Artist/ Band: Stefano Ferrian
Title: De-Noise #02 “Lophophora”
Label: Den Records
Year of Release: 2011
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

This is quite a work of art (both the music and the packaging). At almost 34 minutes, Stefano has created a seamless set of 8 songs that morph into each other perfectly, and give the listener a stable but expansive aural experience. The CD theme is based on the American tragedy Massacre at Wounded Knee (in South Dakota) and also the Ghost Dance Movement. The imagery is strong and Stefano uses a long list of instruments to make the music go deep. Vocals, classical/electric guitars, alto/tenor/soprano saxes, bass, objects, percussion, drum programming, synthesizers, Metak Weevil, and editing are the tools. The unique and ultra cool packaging is a thick cardboard book like housing that has more perfect engineering than the tightest specs I have ever seen. It sandwiches together to hold the disc, and then a nice color coordinated slip cover slides over the whole thing to always keep it safe. What a great concept! Hats off to WordPress for all these exciting CD package designs. Yet another example of why I love the physical CD always!

Some may think this is some noise experiment by the title but I assure you better things. The initial 2 minutes are tough to discern just what this recording is going to really sound like. Acoustic guitar, background electronics and sax give a stark but curious entry way to this work. The 2nd song (you can hardly tell when one ends or begins with the flow) has things kicking in and you are a gifted with a Crimson/RIO rhythm with drums, electric guitar, and sax, It’s very appealing and gives all scared listeners that pat on the shoulder. Yes, it’s going to be okay (for all the fearful of avant garde music *s*). Stefano adds vocals on track 2. He does a great job of speaking for the native Indian Lakota tribe. And then the bomb! Track 3 (‘Wovoka’) is as good as anything Crimson (Red era)/ This Heat/Massacre/Art Zoyd ever did. Heavy on the guitar and bass, a disquieting composition with power galore which may remind some of a couple Zeuhl bands we all know.

De-Noise #2 is plenty esoteric, but is never irritating. The compositions are loose sometimes, but not even close to unorganized or chaotic. The thoughtfulness is evident in each piece. This has important theme and Stefano paints pictures for the mind and ear incredibly well. There is another powerful Crimson/This Heat/Massacre/Univers Zero moment on song 6 (‘Synesthesia’) that I love. It has a contrast with simple finger picking guitar. This gives another dose of chamber rock. Excellent! I feel this 34 minute CD is a perfect length. It never comes close to overkill, boredom, or self indulgence. It kept my attention all 3 times I listened to it and I still want to listen to it more times. I mean I really WANT to listen to it. This is a fine example of what one man who plays multiple instruments can do with an idea. I love the areas he gets into with both heavy and delicate progressive music genres. Track 7 gets your blood pumping too. The ability of simple chords and rhythms are at full tilt here. It’s a thing of beauty. And the artist understands the rhythms of the Lakota Indians. Remember this event took place in 1890, four days after Christmas, so the music Stefano created has a haunting atmosphere and a reverence at the same time. Effective is the word! Brilliant is the man! VERY RECOMMENDED!!

Reviewed by Lee Henderson on May 21st, 2012


01. Ascension 0:00 - 1:47
02. Ku Zabbi Ticutta 1:47 - 5:05
03. Wovoka 5:05 - 10:14
04. The Ghost Dance 10:14 - 14:49
05. A Spiral of Spirits 14:49 - 18:38
06. Synesthesia 18:38 - 22:15
07. Chankpe Opi Wakpala 22:15 - 30:51
08. The Aftermath 30:51 - 33:54

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