Review – SDANG! – La malinconia delle fate – by Progradar



“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Music, we think, transcends mere language. A song sung in a tongue not our own can still mean as much whether you understand the words or not, in fact it can add something to the enjoyment due to the mystery of its meaning.

However, when it comes to instrumental music, it is all written in the same language….or is it?

I’m not saying that I’m a complete expert but I do like  a lot of instrumental music and, to my ears, you can sometimes tell where the artists call home. Maybe it’s just a knack or maybe there is something to be said for each country or region having its own signature iconic sound?

Well, as soon as I heard the first notes of SDANG!’s second release (and first full-length offering) ‘La malinconia delle fate’ I had this high energy duo pegged as Italian and found that I was subsequently, correct in my assumption.


What gave the game away? The irrepressible, slightly madcap and frenetic playing by these two accomplished musicians resonated with me in a way I had felt before, usually when delivered by Italian musicians.

‘La malinconia delle fate’ is a record full of dreamy atmospheres, explosive dynamics and a concentrated energy that defies easy classification. It is a happy island of memories and hopes and of things getting hectic and yet, is full of sentimental complicity.

Nicola Panteghini (guitars) and Alessandro Pedretti (drums) are musicians who were involved in the national music scene for a long time. Sharing many thoughts and a common love of music, they have returned to the musical background of their youth: grunge, heavy metal, stoner rock, prog, post rock and math rock.

Working on their own original compositions, they released the debut EP ‘Il giorno delle altalene’ in April 2014 and, from October 2015, have been working with Marco Franzoni (Bluefemme Studio) on the much anticipated follow up.

It is not a question of gender, label, fashion or style, it is a matter of sensations, feelings and emotions. SDANG! want to tell stories through their music.


‘La malinconia delle fate’ is thirty-six minutes of intense instrumental music that demands your attention throughout. The extended soundscape that these musicians create is quite remarkable considering that there are only two of them.

Delving into the six tracks, opener Primo Giorno Di Scuola has a subdued opening, lulling you into a false sense of security before the atmosphere builds and then these two musicians create a cacophonic wall of noise that just blows you backwards. Edgy, funky and full of angst, you ride along on wave of chaotic good humour, not caring where you will end up next. Alessandro’s drumming has an intensity that almost gives it a life of its own and Nicola seems to be able to sound like a whole band or one calming influence, seemingly at will. Full of laid back lulls and energetic turbulent highs, it is a instrumental thrill ride of immense proportions. Get your breath back and have a rest for a while as the elegant opening tones of Martina take over the narrative in your mind. Once again, these stylish refrains are brutally cast aside by the interjections of a monstrous wall of sound created by the crushing riffs of Nicola’s guitar and the colossal drum beat that Alessandro creates. The lovely, peaceful sections have a wistful note to them, calm and collected, a complete juxtapose to the deranged power that this duo can unleash and it is an addictive interplay.

Stevie Ray Vaughan met Eddie Van Halen and they recruited John Bonham on the kit, that’s the immediate thought that goes through my mind at the start of Astronomica with its 70’s blues-infused riffing and thunderous drumming. A real wild musical ride of prodigious proportions that is brought bang up to date by the spaced out, psychedelic interludes that are dropped in throughout. A real mind-bending track that takes you up some blind alleys before laughing in your face and buggering off to leave you utterly bemused at your predicament. Scrivimi Una Lettera Tra 9 Anni begins with low key staccato riff, edgy, tense and nervous that leaves you on the edge of your seat. It then opens up into a real bluesy early Led Zeppelin influenced piece of music where the booming guitars and thunderous drums create a massive musical mosaic before seamlessly transforming into something that could have come from the mind of Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. A musical journey through differing sonic landscapes with edgy riffs, extended guitar runs and frenetic drumming that takes no prisoners yet offers a deeply involving musical experience.

Buckle up, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal. To my ears, 100 Metri Al Traguardo is a shameless homage to the guitar greats. Vai and Satriani would be happily tapping their feet to the hard rock riffs while simultaneously reaching for the copyright infringement rule book. I jest really, this is a fun filled, no holds barred jaunt that powers along at a fair lick. There is a segue into a sombre, unhurried section that seems to be slightly at odds with the convivial feel of before but it eventually comes together in your mind and makes for a rather impressive track as it plays out. So we come to the close of the album and all too soon a ending it is too. The final, and title, track La Malinconia Delle Fate begins in an unhurried, pensive manner before someone lights the blue touch paper and Nicola’s guitar signals the off with a hard-edged and repetitive riff, ably backed by the blur of Alessandro’s drum sticks as they thrash the skins. There is a skittish, agitated feel to the music, interrupted by the occasional calm moments of candour and clarity. Its is the forceful and dynamic parts of the song that really grab you and demand your compliance that stand out for me though. A driving force of nature that brooks no argument and lays waste to all before it before its inexorable advance. As this compelling piece of music comes to a close it is the imposing power of this commanding duo that is left burnt into your psyche.

An aurally stimulating release that will impress all who hear it, ‘La malinconia delle fate’ is stimulating, thought provoking and, well, just damn good fun. You will struggle to hear a better thirty-six minutes of purely instrumental music this year.

On 2nd May 2016 “La Malinconia delle Fate” LP will be released by following labels: Acid Cosmonaut, La Fornace Dischi, Dreaminggorilla, Taxi Driver Records and Totem Schwan.

Review – Endless Tapes – Brilliant Waves – by Progradar


I’ve always been a sucker for great progressive instrumental album and a fan of great bass playing so, when I heard about Endless Tapes’ first full-length release ‘Brilliant Waves’, I knew there was a good chance I was going to be seriously interested.

I just love the way that instrumental music leaves your own imagination to fill in where vocals would have before. That’s not to say that these aren’t complete releases in the first place that are missing something, no, it just leaves my imagination free to interpret what the musicians have presented before me.

Endless Tapes is a collaboration between bassist and composer Colin Edwin (PorcupineTree/Metallic Taste of Blood/Twinscapes/O.R.k etc) and drummer/multi instrumentalist Alessandro “Petrol” Pedretti.

Setting out their plan for an immersive and engaging album, early 2014 saw Endless Tapes “road test” their nascent material over a series of well received live dates in Italy with the duo expanded to a full live four piece band in conjunction with stunning visualsby video artist Danilo Di Prizio.

Consequently debut album Brilliant Waves, expands on their previously released eponymous EP, showcasing a kaleidoscopic collection of instrumentals inspired by the patterns in commonplace urban geometry and the recurring, cyclic themes in seemingly ordinary everyday surroundings.

tape deck

Opener and title track Brilliant Waves is a delightfully ethereal track that trips along without a care in the world. The gentle tinkle of the somewhat randomly placed piano notes leaves a feeling of intelligent, yet alien, curiosity in your mind. Its unhurried grace and calm demeanour let the subtle tension build gradually, yet the purity and innocence leave you in state of harmonious grace. Terminal 1 is more direct and agitated from the first note, the strident bass and discordant drums leaving you slightly on edge. It has a science fiction feel to the grating vocal and guitar note and keeps you in a slightly nervous frame of mind.

Another reflective and insightful introduction opens up Il Guardiano, the delicately strummed acoustic guitar leads your mind on a serene journey, the hushed vocal adding an idyllic feel. An alien, astringent note roughly pushes everything aside as it takes on a denser, more muscular feel. A sinister note makes your skin crawl in a deliciously creepy way. Hypnotic and mesmerising it powers on to a captivating conclusion. In keeping with the track title, Saturn has a real out of this world tone to it. The repeated guitar note and relatively off-cadenced anodyne drumbeat keep in a state of flux. A slightly uneasy, otherworldly vibe runs throughout, lulling you into a perceived state of mind. On the surface it is soporifically alluring but, underneath, some thing strange and incongruous lurks.


Bass Collapse is deep, complex and transcendental. The bass feels like it has hidden layers and labyrinthine depths to it with its ponderous, unhurried delivery. The notes seem to lay heavy on your mind, elaborate and compounded. It is not a track for the faint of heart, there is no light in its delivery, it is dark and convoluted and all the better for it. Immersive, slightly dissonant and a tad antagonistic, Possible Mission is another track that feels like it has hidden depths, there is some feeling of density to the music. Serious and sombre with an intelligence deep at its core, it appeals to the contemplative and thoughtful among music lovers and gives more with each repeated listen.

Private begins in an introspective fashion, mood music with a cinematic depth. It inspires a reflective and thoughtful state of mind, one in which you may be pondering the nature of the whole universe, such is the crucial and weighty tone. Stylish bass and drums with a spaced out synth note leave a melancholy air touched with sentiment and warmth. The closing track on the album Last Days invokes a feel of wistful yearning yet with an uneasy tone just below the surface. Trading uncertainty and a slight note of pessimism with optimistic guitar notes, it leaves a reflective trail across your soul. I found myself thinking of far eastern shores, the warm sun falling on my body but knowing that, soon, I would have to leave it all behind, the sad side of nostalgic memories.

An extremely well constructed and immersive soundscape that requires your full concentration to enjoy it to the full. It is an album that has hidden depths and you discover something new every time you listen to it.

Released 15th January 2016

Buy ‘Brilliant Waves’ from Burning Shed