Back in 2009, I wrote a Skiddle review of the first album by this prodigious Italian composer. I’ve just rediscovered his awesome track, so I decided to share both the review and the album list and, of course, the track. So, please welcome: Phonat – Learn to Recycle.
The debut album by the prodigious Florentine Michele Balduzzi, Phonat, is a collection of 12 genre-spanning tracks. It boasts 80s-styled vocals, signature delayed intros, and a unique mix of dance and electronic music with rock-inspired guitar riffs. The album being released at the end of September, the Christmas club fame is practically guaranteed.
Continental European musicians somehow tend to be more universal and almost more innovative. Learn to Recycle should be the name and the homage to this ability to blend all the impossible trends together into something rather tasteful , to break the ground, and to overwhelm with the sheer passion for music.
Learn to Recycle is a six-minute masterclass in exploring the endless possibilities of playing the same routine in different styles. Yet this feat of a track doesn’t come until the second half of the album. The previous seven tracks are exquisite antipasti. Early songs, like A Warm Welcome and Get Down My Dirty Street, feature the signature delayed intro. Set Me Free and Ghetto Burning are praised for their vocal arrangements and collaboration with Yolanda. Ho Visto Un Quadro Verde reminds of soundtracks from 1970s Italian police dramas. Learn to Recycle draws the line under all the previous experiments by giving a complete piece of daring, experimental dance music. And, to judge by Zombie Army, Phonat’s got a good sense of humour.
Apart from his gigantic height and passion for music, Phonat’s biggest asset is the good taste. The album’s structure and contents only confirm it. Where another artist would fall into banality and repetition, Phonat always stops short and changes direction – just enough to make a critic gasp for breath. In the album’s last song he asks if his mother would get to listen to this album. Sure, she will, and she will be proud.
Dance while the music still goes on – we can all sing this ABBA song, for as long as the music plays, everything is possible. Yet tonight I want to bring you another dancing song, Raffaella Carra Ballo Ballo, the famous Italian singer and dancer. While most Italians went for dramatic performances where they mostly had to stand still – think of Milva, Mina, Mia, Patti Pravo and others, – donna Raffaella preferred the songs to which she could dance. And could she dance indeed! I’ve just tried to repeat the legs-and-arms sequence from this song, and it was no small feat! So… if you are in the mood for dancing (or romancing, or just trying to lose some Xmas kilos), do put Raffaella Carra Ballo Ballo on repeat – and enjoy!
PS – The Beatles fans will be pleased (or surprised) to hear a bit of Eleanor Rigby in the lead to the verse.
I used to visit the famous Biryulyovo Arboretum in summer but never in spring, autumn or winter. But there’s always a space for a miracle! On January 2nd, 2021 I added some wintry views to my collection of photos! Join my walking in the alley of pines, which I renamed into The Trail of Smiling Pines (by analogy to The Trail of the Lonesome Pine film). I was walking in the Biryulyovo Arboretum from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. The last 2 videos were made at dusk, around 4pm, when I moved from the pine alley to that of deciduous trees. Then I made a very short video of a starting snowfall. It was magical walking in the Biryulyovo Arboretum in winter, and I hope you take time to walk there with me.
The magical time of the year has arrived, and finally, after two very English (=mild, rainy) winters we’re having a proper Russian one, with snow and temperatures below zero. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby Jingle Bells suit the weather perfectly, even though I cannot yet put my feet up and rest. Instead, may I remind you about the Xmas labels on this blog, which you might want to flick through:
Xmas 2020 is going to tell about the holidays as they are being celebrated in Moscow this year. To put it officially, they are not being celebrated due to pandemics; instead, each of us is getting into festive mood by himself. This looks almost like what two great artists were doing in this video. So, let Xmas 2020 begin with Sinatra and Crosby Jingle Bells!
Roscosmos has initiated the registration of several historic and seminal signs as trademarks “to protect the state corporation from unfair competition”. Poekhali by Yuri Gagarin is to become a trademark – the world-famous word he said on his first flight to space, which means “let’s go”.
As we’re waiting to hear about further details, here’s a song about Yuri Gagarin, Do You Know What Man He Was, sung by Yuri Gulyaev. The video is a collage of Gagarin’s photos.
Nine years ago, when the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first manned Earth orbit, Anton Agarkov paid a visit to the Star City and shared lots of photos that I also featured on my blog. Read the article. To commemorate the same event, Attic Room Productions have made The First Orbit movie that you can watch below. It reconstructs Gagarin’s historic flight and helps to relive his experience – now almost 60 years on.
For the second day running one of Russian radio broadcasters, VestiFM, is discussing a truly vital question:
How to make citizens wear a mask?!
The question sounds crazy because “to make” is to force someone to do something against their will. In the days of “we shan’t be slaves” a mask is called nothing but a “muzzle”. According to this logic, the task is, more or less, to make the Russian citizens wear muzzles.
A MASK: FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
Since March 2020, just as you, I have been reading various opinions of the doctors as to whether a mask protects you, and how well, and if the demand to wear it at all times is really justified, and whether this runs against the Constitution and the civil rights, etc. Likewise, I cannot doubt that the virus exists, and people fall ill, among them – my friends and their relavites.
Add to this numerous publications about the “Illuminati conspiracy”, and I suspect that someone really wants to see all the craziest forecasts come true so we can witness “apocalypse now”. You see, the TV passions are no longer exciting, but a live catastrophe is just the right thing!
You know what I think? I think that the virus, the pandemics, and all related restrictions run a check on the degree of our inner freedom. We may call it Jesuitism and abuse, or look for the culprits. Or we can admit that the most aggravated are those who are in no way responsible for their lives. For them, to wear a mask is not a measure to protect oneself and everyone around; it is a pain because the inner restrictions (which sees no-one but you) are now coupled with the outer.
Believe me, this is one’s personal choice. It has nothing to do with the circumstances, place-and-time, or the “wrong” head of state. This is one’s own fear: to fail, to take responsibility, to make a decision, to choose. It is far easier to find a scapegoat and send it off to the desert, so one can sit back and keep fearing.
You may disagree and say that age is a factor, but let me disagree with you, too. Anxiety has nothing to do with age. It is a consequence of a person’s desire to control – especially if the object is out of one’s sphere of influence, in principle. Today we witness people who are ready to give their all just to prove that the mask is not necessary and can be done without.
A person who takes primary responsibility for their life is doing the following in the present conditions:
Wearing protective equipment;
Avoiding, if possible, busy places;
Looking after oneself, the near and dear, and friends.
And what do some people do instead? Anything, except looking after themselves. Still, if anyone is really awaiting the Doomsday, please remember the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). Five wise virgins took with them the oil for lanterns, the foolish ones didn’t. Then the latter ran out of oil and couldn’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
To look after oneself and wear a mask in busy, crowded places is the task of the wise virgins. Yet Christianity respects one’s free will, so it is only a fine that can make “free citizens” wear masks. Meanwhile, my friend was attacked on the Moscow underground when one such citizen tried to rip the mask off her face.
WELL, WHAT IF ALL THIS IS TRUE?
One final thought, especially for those who love conspiracy theories. Suppose, all this is true: there is a conspiracy, the Masons and the Illuminati, the digital concentration camp, and so on. Suppose even you’ve had an epiphany, and now you are dead certain as to who is guilty of all this mess. To begin with, any such culprit is an illusion; the real masterminds remain behind the curtains, so you shouldn’t be too pleased with your guesses. Secondly, what’s next? Most likely, there’s nothing you can do. Are you planning to keep on living in spite of these terrible people’s ? Then remember that the main goal is to reduce the population of the Earth. Smart, free people are indispensable in the face of a pandemic: it is thanks to their irrepressible love of freedom and concern for others that the goal is achieved much easier.
The English-speaking world usually believes nobody sang in English in the Soviet Union. Well, sometimes there were made films that required an English soundtrack – like The Silence of Dr. Evans, written and directed by Budimir Metalnikov and released in 1973. I’ve not seen it myself, but as I’m going through a revival of my life-long love for Valeriy Obodzinsky, I’ve come across the song The Way, composed by a famous Russian composer and pioneer of electronic music Eduard Artemev. Artemev also composed music to Solaris (1972), The Mirror (1975) and Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky.
I’ve heard many versions of this song, but the first time it was recorded for me by my father on an audio cassette. It was around 1994 or 1995. Mungo Jerry from last week’s Saturday Music was also on that cassette, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that both songs come as a sort of inseparable pair. It is perhaps a kind of song that doesn’t leave much room for an experiment, but the drive and rhythm are such that you want to go to that Yellow River… via a Yellow Brick Road
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