DFA - Work In Progress Live

Year of Release: 2001
Label: MoonJune Records
Catalog Number: MJR003
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:33:00

I have to admit, I'm completely partial to this band. After all, its members are from Verona, one of my all-time favorite places to visit and sleep on the street in (long story...). Forget I mentioned that, however, because DFA's geographic origin was barely a catalyst for the profound impact that Work In Progress Live had on me ... at least in comparison to the trance into which the live album's opening track, "Escher," sends the listener.

Just as trippy and concretely abstract (if the oxymoron makes any sense at all) as the artist's drawings themselves, the instrumental track is one of the highest points of the entire album, floating in a spacey electronic manner that is deceivingly modern and incredibly absorbing. Think a progressive Crystal Method without the electronica beats and you'll be halfway there, as one of my friends, a complete electronic freak, was able to testify after hearing what comprises the first ten minutes of the album.

Now, you might be wondering why the barely conspicuous words "deceivingly modern" are found in the upper paragraph. Hummm ... not clever, I just gave myself in. It's not that the band belongs in the category that IQ's Martin Orford once referred to as "awful bands with keyboards that belong in a museum," as DFA is very much a band of today, but there are definite nuances of seventies Italian and British progressive rock that will whet the appetite of those hungry for more Yes and early King Crimson vintage material, while also appealing to others who disdain looking back with nostalgia. And while "Escher" is completely devoid of such nuances, the album's other five tracks are deeply immersed in them, sticking to an approach that relies heavily on jazz, emotional rock, and occasional heavy passages, as can be witnessed in the melancholic-turned-weird "Caleidoscopio" and the hearty intensity of "Pantera."

What's even better ... the sound of the album is impressively solid and huge. Work In Progress Live sounds like it was recorded in a studio with crowd noise added on later, except for the fact that it wasn't. This is live, and it's a fact that boggles the mind as drummer Alberto Bonomi's razor-sharp talent sends the band into a spiraling attack just as quickly as into a jazzy improvisation, while his bandmates challenge each other in a frenzied flurry of notes that spell "quality" at every step. Those who were at NEARFest that day better be grateful; they got to see and hear something that most people spend their entire lives waiting for.

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: August 25th 2002
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: www.dutyfreearea.it
Hits: 794
Language: english


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