Yugen - Labirinto d'Acqua


Yugen biography

This band/project originating from Italy features a very promising and international lineup in its debut cd. It was conceived in autumn 2004 by Francesco Zago (formerly of The Night Watch) and Marcello Marinone who wanted to create a band which will play combine RIO and chamber music. As influences they state the following: "Satie, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Cage, Reich, Zappa, Henry Cow, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Univers Zero".  

The name chosen for this group is Yugen which is a Japanese word "which expresses the aesthetic canon of japanese art, as haiku in poetry or Noh in theatre".  Between December 2004 and January 2005 they record their first demo. Diego Donadio (former drummer of The Night Watch), is drummer in this recording. In February 2005 the lineup is reinforced in the shape of keyboard player Paolo Botta (French TV) and Swiss saxophone player Markus Stauss (Spaltklang, Ulterior Lux) when they have a jam session in Tradate. Another expansion is the joining in of bassist Stephan Brunner (Spaltklang), and reed player Peter Schmid (Evan Parker, Vinny Golia). As Zago composes more music the band wants to fully express their potential by adding more musicians who will help create a final outcome befitting the aim. It is then that these people join in: percussionist Massimo Mazza, harpsichord player Giuseppe Olivini (OZ, Contrapplugged), the classical players Maurizio Fasoli (piano), Elia Mariani (violin) and Marco Sorge (clarinets). Finally arrive drummer Mattia Signò, Tommaso Leddi (Stormy Six) and U.S. drummer Dave Kerman (Thinking Plague, 5uu's, Present, Ahvak Blast).  
In June 2005 they start recording their first album entitled Labirinto d'Acqua and the album is released in 2006. The album was mixed and mastered by Udi Koomran (Avhak, Present, Thinking Plague). 
The record is instrumental, and while you can trace the chamber rock sound similar to Univers Zero and Art Zoyd, it has a fresh modern and rockier sound. Since there are several different backgrounds here in the lineup (Zago is symphonic oriented, Kerman and Leddi are RIO people and other players are classically trained) we get a mix of everything, and the result is compelling. You can hear some 5UU's, Thinking Plague and Ahvak similarities, dynamic chamber rock, chamber music, mellow and ponderous parts, some "symphonic prog" parts (there is a mellotron and minimoog), quickly changing rhythms and unusual time signatures, layers of instruments playing different tunes, some quirky tracks which are free-form and more abstract (played mostly by only the classical instruments) and you have the complete freak-out parts where the band goes insane. There is a myriad of styles here and you need many listens to be able to absorb all of it and identify the numerous influences and musical ideas. The sound is rich due to the expanded lineup and the production. 
==Assaf Vestin (avestin)==

From in Italy
Rio / Avant-Prog
Yugen - Labirinto d'Acqua - 2006
Tracks.
01. sévére réprimande (0:50)
02. catacresi (6:35)
03. omelette norvegese (1:07)
04. corale metallurgico (7:33)
05. danse cuirassée (periode grecque) (1:03)
06. brachiologia (3:11)
07. la mosca stregata (0:56)
08. quando la morte mi colse nel sonno (9:23)
09. skellotron 003 (1:23)
10. le rovine circolari (6:53)
11. anastomosi (1:28)
12. danze corazzate (3:49)
13. labirinto d'acqua (1:21)
14. incubi concentrici (4:42)
Total time 50:14 
Members.
- Paolo Botta / E-Piano, Mellotron, Organ, Moog
- Stephan Brunner / Bass
- Maurizio Fasoli / Piano
- Dave Kerman / Drums (Track 4)
- Tommaso Leddi / Mandolin, Flute
- Massimo Mazza Vibraphone, Marimba, Glockenspiel
- Elia Mariani / Violin
- Guiseppe A. Olivini / Cembalo, Percussion, Shakuhachi, Theremin
- Peter Schmid / Bassclarinet, Tubax, Subcontrabass Sax, Bass Flute, Taragot
- Mattia Signo / Drums
- Marco Sorge / Clarinets
- Markus Stauss / Sax
- Francesco Zago / Guitars, Keyboards
- Diego Donadio / Drum Arrangements 

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