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Album Review

Bucato is truly amazing. Paolo Angeli has managed to transform his Sardinian guitar (already an unusual instrument, it is big as a cello and played upright) into a one-man band. Preparations include the addition of many strings, including sitar strings and a set of strings crossing the standard strings at a 90-degree angle over the hole, a mechanical plectrum on the side of the instrument, and a set of pedal-activated piano hammers at the bottom. The instrument is equipped with 13 pickups and microphones that can all be assigned to different paths of amplification. But this mutated creature can sound like a regular instrument: a guitar, a cello (Angeli occasionally uses a bow), a double bass, a koto, a drum, an electronic device, whatever. Novelty is one thing. Being able to play the beast and get something meaningful out of it is another story. Putting it all together into an album that is simultaneously an easy listen and a challenge ranks as a tour de force. Bucato has been pieced together from many live recordings made between October 2000 and January 2002. Some tracks combine separate recordings, but in all other aspects this is a live album with no overdubs. The music has been arranged into seguing suites that usually combine ambient, textural improvisations with sharply written compositions. Sardinian folk influences are palpable in almost half of the tracks. Elsewhere the legacy of Fred Frith seems to provide the point of entry to Angeli's sound world. In fact, "E Vai!," one of many highlights, could be a trio between Angeli, Frith, and Henry Kaiser — if the latter had been invited, that is. The richness of the music, the precision of the arrangements — those mechanical parts don't play random noise, but rather Angeli tames them into performing stunning contrapuntal lines — and the strange beauty of it all are all reasons to highly recommend this album. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Mind-blowing talent

What? How? What else can I say? Buy it: be blown away.

Bucato, Paolo Angeli
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