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coverpic flag Italy - Full Moon 151 - 01/11/09

D.F.A.
4th
MoonJune Records

As mentioned in another MoonJune review this moonth, this label usually serves up experimental/progressive jazz/rock releases, often exciting ones too. This D.F.A. release falls neatly into the MoonJune ideology. I have not heard any of their previous albums, but from what is offered on 4th I would say that D.F.A. are more into state-of-the-art keyboards/guitar-driven 70s fusion than pushing new experimental borders. I guess both Weather Report and Return To Forever are useful comparisons, but D.F.A. certainly lean more towards a prog-rock sensibility. Not suggesting D.F.A. are only looking backwards repeating history, this is fresh-sounding, varied and never boring.

A stand-out track is "La ballata de s'isposa 'e Mannorri", a piece written for three female voices. Here the band takes a background approach, giving the spotlight to the singing, a solemn and lamenting ending to the album. I must confess that the biggest problem I have with this kind of music is the saturated feeling I get when the music gets too intense over longer periods with rapid synchronized riffing or soloing. Some parts of 4th fall into this category for me, but the calmer use of flute, cello, violin and vocals counterparts this well, and all in all this album is balanced nicely between instrumental "ballads" and more intensive playing.

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