A trio of prog musos let their progressive hair down and go big time, old school on Una Storia
Release date: 1st September 2021
Label: Reingold Records
Format: CD / digital
How to use your lockdown time effectively. A collaboration between Andy Tillison of The Tangent, The Flower Kings’ Jonas Reingold and Roberto Tiranti of Labyrinth. All three are involved in several other projects, but this is their first outing as a trio which has an interesting backstory in itself…
So dip into your memory banks as Andy Tillison did, to the days when as a young teenager on holiday, he had the chance to jam with a real-life Italian prog band; an experience that essentially shaped his life. There’s something about Italian Prog Rock, a country so influential on the emergence of Genesis in the early Seventies as they embraced Gabriel & Co and their peers. Even Italian outfit PFM managed to break into international acclaim. However, for a rundown of the emergence of Progressive rock, you’ll have to look elsewhere as we get stuck into the three tracks and a radio edit (maybe a little tongue in cheek and one that shaves the seventeen minutes of Mai Tornare to a mere eight).
The key to Una Storia is to imagine/tribute how that band from the Tillison holiday – Allium – might sound today with Italian lyrics composed by Antonio De Sarro; hence the genuine burst of authenticity and passion within the forty minutes of old school Prog Rock. In The Tangent, there have always been the jazzy and avant-garde moments when you’d swear that you’d stepped back in time and across continents. Now we know why.
Rob Tiranti is a perfect choice as he peppers the rounds of twiddly synth lines and testing time signatures with a typical passion. As you’d expect from a couple of lengthy progressive pieces, the arrangements skitter through phases where what seme like loose jams take shape and the flurries and flourishes flow from one to another. With its first few minutes moving from prog to soul and Latina stabs, Mai Tornae adds some blasts of brassy assurance and a suitably epic climax. Along the way there are plenty of quirks as well as some traditionally strong Prog tropes – check the grand strident marching sequence just after the halfway mark.
Nel Nomi Di Dio (In The Name Of God) takes us – or me at least – into Sixties and Seventies TV land; all smoky clubs, dodgy dives and enormous flares. It conveys a confident swagger in the funky runs and swathes of hanging keyboard chords. And to counter the viewpoint that tips of the side of the indulgent nature of progressive music, Ordine Nuovo (‘New Order’) is a much more subdued affair although the title possibly refers to the musical rather than political goings-on. Easing through eight minutes where the Reingold basslines provide the trunk for the keyboard lines to wind around.
Andy and the team certainly earn their stripes in the role of Italian Prog Rock writers, recreating the adventurous spirit of the age. The “golden moment of an encounter in an Italian holiday camp” might sound a little Carry On, but as Andy says, it’s stayed with him and influenced his work for the past forty-odd years. He does a decent turn on the drums too!