Franco Battiato & Sunny Jain: My Albums of the Week #37

I would consider myself an “albums guy” and my taste in music is very varied. In this new feature, I list the albums that I listened to most intensely during the week. The list will include albums old and new, and the number of albums listened to every week will most likely vary on a week-to-week basis.

 

Franco Battiato
La voce del padrone
EMI, 1981 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Summer on a Solitary Beach // 2 – Bandiera bianca // 3 – Gli uccelli // 4 – Cuccurucucù // 5 – Segnali di vita // 6 – Centro di gravità permanente // 7 – Il sentimiento nuevo

Maybe my favorite Italian music album of all time and one of the landmark recordings in Italian music history. Rock, new wave with a bit of krautrock influence for good measure. Super popular in its native country but definitely not your typical mainstream-level quality. Intellectually stimulating and danceable. Superb.

 

Franco Battiato
Clic
Island, 1974 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – I cancelli della memoria // 2 – No U Turn // 3 – Il mercato degli dei // 4 – Rien ne va plus: andante // 5 – Proprietad prohibida // 6 – Nel cantiere di un’infanzia // 7 – Ethika fon ethica

Whether ambient or prog or downright experimental, Clic takes you places. It is a fascinating sonic ride, propelled by Battiato’s fascination for experimentation with electronic sound. It almost feels like a sonic sculpture. Progressive and visionary.

 

Franco Battiato
L’arca di Noè
EMI, 1982 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Radio Varsavia // 2 – Clamori // 3 – L’esodo // 4 – Scalo a Grado // 5 – La torre // 6 – New Frontiers // 7 – Voglio vederti danzare

Around this time, Battiato could do almost no wrong. L’Arca di Noè may lack the general songwriting quality of its predecessor, La Voce del Padrone, where there are no weak tracks. But it has a more booming, powerful sound that sometimes engulfs you.

 

Franco Battiato
Fetus
Bla Bla, 1972 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Energia // 2 – Fetus // 3 – Una cellula // 4 – Cariocinesi // 5 – Fenomenologia // 6 – Meccanica // 7 – Anafase // 8 – Mutazione

Maybe the first Franco Battiato masterpiece. A fascinating blend of baroque pop and avant-garde electronic experimentation. Scattered shades of Space Oddity-era David Bowie influences are also present. Conceptually inspired by birth and the mystery of existence, two ever-present themes in Battiato’s discography and personal spiritual journey.

 

Sunny Jain
Wild Wild East
Smithsonian Folkways, 2020 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

TRACKLIST (favorite tracks underlined): 1 – Immigrant Warrior // 2 – Wild Wild East // 3 – Osian // 4 – Red, Brown, Black // 5 – Aye Mere Dil Kahin Chal (Remembrance) // 6 – Aye Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal // 7 – Baaghi // 8 – Blackwell // 9 – Hai Apna Dil to Aawara // 10 – Tumse Lagi Lagan // 11 – Maitri Bhavanu // 12 – Brooklyn Dhamal

Innovative percussionist Sunny Jain reimagines the figure of the immigrant as a modern-day cowboy. Wild Wild East is an energetic set of music blending the music of Jain’s Punjabi roots with rock, jazz, the sound of spaghetti western soundtracks and more.

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