Monday, 26 February 2018

Franco Battiato - Clic (1974)

Franco Battiato is an adult-pop legend in his native Italy, where he's been hugely successful since the 80s whilst still keeping his music varied and daring.  Before that though, he spent the 70s releasing albums of electronic prog and just sheer avant-garde experimentation.  Bit of a 'reverse Scott Walker' in career terms, then.  This one is from '74, and bore a dedication to Karlheinz Stockhausen - don't worry if this would ordinarily put you off, Clic is infinitely more accessible than that suggests.

That cover made me think of early 80s Conrad Schnitzler, but the first half of Clic is more in the prime Tangerine Dream zone, with VCS3 aplenty.  Album opener I Cancelli Della Memoria starts with gentle synth and piano (and an odd sax squall), before a repetitive bass riff starts to propel it forward, overlaid with a Froeselike lead guitar line.  No U Turn is introduced with odd little voice snippets before swathes of TD synth dominate and Battiato sings over the top, half of the vocal recorded backwards.  Then there's a gentle instrumental piece with more piano.

The second side of the original album (it's important to be aware that the UK Island Records release was a different album entirely, consisting of outtakes from this album and its predecessor) is bookended by the oddest material on the record.  Both Rien Ne Va Plus: Andante and Ethika Fon Ethica are cut-up experiments using bits of classical music, the Italian national anthem, and lots of strange sounds.  In between are a more uptempo synth piece with a harsher sound, plus some sax and strings (Propiedad Prohibida) and the more atmospheric Nel Cantiere Di Un'infanza.  Clic certainly packs a lot in to just half an hour, and it's an ideal snapshot of Battiato's mid-70s genius.

mega / zippy

4 comments:

  1. The first 4 Battiato records are gold.

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  2. Battiato is larger than life, IMO. I am a jackass , tho.

    ¡Thank you for this one compadre!

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  3. Pollution is still my fav FB but this one is up there with his best IMHO. Thanks for positing this and letting the limp ears out here perk up to the new sounds of old school electronica!

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  4. New to me and excellent - thank you.
    M

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