Album Review

Battiato, Franco – “Pollution ” – [Water]

Thurston Hunger   9/13/2007   A Library, CD

Water re-issues another Battiato beauty. Its original 1972
release sorta fits that era: serious studio manipulation,
doubled guitar leads and it keeps on stone trekking. But
Battiato deflates any tendencies towards prog pomp with
dashes of humor, the synthesizer here is happier being more
of a noisy gadfly rather than some psuedo-symphonic oracle.
Battiato chooses the weird over the weighty…this album
floats in many parts. “Plancton” is an example, is it a
misty minstrel twelve-strung stoner folk number with buzz
organ…or a robotic shanty march? As much as there are
Cluster fucked fuse boxes, there are often male and female
wordless chants dancing around. It starts with classical
gasping and dying over some formal annuziato and then
chukka-chukka guitar. More of that rock mania would have
been welcomed, but that song and the album generally gives
way to Lucy in the Diamond Cathedral with Psychedelic Organs.
“Beta” starts with transmissions from the Galaxy Analogia
then grooves into a hippy march through a fragrant field
of ethereal vox poppies. Trinket piano comes and goes;
Guitar 101 rock solo too before regurgitated symphony and
a plea (to God??) in Italian? Hey I’m confused too at
this point, but not unhappily so!

Thurston Hunger

Freak fact: In 2006 Battiato directs his second film,
casts Alejandro Jodorowsky as Beethoven!

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