Old Brewery, Andria

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Prime recensioni del 2008 per "Illusion" da Uk, Usa, Germania e Italia.

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Un ringraziamento speciale a Giuseppe per la foto da Parigi

Orient Express are from Italy and exhort us to “have a great trip” with their self-proclaimed Psychedelic Rock, adding that their style could be rock, hard rock or pop. I’m not sure what is quite meant anyway by the word psychedelic in respect of music. Colourful and drugs-inspired, perhaps? “Illusion” certainly isn’t like Hawkwind or Alchemist who have both had the psychedelic tag attached to them. Tiamat, maybe. This album is mood music, a bit too dark to be described as colourful. Mellow is a word I would definitely associate with it, hypnotic and dreamy too, and there’s a strong hint of Pink Floyd about it.
The album gets underway with a slow and contemplative number called “Eternal Child”. Whispered vocals accompany the calming rhythm. It has a Prog feel. The pleasant and relaxing riff brings to mind music for midnight, music to relax to in a quiet bar or lounge. The track does pick up in tempo, and it is skilfully done too. Perhaps it is the Italian connection or the album’s ability to conjure up dreams of faraway lands but I was starting to think at this stage of Orient Express as a mellow and acoustic version of Novembre. The second track “Madness” was on the face of it more straightforward, having a rock beat with Prog vocals the rhythm is hypnotic and the keys add flavour in the background. The track “Illusion” features more slow to medium paced twangy technical guitar, not a million miles from Sieges Even but with a more emotional and melancholic edge. Extra terrestrial sounds run through “Prison Head”. It has an insistent acoustic background. The vocalist pumps out emotion, before the track builds up majestically and Opeth-like which is where it ends. By the time we are at “Ten Drops”, the sixth track, the calming, Eastern-style sound is akin to a Robert Plant solo number, the vocals somewhere between Chris Rea and David Bowie. “First Dawn” has the emotional strains of Pain of Salvation. “Hidden Man” sums up the Orient Express style – a simple sounding, catchy rhythm, which is then re-worked dreamily. I detected shades of Katatonia in the riff. The highlight of “Illusion” for me though was the 8 minute last track “Euphoria”. I could listen to this track all day. Familiarly soothing, the rhythm serves to hypnotise, developing into an Isis-like build up and featuring some touching guitar work. It’s quiet but powerfully majestic at the same time. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy.
Although this is Orient Express’s 1st full album, the band has been around since 2002 and it is clear that they have spent the time developing a rich song structure. The result is what they claim: a dreamy, magic trip. It took me a few listens to get into “Illusion” but it was well worth the effort. I suggest you try it yourself.

da Ionohosting
From Wikipedia:” The Orient Express is the name of a long-distance passenger train originally operated by the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. Its route has changed many times, and several routes have in the past concurrently used the name (or slight variants thereof). Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name has become synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most intimately associated with The Orient Express are Paris and Istanbul, the original endpoints of the service. The current Orient Express does not serve Paris or Istanbul, Its immediate predecessor, a through overnight service from Paris to Vienna ran for the very last time from Paris on Friday, 8 June 2007. Since then, the route, still called 'The Orient Express', has been shortened to start from Strasbourg instead [1], occasioned by the inauguration of the LGV Est which affords much faster travel times from Paris to Strasbourg. The new curtailed service leaves Strasbourg at 22.20 daily, shortly after the arrival of a TGV from Paris, and is attached at Karlsruhe to the overnight sleeper service from Dortmund to Vienna.”

Right, and apparently a rock band from Italy thought this would be a cool name for their band, but apparently they are not the only ones as there are several other bands using the name. Weirdness eh?
In any case this Italian band is described as dark psychedelic rock. I’ve always felt that the whole psychedelic rock genre wasn’t a very well defined genre though. I mean it just seems like most bands from the late 60’s get lumped into the genre simply because they all took hits of acid and smoked grass, but yet most of these bands don’t really sound trippy or dreamy to me. Some, yes, but most, no. As I understand it this genre attempts to replicate the mind-altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs. My only experience with such is marijuana years, and years ago. All I remember doing is laughing nonstop, going to a restaurant, ordering five orders of pancakes, and then coming home and vomiting all over my parents bathroom floor. Bad experience man.
To me this Italian band just sounds kinda dark and slow. They aren’t really bad, but then there not really good either. The music slowly plods along with calm clean vocals, some odd synths and even some interesting guitar work here and there. As I keep listening I keep waiting for something more dramatic to catch my attention or to enter into a dreamy haze and feel like I’m floating on a cloud, but only kinda get it here and there. So who knows maybe these guys are dark psychedelic rock, but as it stands this isn’t an immediate attention grabber, but more of just a background album that’s okay to play now and then. But hey you know what your into so give ‘em a try if it sounds fetching.

„Psychedelic Dark Rock“ aus Italien. Das hört sich doch vielversprechend an! 2002 gründeten die Herren Wito, Pablo und Gg ihre Combo, die warmen 70ies Sound mit düsteren Einflüssen zu kreuzen sucht. Später stieß noch Keyboarder Blondy (guess why!) hinzu, der den Bandkosmos um synthetische Geräusche erweiterte. Nach einem selbst-produzierten Demo sammelte man ausgiebigst Live-Erfahrungen und auch ein paar Preise. So wurde man für die beste Version der „Europäischen Hymne“ ausgezeichnet, offensichtlich handelt es sich hier um eingefleischte EU-Fans. Ein Beitrag zu einem Dimebag Tribute Sampler markiert das andere Ende der Fahnenstange, wobei man musikalisch mit PANTERA so gut wie nichts zu tun hat.Man beruft sich auf GOD MACHINE und MOTORPSYCHO, rechnen wir noch Kollegen wie CANAAN oder die genialen GOBLIN aus dem eigenen Lande hinzu, schon erhält man in etwa eine Vorstellung vom Klang der 10 Kompositionen. Eine erdige Produktion, viele Dynamik Wechsel, psychedelische/ akustische Parts, Keyboard Unterfütterung, melancholische Riffs. Witos kehliger Gesang verbirgt seine südeuropäische Herkunft recht ordentlich, ist aber auch etwas entfernt davon, wirklich Maßstäbe zu setzen. Ebensolches lässt sich auch über die Musik sagen. Sehr gefällig für einen Abend im sagen wir mal Rauchhaus, doch die über alles erhabenen Emotionen fehlen noch. Als Kernstück würde ich „Rats know“ ansehen, das nach einer langen Einführungsphase richtig nachlegt. Artwork und Gestus stimmen hier, wenn man nun noch die Arrangements besser ausarbeitet, die Kontraste stärker akzentuiert und etwas mehr Leidenschaft einbringt, könnte man schon bald zu den (bereits vorhandenen) starken Düsterexporten aus Italia aufschließen. Das New Dawn Sublabel von My Kingdom wird ihnen Zeit zur Reife geben. Noch ist das eine Illusion...

Le svariate esibizioni di spalla a nomi celebri del panorama alternativo italiano degli ultimi dieci anni quali Tiromancino, Punkreas e Marlene Kuntz ce li avevano fatti conoscere, e oggi registrano il loro primo full lenght per la My Kingdom Music: sono i pugliesi Orient Express e il loro disco si intitola "Illusion". Il genere proposto dai quattro deve abbastanza al post-rock e qualcosetta al noise, ma sembra essere la la psichedelia settantiana il loro principale punto di riferimento, anche per quanto riguarda tematiche e artwork, entrambi piuttosto lisergici; in "Rats Know" si calcano addirittura sentieri synthpop: esperimento un po' estraneo al contesto ma non stona (almeno non troppo). I pezzi sono strutturati in modo da creare un amalgama che, grazie a distorsioni mai esasperate, assenza di passaggi violenti e una certa lascivia di melodie, sa trasmettere serenità nell'ascoltatore, nonostante alcuni passaggi dal carattere maggiormente 'dark' (Disciplinatha?). Ciò però a scapito delle emozioni, che risultano disgraziatamente un po' troppo dilatate, facendo dimenticare all'ascoltatore il punto di partenza di certi fraseggi psichedelici dal sapore tutto italiano che, velocizzati e potenziati, risulterebbero più intriganti e coinvolgenti. Importante il lavoro di basso di Wito, che nelle sue parti sembra intessere una ragnatela i cui fili collegano parti del discorso che altrimenti risulterebbero un po' troppo separate tra loro. In definitiva un dischetto abbastanza riuscito e gradevole all'ascolto, ma un po' diluito e sfortunatamente limitato da una certa prolissità che purtroppo ha prevalso in sede di songwriting, nonostante la molteplicità delle influenze che lo hanno plasmato. Destinato unicamente ai fan dell'indie italiano.