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BATTIATO – Fetus

Franco Battiato is an Italian Renaissance Man, being a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and session player. He has made a number of albums, encompassing just about every style imaginable, from avant-garde to Euro-pop, and these two albums are perfect examples of his eclectic tastes. ‘Fetus’ is his 1972 debut, and starts off in fine ELP style with the title track, featuring swathes of synth and a suitably moody atmosphere. ‘Una Cellula’ is a more straight-forward song, but still with swooping synth on the coda, while ‘Cariocinesi’ utilises violin and piano on a swinging jazz-tinged number. ‘Energia’ is a weird little track, with a child’s voice hidden under swirling moog, before morphing into a minimalist vocal/keyboard piece, to which drums are added for the instrumental breaks. ‘Meccanica’ is one of his more experimental pieces, starting with staccato vocalizations before it slows down with some lush instrumentation for a slow verse, and then picking up speed to become almost a pop song, although with some very progressive tendancies, and then finishing with some Bach chords played over found sounds of the first moon landing. It clocks in at just over six minutes, and yet you feel as if you have been listening to about six different songs by the time it is over. ‘Anafase’ is another piece of experimentation, with the first couple of minutes sounding quite mellow before weird electronics start to seep into the mix, and the rest of the song sounds like a Tangerine Dream out-take. ‘Mutazione’ closes the album with a rousing ballad, and you are left amazed at the variety of sounds that you have just heard on the one album.
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