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Edition of 100 copies on Marbled vinyl. For fans of neglected Italian music, the last year has been among the best on record. We’ve seen reissues of seminal albums by Franco Battiato, Giusto Pio, Roberto Musci,Telaio Magnetico, Zeit, Lino Capra Vaccina, Claudio Rocchi, N.A.D.M.A., Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, and a stream of others, each charting the singular path which makes this sonic geography so remarkable and unique. Italian music from the second half of the 20th century is notoriously difficult to categorize, while remarkably democratic. There is an almost universal resistance to standard definitions of genre, coupled with a tendency to draw on diverse traditions from across the globe. To date, the reissue market has largely focused on gestures which fall within more explicitly experimental and avant-garde territories, but the Florence based Archeo Recordings is taken strides to broaden our understanding of how these characteristics have existed within a broader expanse of sound. Following their stunning reissue of Paolo Modugno’s Brise D'Automne, they return with Roberto Aglieri’s Ragapadani, originally issued in 1987, and among the coveted artifacts of its era.
Roberto Aglieri is a mysterious figure. Very little biographical information exist, and his discography is slim, appearing in inconsistent intervals. Following his debut - Ragapadani, came fifteen years of silence before his next album appeared, followed again by more since. What is know about him, placed with the sounds he creates, indicates that there be logical reasons for his absences. For Aglieri, music holds a potential beyond its commonly understood realms, leading to his work as a music therapist, as much as a creator of compositions. He belongs to a generation of artists, once stretching across the globe, which includes Ariel Kalma, J. D. Emmanuel, Laraaji, and numerous others - those who seek a more intimate and meaningful relationship been humanity and sound.
Like many of his peers, it is unfair to constrain Aglieri’s music to the lens of New Age. While similarities present themselves, he is not the product of a final gasp of the optimistic 1960’s dream, but rather a deeply personal quest. As his world unfolds over the course Ragapadani’s two sides - an enveloping expanse of flute, arpeggiating synthesizer lines, and deep vocal chant, it becomes clear that these ambiences, structures, and tones are to be occupied rather than simply heard.
A stunningly beautiful artifact from another time, long coveted the collectors market, the return of Ragapadani is singular event in an already incredible year. We owe Archeo a great debt. In addition to the original 1987 LP, this edition is accompanied by a bonus LP, containing unreleased material from the period, making it the definitive rendering. A shimmering expanse of interlocking tone, and a balm for the ear as much as the mind. Ragapadani stands among the great creations of 1980’s Italian scene. This limited edition won’t sit around long. Grab it before it’s gone.