[Review] Alex Carpani – Microcosm

Alex Carpani is an Italian composer, keyboardist, singer and producer, who offers Progressive Rock sounds in a modern key with Jazz and Alternative influences. He has released 6 albums from 2007 to today, the new record release that we propose in this review “Microcosm” is out on April 29, 2022 via Ma.Ra.Cash. Records. Containing 12 tracks in the form of a concept about a world in miniatures, opposed to macrocosm, including a personal version by Alex of the track “Starless” by the legendary King Crimson. The lineup is completed with some of the best artists of the world Progressive Rock scene, each with his own background, who bring technique and quality to the disc. At the opening we find the version of “Starless” proposed here in a modern key and with Alex’s personal touch, managing to impress his own brand with modern sounds, while remaining close to the original. The following “Kiss And Fly” was proposed as a single to present the album, characterized by a solid and tight rhythm session and good guitar work. The melodic vocal fits well into the context of the piece, enriched by the tempo changes and the wind inserts that intertwine in the melodies. Energetic and in pure Prog style, it alternates vocal and instrumental parts, involving the listener with refined plots. The piano and a warm and expressive vocal open “God Bless Amerika,” developed with a good mix of guitar and keyboards and the continuous tempo changes of the rhythm session. The vocal is melodic and intense, and the piece is softer in the sung parts, and then becomes harder and more elaborate in the instrumental sections, with a good alternation of Symphonic Prog and heavier passages. An electric guitar arpeggio and a more linear rhythmic session open “The Mountain Of Salt,” a track with more Rock features and a dynamic vocal and melodic features. In the instrumental parts the technique of the artists involved is enhanced, with technical soloists inserts of fine workmanship. “We Can’t Go Home Tonight” begins with a dreamy piano and a background of winds and keyboards, a softer track, which shows a more delicate side of the artist’s sound. Full of pathos and with a musical crescendo that flows into the second part in the most progressive atmosphere of the band. The Neo Prog sounds permeate the first part of “Footprints In The Hearts” with an 80’s touch and a warm and expressive vocal. A winning blend of Rock and Prog, which has the most incisive and elaborate parts in the instrumental sections with good solo inserts. With more jazzy features that blend with oriental sounds, “Prime Numbers” is characterized by a fine interweaving of winds and keyboards. The solo plots and the development of the theme of the piece are excellent, involving and rhythmic where the most intricate sounds enhance the technique of the musicians involved. “What Once Was” is characterized by a slower rhythm and an intertwining of hypnotic bass and guitar on which a deep vocal is inserted. In the central part it increases the intensity with a pleasant synth solo, while the melancholic atmosphere permeates the piece, which in the second part is more elaborate with a succession of solo inserts. A mix of electronic sounds and Neo Prog characterizes “When The Tears Roll Down” with references to the 80s, revisited in a perosnle and modern key. An intense track more in the form of a ‘song’ with a refined touch, well composed and executed. A guitar opening and a melancholic vocal open “The Outer World” which develops with a mid-tempo and keyboards that intertwine with melodies. A more Soft Prog facet of the artist’s sound, which increases in intensity in the instrumental section in the second part, with good solo inserts. “Redemption” moves slowly in the opening part with a good duet of paino and vocals, and then develops Symphonic Prog textures with the synth in evidence. A personal and modern version of Neo Prog sounds with a warm and expressive vocal and a very intense and dreamy sound. The title track “Microcosm” closes the album, a track in continuous evolution, with the intensity that increases with the passing of the minutes. Good instrumental parts that enhance the technique of the artists involved, alternating softer parts with accelerations with good phrasing of guitars and keyboards. When you are faced with a lineup of this level, the expectation is always very high and at times it is respected. The artist’s Prog sounds combine the Neo Prog with his personal traits with references to the 80’s sounds of the genre. The tracks are solid and well developed and the musicians’ technique is of an absolute level and can be heard at every note. A listening recommended to all lovers of Neo Prog sounds, a stellar lineup and instrumental sections that increase the value of the album, with warm and expressive vocals.

Purchase the album on Bandcamp: https://alexcarpani.bandcamp.com/album/microcosm

Tracklist

01. Starless (04:49)
02. Kiss And Fly (04:31)
03. God Bless Amerika (04:09)
04. The Mountain Of Salt (04:19)
05. We Can’t Go Home Tonight (05:29)
06. Footprints In The Hearts (04:22)
07. Prime Numbers (05:25)
08. What Once Was (04:33)
09. When The Tears Roll Down (05:42)
10. The Outer World (04:30)
11. Redemption (05:46)
12. Microcosm (05:30)

Lineup

Alex Carpani / Lead and Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Synth Bass, Mellotron,
Drum Loops & Electronics
David Jackson / Sax and Flute
Theo Travis / Sax
David Cross / Violin
Jon Davison / Lead and Backing Vocals on Kiss And Fly
Bruno Farinelli / Drums
Andrea Torresani / Bass
Davide Rinaldi / Guitar
Emiliano Fantuzzi / Guitar

Alex Carpani |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Ma.ra.Cash. Records |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel 

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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