Lorenzo Feliciati’s music is like a breath of fresh air. From the sounds of Electronic Music and Avant Jazz-Rock, he would push the boundaries of taking it as far as he can go. With his various projects and his band, Naked Truth, you never know what to expect from the bassist. One of his most interesting projects that RareNoise Records have released last year, is a conceptual album based on the life of a re-owned fish entitled, Koi.
Based on traditional Chinese folktales, the Koi fish that swam up the yellow river or Huang He and was taunted by the demons would never give up. And their journey to dive into the waterfalls as the gods would watch and celebrate their determinations and transform the fishes into golden dragons. The Japanese identified the fishes and not just for their beautiful charms, but for their hope of motivation with strange states of perception.
Which would exhibit itself or prosperity of all kinds of our lives. The music is this combination between Krautrock legends from Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, David Bowie’s Outside-era and the Berlin trilogy, Miles Davis, Peter Gabriel, and Radiohead’s Kid A. Lorenzo knows what to do when it comes for inspirations and influences to tell the story about the fish.
And with help from Steve Jansen (Japan) on Drums and Percussion, Alessandro Gwis on Piano, Pat Mastelloto on Drums, Angelo Olivieri on Trumpet, and Nicola Alesini on Soprano Sax. Following the Horn sections which include Stan Adams on Tenor Trombone, Pierluigi Bastioli on Bass Trombone, and Duilio Ingrosso on Baritone Sax, Lorenzo knows he not doing it for show, he’s doing it to lend support and knowing that his friends got his back and knowing where he wants them to lead into.
It starts with a haunting string section and acoustic piano set in an oceanic background as we can see the creatures floating in the sea of the opener, Kohaku as it segues between Gwis, Jansen and the Horn section going into an electronic experimental jazz adventure as Lorenzo’s bass takes hold of the sections to delve into a darker tone with New House.
It has a Film-Noir essence in the music as if Bowie could have used the industrial and jazz rock sounds for his sessions of the Outside album and it has a 1940s vibration but with a steampunk scenario. It suddenly moves into the ambient/atmosphere German composers of Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, and Popol Vuh’s Aguirre-era of the deep gaping beauty of Kumonryu and the mournful cry turned crime-drama chase sequence a-la Blade Runner style with an homage to Post-Punk band, Joy Division at the end on Oxbow and ending the atmospheric interlude with Black Kumonryu.
Pat and Nicola come into the circle for the Noir Alley Verdigris. I love how Pat comes in with the twists of King Crimson thrown into the essence and the middle-eastern sounds on the guitar and the haunting bass lines that Lorenzo does before Nicola brings his Soprano Sax as if the coast is very clear as if something had went horribly wrong. Then Pat comes back and it’s a chilling scenario.
Narada sees Lorenzo and Steve delving in Radiohead’s territory as if they were continuing where they left off as a sequel to Kid A. The piano near the very end and the sections with the horn, delves deep into a dancing groove and Lorenzo is playing these amazing notes throughout his bass as Alessandro channels Mike Garson as he creates some of the jazz concerto’s that will send goose bumps.
Lorenzo’s fretless bass creates this moody and sentimental improvisation for the Nardada before the break of the electronic vibrations thanks to Steve’s drumming with his programming to create the futuristic beginnings of the 22nd century with Margata. Lorenzo and Steve delve back into the Klaus Schulze territory for the Irrlicht sessions and then Lorenzo segues with his dooming improve for Kuchibeni.
Then, all aboard for the Fish Bowl. Here, we hear Steve and Lorenzo followed by the horn section going into a Black Sabbath fuzztone approach with a Soft Machine twist and Krokofant followed by Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express into uncharted territories! Lorenzo is nailing down the strings as Steve follows him wherever he his fingers land on the frets as the two of them are all around in this big gigantic circle with the dancing twist on what the Koi is about to become.
The closing title track is now the fish becoming the dragon itself. Here, Alessandro takes over on his piano and creating this style of Philip Glass and Terry Riley as we see the golden dragon flying into the air and starting a new life to see where it will go and where the new chapter will await for it.
Lorenzo Felicati’s Koi is one of the most chilling, heart pounding, and scariest albums I’ve ever listened to. It combines everything between Electronic Rock, Krautrock, Avant-Garde, Jazz, and Classical Music that will give listeners a jaw-dropping what just happened momentum. It’s not for the faint of heart and not an easy album to listen to, but Lorenzo and his crew mates, did one hell of a job.