[Review] Araputo Zen – Majacosajusta

Araputo Zen is a quintet born in the heart of Naples, a city renowned for being a hotbed of artistic talents that has always contributed to making Mediterranean culture great. This band manages to blend Ethnic and Folk music with Italian Progressive Rock, more present in “Majacosajusta” published via Nowords Records on November 19, 2021. As mentioned, compared to the debut the sound of the album is more oriented to Prog, without neglecting however the Ethnic and Folk influences, proposing a more mature and aware work. The album opens with “Drummond Nel Vento” which immediately plunges us into the Ethnic atmosphere with intertwining guitar, double bass and percussion on which violin melodies are inserted. More delicate and dreamy moments alternate with tempo changes with accelerated and a sound that mixes with the Prog, giving life to a very engaging opener. A musical crescendo that alternates with symphonic Folk openings that leave room for a melancholic violin solo in the end. “Makipegua” has a melancholic atmosphere, the guitars and the violin intertwine, while the percussion marks a slow tempo. The melodies recall nostalgic sounds of the beginning of the century, where the compositional and executive technique of the band is enhanced, enriched by constant tempo changes and jazzy hues with a strong Mediterranean and Parthenopean matrix. The third track “Venerdì Mattina” is a short passage with a shouting in the distance and the pleasant sound of the sea, the tolling of bells, percussion and violin inserts. “Vefio” begins with guitar and vibraphone that create delicate and dreamy melodies, and then with a change give life to a rhythmic piece with percussion and violin. From oriental sapotes that mix with more modern and progressive sounds, with a greater presence of experimentation and continuous tempo changes that are a real added value. Rich in ideas and constantly changing with a fine electric guitar solo and a winning mix of Etnica and Rock, a perfect example of Ethno Prog. “Algheritmi” has a more delicate beginning, returning to melancholy atmospheres and more dilated sounds with a good mixture of violin and guitar. The Ethnic component mixes with the more Psychedelic Rock here, managing once again to create a winning song full of ideas that in the second part is transformed with more Progressive elements. The violin is in great evidence and always manages to create melodies and solo parts with a strong impact, good harmony between all instruments. The percussions mark the time of “(In) Sanità” which proposes an alternation of more symphonic parts to others more rhythmic halfway between Rock and Folk. The use of the guitar and the violin always touching and precise in the inserts is interesting, managing to transport the listener and immersing him in their musical proposal. The electric guitar makes the sound harder in the central part, and the second part closes the track in crescendo giving space to all the instruments in the solos. We have reached the end of the journey with the title-track “Majacosajusta” which perfectly sums up the musical proposal of the band. This time the Ethnic part touches more parts of the Mediterranean, ranging from Spanish influences to those of Arab percussion, revisiting traditional sounds in a Rock key. A successful track that concludes this pleasant listening, leaving us with good sensations and a very intense and powerful crescendo ending. An album that mixes traditional Mediterranean music with more Prog Rock features, giving life to a style that we can define Ethno Prog. The ideas are well developed and executed, the sound is mature and the band manages to blend all these influences to create an original record. A step forward compared to the debut album, with the band continuing on its path of musical exploration by adding a touch more Rock than the previous one. Lovers of Progressive sounds with marked Ethnic influences will find this band and this album very interesting, which I recommend to all lovers of good music. Surely original and refined, it is a pleasure to listen to young artists propose different sounds and with a personal character, it will be interesting to listen to them live, given the energy that this album releases.

Tracklist

01. Drummond Nel vento (6:19)
02. Makipegua (4:45)
03. Venerdì Mattina (0:58)
04. Vefio (6:19)
05. Algheritmi (5:14)
06. (In)Sanità (4:16)
07. Majacosajusta (5:48)

Lineup

Alfredo Pumilia / Violin
Dario De Luca / Guitar
Bruno Belardi / Double Bass
Valerio Middione / Guitar
Pasquale Benincasa / Drum and Percussions

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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