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24 Mar 2017

Mediterranea “Ecce Rock” 1981 Italy Prog Rock

Mediterranea  “Ecce Rock” 1981 Italy Prog Rock

MEDITERRANEA is a trio from Caserta, in the region of Campania, formed in 1978 under the leadership of guitarist Fausto Mesolella. Mesolella also contributed mandolin and keyboards and was joined by Pasquale Ziccardi (bass and mandolin) and Agostino Santoro (drums and percussion). The band toured for a few years before releasing their only album, "Ecce Rock," in 1981. The album blends heavy rock, jazz, and Campanian folk elements and melodies, particularly in their use of mandolin. 
This was written by bassist Ziccardi: "Fender guitars' smell, fingers through the hair, leather belts, heeled boots, heavy amplifiers, dreamed trips, missed rendez-vous and lunches, worn nights, fake tokens, changing at the steering wheel, military service, punched streets, first time in Milan. . . . For us Mediterranea was a place to find shelter, a destination, a place to die too. To die of Music." 
Although "Ecce Rock" was their only album, the music found a ready audience particularly in Japan, where it was reissued with a different cover (which was used on the recent reissue as well). After the group disbanded, Mesolella found success in the band Avion Travel, Ziccardi joined Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (NCCP), and Santoro left the music industry.......
Mediterranea only released an LP in 1981, which nowadays is particularly rare and sought after by foreign collectors. Coming from Caserta, this trio was formed in 1978 and led by guitarist Fausto Mesolella before his huge success until nowadays with the well-known band Avion Travel. Together with him where Pasquale Ziccardi (later on bass player for the legendary NCCP) and Agostino Santoro on drums. The album is really great and contains 9 all-instrumental tracks, but being released in a period where progrock was not fashionable at all. Nevertheless it was noticed by a Japanese label that printed it in the land of the rising sun, but with a totally different cover. For comparisons the typical "spaghetti-prog" of PFM comes to mind, at least in matters of catchiness, tough Mediterranea have a personal and distinctive approach that will please all lovers of italoprog with strong Mediterranean hints, tough not folky at all, as the great guitar work of Fausto Mesolella is always in the foreground. For us this is an underrated masterpiece! Released for the very first time on CD it contains both the original and the Japanese cover, extensive liner notes by the musicians and some picture of Mediterranea today...............

First, many thanks to an anonymous visitor (which I now know to call Michael ... Thank you Michael !!), who gave me a surprise pack (and what a surprise !!) containing, among other goodies, this magnificent album , a gem, perhaps the best progressive rock album (and more) of the 80 So far I only knew three songs on this record, unearthed and posted on youtube, in his time, in the 45s colletion vol.8. Now that I could listen to the whole album, then my impressions are confirmed and reinforced, the album is really amazing, so much so that I struggle to express preferences towards a song rather than to another, every piece of this record is a gem in itself. If there is a group that, in the early eighties, was able to pick up the baton from Hosanna in the contamination of rock and melody, in fact, the Mediterranean, it was this trio from Caserta, that infarcì and enriched all with a non-overdose jazz. This was their only album, as the band then produced only another 45 laps, but it's a really high level disk, a real feast for the ears, technically perfect, all music and voice, in this case, not He feels at all lack. 
The multi-instrumentalist Mesolella, in years closer to us, it will become very well-known with the "Avion Travel", a band of great class of anni80, 90 and beyond. A review of this album is in this page, scrolling the list in alphabetical order, on the other important site for us lovers of Italian progressive rock, namely A good insight into the career of Mesolella, with a section devoted to Meditaerranea, is here instead......VERSO LA STRATOSFERA....................
Usually defined as "dark", remembered for new-wave, for Madonna and Michael Jackson, for synthetic sounds, etc., The 80 have been able to give the media is very popular, but brave, solar and "current" despite the spirit of the previous decade present in them, as evidenced by this "Ecce rock", which until recently seemed to fall into oblivion. A welcome reissue allows us to rediscover a small wonder of the Italian progressive scene, created in 1981 by a southern group, Caserta Mediterranean, a trio formed by Fausto Mesolella (guitars, keyboards and mandolin), Pasquale Ziccardi (bass) and Agostino Santoro ( drums and percussion). We talked about "sunshine" and I would say that there is no better term to describe the music on this collection, which allows you to enjoy an all Mediterranean taste delicious through nine songs. It is mainly instrumental compositions, in which we note a great contamination process, which sees an exuberant mix of rock, folk campano and world music. It is no coincidence that, in later years, and Mesolella Ziccardi are joined by groups such as Avion Travel and Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, continuing a musical discourse marked the approach of tradition, research and desire to surprise. Returning to "Ecce rock", it must be said that if there are some steps that can remember the PFM more joyful combined heat Naples (see "Mandovolando"), the album exudes an enviable personality. The alternating use of acoustic and electric instruments, sparkling rhythms, good taste of the arrangements are all factors that lead to particular and fascinating dynamics, melodies that seduce and a feeling that immediately catches. Superb final entrusted to "Spartacus", nearly eight-minute epic romance. Given the content is not surprising that such a disc was almost ignored at the time of its release, but now there is a new opportunity to give it the attention it deserves and to ensure that, when it comes to Italian jewelry published after golden period corresponding to the first part of the 70s, it gives importance to the work of the Mediterranean.............
Fausto Mesolella - guitars, keyboards, mandolin; 
Pasquale Ziccardi - bass, mandolin; 
Agostino Santoro - drums, percussion.

A1 Vai Facile
A2 Sonata
A3 Mandovolando
A4 Casa Hirta
A5 Viaggio In 2° Classe
B1 Madama Terra
B2 A Sazietà
B3 Petroleum
B4 Spartacus 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..