Record of the day: Area, "Crac!"

Record of the day: Area, “Crac!”

Crack! (Cd Cramps CRSCD 003)

Submerged as we are by “musical rubbish” (to use Battiato's definition) continuously proposed by the councils
management of the majors, it is not surprising to know that the recent re-proposal of Area's entire discography has aroused the interest not only of those who listened to them in an era before their hair loss, but also of many very young listeners evidently tired of having to endure dull, increasingly pre-packaged musical proposals.

Without a shadow of a doubt the greatest group to appear on the Italian music scene in the seventies, Area never
experienced artistic failures in their short existence. All their albums, from “Arbeit Macht Frei” (1973) up to “Gli dèi se
they leave, the angry ones stay” (1978) are unmissable, obligatory choices for any self-respecting record collection.

Their explosive mix of rock, jazz, non-European, free and avant-garde music is still today of indestructible energy and capable of speaking as loudly to our time as to the one in which it was born. Demetrio Stratos' voice was able to be powerful and rich in feeling like that of the most experienced soul singer and at the same time to synthesize the multiphonic techniques of the Mongolian Tuva singers with the experiences of extreme vocal experimentation carried out together with John Cage and Cathy Berberian .

With their uncompromising music, Area demonstrated that an oversimplified language was not necessary to communicate with large masses; through executive energy it was possible to convey even difficult and not immediately assimilable concepts without causing trauma or rejection on the part of the young audience that followed them in the squares throughout Europe.
Nobody regrets the climate of cultural intolerance that too often characterized those years, but the artistic courage of experiences like that of Area and many groups who did not exclude complexity from their musical choices (and did not take the public for a mass of morons like today often happens) except if they are to be regretted.

“Crac!”, from 1975, is certainly their most immediate album thanks to songs such as “Gioia e Revolution”, “The white elephant” and “La mela di Odessa”, which immediately became classics of their repertoire.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.