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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Deus Ex Machina - Cinque

  1. #26
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post

    I wonder where is all this creative force in our days, production from Italy has not only waned in numbers but in quality too, things sound more predictable in our Italian days. Where are the Deuses and the Duty Free Areas, the Germinales and the Pandoras? There are a few exceptions, but nowadays is mostly retro, and a futile nostalgia for what's gone.
    Germinale and Pandora are working on new albums. DeM is possible but not very likely. DFA sadly died with their keyboardist, R.I.P.

  2. #27
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Ok, I just listened to this one again (finally). It's very good but like the Germinale maybe not quite as good as I remembered it. However, it was good to hear Alberto's voice again. It's too bad most of their albums are out of print.

    Did DFA officially disband? More bands should do that when they lose a key member (I'm looking at you Nektar, TD and Yes).
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  3. #28
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post

    Did DFA officially disband? More bands should do that when they lose a key member (I'm looking at you Nektar, TD and Yes).
    I don’t know that they sent out a specific press release announcing that they were ending, but a key member died and they stopped.
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  4. #29
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    It's too bad most of their albums are out of print.
    In 2022, if you have not sold out of your physical pressing in 24 months, you might as well throw them away.

    Those albums are not coming back in physical format.
    Steve F.

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    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  5. #30
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    In 2022, if you have not sold out of your physical pressing in 24 months, you might as well throw them away.

    Those albums are not coming back in physical format.
    Kind of sad. I do have a cd copy of Equilibrismo but it's autographed and I typically don't play those. However, I guess I'll change my rule unless I want to pay 200 dollars or whatever for a nm copy on discogs (probably not).
    You can't take a photograph of Uzis on a street corner.

  6. #31
    ^ Glad to hear that you have Equilibrismo. It's a damn monster record.

    In the very first newsletter I ever got from Wayside/Cuneiform - on paper! - my soon-to-be ol' grump-bud Steve F. offered Equilibrismo, which was then the band's most recent release. Sceptical at first, due to having seen DeM in Stockholm in the summer of '96 and impressed but still a bit ambivalent after purchasing their first two albums and not convinced - I promptly bought Equilibrismo and totally changed my mind about them.

    That album wasn't merely convincing - it was a sincere revelation, as to genuine talents and artistic motivations with DeM themselves, but also further as to potentials and possibilities with then-current Italian progressive groups to homage tradition precisely by moving beyond the hitherto. Equilibrismo somehow -reminded- of certain older Italians (Napoli Centrale and Area in particular), but it totally stated its own turf on contemporary terms. And their peculiar sense of instrumental force - displaying a whole ensemble-effect and not just volume from speakers - was simply singular.

    Like I've said elsewhere and here; "La Fine Del Mondo" stands out. It's one of those closing-tracks to be remembered.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  7. #32
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    I have cinque and two others by DeM but its one of those bands I just cannot get into.
    I am playing Cinque now and its the vocals that put me off. They irritate me too much to enjoy the music.

  8. #33
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post
    Kind of sad. I do have a cd copy of Equilibrismo but it's autographed and I typically don't play those. However, I guess I'll change my rule unless I want to pay 200 dollars or whatever for a nm copy on discogs (probably not).
    Wow, how did that rule came out to be??

    Unless you got them to sign the reading side of the CD, I really don't see the justification of not spinning it.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedunno View Post
    I have cinque and two others by DeM but its one of those bands I just cannot get into.
    I am playing Cinque now and its the vocals that put me off. They irritate me too much to enjoy the music.
    Yup, played two of the three albums I own and I must say that Alberto's voice still rubs me the wrong way, but not enough to not enjoy the music behind it, but enough so to never had tried to hunt down their 90s albums (discovered via my library)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Sceptical at first, due to having seen DeM in Stockholm in the summer of '96...
    I was at that gig, and it's probably the most unbearably loud concert I can remember. I had to literally walk out of the hall after a while and listen from outside. That was before I began using earplugs, they would have come handy. I was already a big fan at the time and it was a disappointment not to be able to bear the sound level and stay near the stage. Thankfully, I got other opportunities to seem them in 2004 (Baja Prog, sans violin, and Belgium's Spirit of 66 on a dream double bill with DFA) and at Le Triton in 2006, where I'm one of about 30 people in the club that night on the DVD.
    Last edited by calyx; 4 Days Ago at 12:29 AM.
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  10. #35
    Member Digital_Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    Wow, how did that rule came out to be??

    Unless you got them to sign the reading side of the CD, I really don't see the justification of not spinning it.



    Yup, played two of the three albums I own and I must say that Alberto's voice still rubs me the wrong way, but not enough to not enjoy the music behind it, but enough so to never had tried to hunt down their 90s albums (discovered via my library)
    You're right. Maybe part of it has to do with not wanting to add wear and devalue such a prized possession. I remember when one of the members of Alamaailman Vasart died about two years ago I played the cd so I could review it on progarchives. Not a real big deal I guess but I've met other people who have done the same. Maybe it's time to change the rule though, like I said, and I admit it is kind of a dumb rule.

    As for Alberto's voice I've heard much worse. His somewhat operatic vocals somehow fit the music and I think he helps give the band a unique sound.
    Last edited by Digital_Man; 5 Days Ago at 12:03 PM.
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  11. #36
    ^ (to Aymeric) I actually remember someone complaining visibly by gesture to the sound technician, the only word discernable being "[...] unlistenable" accompanied by a finger to each ear. I stood a mere few yards away but eventually moved to the very back of the locale.

    I spoke very briefly to Johnny from RecordHeaven (arrangers and instigators of the event), and he confirmed disappointments - primarily because DeM were promoted as a headliner of sorts and so were scheduled to play towards the end of it all. Indeed RecordHeaven had championed DeM here in Scandinavia from early on, always singing their praises when issuing their quarterly retail catalogs, so there was likely some question of prestige involved as well.

    This is how I understood the situation. Apparently the set sonics for DeM's performance were prefixed in relative coordination with the entire rest of the weekend's festival, and as they for reasons of economy were basically applying the venue's (Berns Salonger) own PA rather than a mobile system adjusted distinctly for given artists (which was the regular procedure with rock concerts at Berns back then), they were also restricted by some rigid directives and conditional rules of use. The band were unhappy, as were listeners. I can still see that lacuna of approximately 10 meters sans audience in front of the stage during DeM's gig.

    I -did- capture a handful of fine shots on my analog camera, though. Good memories, although from what I recall the deficit almost ruined RecordHeaven. They had allegedly calculated far more paying entries for the weekend than the 4-500 or so who showed up, and Berns is certainly a prominent and costly place to lease. RH tried their hand at a one-day event here in Oslo the following year (at Cosmopolite; then located in the Majorstua quarters of the city), this time with Arena as top draw but still having most attendees leave after Anekdoten's slot. This was the first time I saw Jarle Storløkken (now of Panzerpappa and assorted others) play, here with his excellent all-prog covers band Dead Dino Storage.

    Almost three decades ago already. Sigh.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #37
    I have plenty of photos from the entire week-end that the guy I was travelling with took. No recordings of the actual performances, I only had a shitty recorder that I used to record interview we did with Landberk, Ritual and 4/6ths of Anglagard (who were in attendance but obviously not performing).
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  13. #38
    ^ I always felt there was an aura of uncomfort to the whole ordeal of that weekend. The purported determination of faux community/unity certainly didn't gel, neither stylistically nor culturally, and divisive feelings among good amounts of folks I spoke with absolutely underlined this.

    Kenny Håkansson and Trettioåriga Kriget were really good (IMO), Landberk were relatively Ok if not for the bizarre ass-swaying moves of the smirking keyboardist (Simon N.) and the dance stupour-ridicule of vocalist Patric H. I remember my traveling bud Stig N. B. (longtime member of that horrible Datarock combo) uttered that those two were "[...] obviously doobied". But I got Indian Summer from the burgeoning racks of retail that Sunday, and the new tunes they'd just presented us with from stage a few hours earlier resonated totally with standards. I still like most of that album.

    Urban Turban, The Flower Kings and Ritual weren't my thing at all. I went for bitter beers and globs of fake Campari instead. From what I recollect, there were initial plans to have one or more of the prime exponents of folk/cultural/avant-tradition to perform, maybe Garmarna, Hedningärna or even Fläskkvartätten - all of whom were major attractions in Sweden and presumably too expensive for revenue budget. So these somehow went off. Simon Steensland was there among the audience at some point (I believe), as was one of the mainmen behind the Ad Perpetuam Memoriam label whose name escapes me now, as well as Per Wiberg, genius stoner-rockkeys/Hammond-hero of DeathOrgan, Spiritual Beggars, Opeth, Anekdoten (piano on Vemod and husband of Anna Sofi D.).

    However, the strangest experience I had during the whole weekend (except for actually dorming grassbacked underneath my velvet frock/coat for two nights right there in the visitor's park, outside in mid-July; Stig and the bunch of "prog guy travelers" from Oslo, including my first encounter with Trond Gjellum, all had tents or at least sleeping bags) was meeting Reine Fiske outside on the stairwell entry to the dome-like vestibule of Berns Salonger. I didn't know anything about his somewhat timidly unfriendly manners until he acutely ordered direly that this/that/them/those names should definitely NOT be mentioned as any part of any conversation - seeing as he didn't currently get along with the ones in question. So, when I mentioned the wrong name about 27 seconds into the chat, Fiske simply turned his back and consequently cancelled dialogue. To see him make starroom for himself in later years, be it either with Dungen or Elephant9 or Motorpsycho or The Amazing or what not - this was sorely needed. He's one of the great disciples and doormen of allthings sovereign in Nordic creative rock come 1991 until now, and deserves every bit of acclaim mounting. From those solos on the debut Landberk onto inputs with a number of -seriously- badass jazz-cats in Norway, Fiske succeeded due to pure eccentric craft and skill.

    From the fair on Sunday I got the very first/debut Samla Mammas Manna (pretty prickly, worn and hissy), which is nowadays an almost impossible find. I also got the Zamla No Makeup! on vinyl, plus several Lars Hollmer and Zamlas on CD. I bought a handful of releases from Tzadik, notably Zorn's all-out masterwork Kristallnacht. And that Happy Family s/t.

    But the one neverending -mindbending- title I got there was Hunger's Teeth by 5UU's. It practically overturned my entire reasoning of formulaics in rock creativity and its possibilities.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  14. #39
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    But the one neverending -mindbending- title I got there was Hunger's Teeth by 5UU's. It practically overturned my entire reasoning of formulaics in rock creativity and its possibilities.
    Fuck yeah.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital_Man View Post

    Did DFA officially disband? More bands should do that when they lose a key member (I'm looking at you Nektar, TD and Yes).
    I had some very brief conversations with the bands drummer who is the only member who continued being a (working) musician, the other guys gave that up totally.

  16. #41
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    GooD Call!
    A favorite here ... love it!!
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  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Equilibrismo remains an absolute milestone to my ears.
    And it truly is. As you very well state, there is a grandiosity in the music, which brings in mind Zappa (isn't the fade-out on Fine del Mondo a direct reference to Waka-Jawaka fading out in eternity with all this brass?), and I would associate with bands like Tipographica, which were working and producing music at the same time. Except that DXM also incorporate vocals and singing, which makes the whole endeavor rather incredible in my opinion. And when I say incredible I really mean it! It is just stunning, the ambition and self-confidence of these fellows, to embark on such a huge and difficult to execute project, and pull it out to such perfection. They are all of them ridiculously good musicians, not only in terms of sheer skill, but in terms of feeling the various musical idioms they incorporate in the music, of navigating themselves between musical genres as experts on whatever is at hand, whether it is Mingus, or Zappa, or Led Zeppelin or you name it. Which is the sign of the great artist, to traverse the musical tradition of the past, without losing its own identity.

    Color me more than impressed with Deus Ex Machina.

  18. #43
    Gave this a fresh re-listen. In short, it holds up! It sounds like a bit of a retread into the cozier realms (for them) of De republica, but it also doesn’t sound like they’re resting on their laurels and rehashing the same old stuff. There’s a freshness to the material even if some of it has a familiar ring to it (particularly the acoustic bits). And as impressive as the brass-section stuff was on EdI, I really don’t think they could have sustained that, so scaling back down was the right idea. (By the way, was the cellist still in the band by then?)
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  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    It sounds like a bit of a retread into the cozier realms (for them) of De republica
    I guess I see what you're saying in terms of instrumentation, but I think Cinique is far different compositionally from De Republica. It is scaled back, but I think it's more focused, and the songs on Cinique are more complete. The exception to this is De Republica's opening track, "Exordium," which imo would have fit beautifully on Cinique.

    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    (By the way, was the cellist still in the band by then?)
    They've never had a cellist, unless their violinist played cello on occasion, but I don't believe that's the case. They have only ever had a violinist, Alessandro Bonetti, and he's credited on all their albums.

    Bill

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    (By the way, was the cellist still in the band by then?)
    They had a guest cellist on occasion at the time of "De Republica" when they did some of the acoustic pieces which had cello as well as violin, iirc. Wasn't that the case at Progfest '95 ?

    They certainly did a few gigs with the brass section (one of the sax players was their original drummer - he's also on the latest album "Devoto" which means it has the entire original line-up on it) in 1998 - I considered travelling to Bologna to attend one of them.
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  21. #46
    Yes - Enrico Guerzoni is playing cello with them at Progfest '95, I just re-watched the video. Wondering if he might have been present in Stockholm but the memory is hazy.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
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    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
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  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Yes - Enrico Guerzoni is playing cello with them at Progfest '95, I just re-watched the video. Wondering if he might have been present in Stockholm but the memory is hazy.
    So I’m not hallucinating things in my old age! At least not this. Enrico was on Cinque as well, I checked it out. I don’t remember if he was at the Boathouse gigs as well, but it does appear that he was an off-and-on member. I should probably get my CDs out of storage, the info over at Discogs is incomplete, and I know that both De republica and Cinque have personnel info that is not listed there.
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  23. #48
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Guapo ‘Five Suns’ made it to only 47 posts.

    I’m gonna cheat and kick this one over the line….
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    “Remember, if it doesn't say "Cuneiform," it's not prog!” - THE Jed Levin

    Any time any one speaks to me about any musical project, the one absolute given is "it will not make big money". [tip of the hat to HK]

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  24. #49
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Cinque Suns

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