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Following the same path as Third Ear Band in England, Embryo or Gruppe Between (and even Limbus 4, Kalacakra and Popol Vuh), Aktuala tried to mix together the western musical tradition with african and asian instruments, rhythms, cultures and avant-garde forms, creating a pioneering new form of music that went beyond anything heard before.
During the early 1970s, most aspiring jazzers on the Continent were chasing the voodoo down, or running the noonward race. The (largely) Italian group Aktuala pursued a fusion of a different sort. Aside from Oregon, Aktuala was one of the first bands to craft a coherent, gimmick-free hybrid of improvisational jazz sensibilities with a pan-cultural approach to ethnic music. Led by multi-instrumentalist / composer Walter Maioli, the band (circa 1974) also included percussionist Trilok Gurtu (who went on to play with John McLaughlin, Oregon and Jan Garbarek, to name a few), saxophonist Daniele Cavallanti, guitarist Attilo Zanchi (both now well-established members of the Italian free jazz scene, w/numerous recordings on the Spla(s)ch label), saxophonist Otto Corrado, guitarist Antonio Cerantola, and harpist Marjon Klok. A violinist (Maurizio Dones) and a cellist (Marino Vismara, from Nadma) guest on one track each. La Terra, the group's second LP, contains four extended instrumental tracks that combine Indian percussion, strains of American jazz and blues, and Mediterranean and North African ethnic musics. From the opening lethargic yet colourful rhythms to the ending cataclysmic, almost symphonic, stints of the closer, this album's got everything a grown person could ever want out of a mystical sounding percussion lead adventure in music.
"Their blissed, blasted and acutely attuned acoustic astral excursions tapping a vein of tranquil psychedelic knowing thats poised between the ethno-tripping end of the krautrock spectrum ala Embryo, Between and Agitation Free's Malesch and the exploratory acoustic probings of American outfits like Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble, Arica and Seventh Sons" Mutant Sounds