DFA - Work In Progress Live

Year of Release: 2001
Label: MoonJune Records
Catalog Number: MJR003
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:34:00

This live release from Italy's DFA represents their first live appearance in the US, playing at NEARFest 2000. This quartet make beautiful rock music that is complex enough that it is difficult to describe but in broad terms. Oh, not that it's difficult music, as it's quite melodic and accessible. It isn't avant-garde or angular, but there is a dreamy electronic element that draws it away from straight-ahead instrumental prog. It is typically classy Italian prog, no cheese or crassness about it. Just four musicians creating musical magic. "Escher" - this is what might result if King Crimson and Tangerine Dream were to ever collaborate, though it would be a less "slick" Tangerine Dream. Oddly, somewhere I've made that comparison before, or feel as if I have.

Now, I'm sure the Italian prog purists will vilify me for saying so, but there are times where vocals remind me of Marillion's Steve Hogarth, mostly in the way they're delivered, but also a bit in the tone. But, mostly they remind me of Alessandro Serri of Eris Pluvia/Ancient Veil. DFA actually have two vocalists whose voices blend well together, and both are named Alberto. On keyboards it's Alberto Bonomi and on drums it's Alberto De Grandis. And, luckily enough, they both sing well. The music is largely instrumental however. "Trip On Metró" is jazzy piece, that carries you along, despite slight shifts in mood. Though there is a section towards the end where they rock hard enough to please a few metal fans out there among the rock fans ... oh, and a little angular, avant-garde workout to finish it off. "La Vie" begins warmly with the content bass lines from Luca Baldassari over which Bonomi plays frothy keyboard washes. At more than 15 minutes, this is the longest piece here, though it must be said that the shortest, "Trip On Metró" is more than 6-minutes itself.

This is a finely recorded CD. There is enough distinction heard between the instruments that you could listen to it four times (obviously more is necessary, however) and follow each instrument through the disk. Oftentimes on a live release the bass gets buried beneath the drums and percussion, or the keys are mixed too low when should be high and high when they should be low. Here the balances are perfect, giving the whole recording a very three-dimensional feel.

It's little wonder that Italian prog is still thought of very highly when there are bands such as DFA making music, carrying on a tradition.

Escher (10:08) / Caleidoscopio (9:16) / Trip On Metró (6:36) / La Via (15:25) / Pantera (8:10) / Ragno (11:12)

Silvio Minella - guitars
Luca Baldassari - bass
Alberto De Grandis - drums, vocals
Alberto Bonomi - keyboards, vocals

Lavori In Corso (1997)
Duty Free Area (1999)
Work In Progress Live (2001)
#4 (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: December 7th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.dutyfreearea.it
Hits: 870
Language: english


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