The Rough Guide To Italia Nova

San Francisco, USA – The Rough Guide To Italia Nova focuses on the technological
developments and a growing club culture in Italy that have inspired many
traditional folk artists to graft their traditional sounds – such as pizzica and
tarantella – on to electronic beats and rhythms, to create a striking hybrid. In
addition, DJs and contemporary musicians have been drawn back to traditional
Italian music for inspiration, incorporating traditional dance music with
hypnotic rhythms. The Rough Guide to Italia Nova
combines these two
strands to showcase this rapidly evolving and dynamic underground scene. Tazenda are one of the most successful world music experiments to come out of
Italy in the past ten years. A vocal trio from Sardegna, their music uses
dialect and an ancient polyphonic tenor style of singing. This singing style is
one of the principal forms of Sardinian music, and they mix traditional
instruments (such as the launeddas) with sampled or electrified sounds. A female
vocal quintet who formed in Bari, Puglia, in the mid-1990s, Faraualla are also
interested in vocal polyphony. Having studied ancient music and vocal
traditions, Faraualla have managed to redefine vocal music whilst staying true
to a style rooted in southern Italy.

A Neapolitan saxophonist, Daniele Sepe is an alchemist of sounds and an arch
manipulator of genres and styles. ‘Anime Candide’ is the title-track from his
most recent album, in which he perfectly mixes the harmonies of southern Italy,
the melodic pathos of sentimental songs and the energy of rock and roll. Also
from Naples, Lino Cannavacciuolo is a classically trained violinist. ‘Segesta’
is the title-track to an album that pays homage to Mafia victims, and the
electric violin balances between Mediterranean folk and new age music. Another
instrumentalist, Luigi Cinque is a clarinettist and soprano sax player. He fuses
traditions from the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East, with elements of
jazz, classical, minimalism and electronica, as excellently demonstrated in
‘Tangerine Café’, in which he plays alongside the Tarantula Hypertext O’rchestra.

With folk musicians turning to modern sounds for inspiration, DJs and digital
musicians have also been incorporating ancient musical traditions into their
music. Many artists, including Nidi D’arac and Alpha Bass, have tried to forge a
dialogue between electronica’s hypnotic cadences and the trance state induced by
the taranta – a ritual folk dance originating in Salento, southeast Italy. Mimmo
Galizia, from Alpha Bass, has tried to create this fusion between folk music
from Salento and digital sounds, and ‘Aradanse’ is a drum ‘n’ bass treatment of
a famous pizzica (a musical form designed to accompany a therapeutic dance).
Nidi D’arac’s debut album was an immediate success and they are quickly becoming
a cultural phenomenon on the folktronica scene. They mix tradition and modern
electronic rhythms – in particular the pizzica tarantata and modern beats such
as breakbeats, trip-hop and drum ‘n’ bass.

Embracing numerous international genres, Banda Ionica, a Sicilian all-horn
outfit still manage to retain their characteristic ‘southern’ sound. On ‘Come
L’Aria’, sung by Ermanno Giovanardi of the rock group La Crus, you can hear
their mix of unmistakable town-band melodrama with a more international palette
of sounds. Also originally from Sicily, Fratelli Mancuso were awarded the 1993
Recanati prize for Innovation in Singer-Songwriting. Mario Rivera is a bass
player with an interest in electronica and computer music. He is also a member
of the Sicilian group Agricantus, which is one of the most successful Italian
outfits giving an ethnic twist to digital sounds. The track featured here, ‘Su
Dilluru’ features the polyphonic tones of the Sardinian group Tenores Di Orosei.

Other artists include Novalia, who blend folk traditions with contemporary
rhythms, Gai Saber, who apply cutting-edge electronic technology to a
traditional Occitan repertoire, and Rosapaeda, who rework Italy’s musical
heritage fearlessly. The Rough Guide To Italia Nova is the perfect introduction
for anyone wishing to take their first-steps into the diverse sounds of Italia
Nova. This album offers you some of the finest experimental hybrids between
electronica and ancient traditions that have emerged out of this fascinating new
Italian movement.
Buy The Rough Guide to Italia Nova.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.