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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Andrea Scala - Coming Back, Leaving Again

Andrea Scala is an Italian born, Toronto based drummer and composer that has unleashed his debut album this year on the Shifting Paradigm label entitled Coming Back, Leaving Again. This was a big challenge for me to listen to his new album from start to finish. It was like walking into this other room and seeing what Andrea is going to do next.

I had no idea on what to expect as I was putting my earphones on, but I was up for that kind of challenge with Andrea’s debut. It’s electronic, fusion, progressive, and very whirlpoolish. Everything on this album is very much like the ultimate trip for Scala to push the envelope even further.

While this is my first time discovering the Shifting Paradigm label, some of the centerpieces that are on here, would shivers down your spine to see and hear what Andrea would think of next. There are moments of Avant-Garde, Soul, Electronic, Classical, and Atmospheric noises to make the cycling flower come to life.

Towards Oxygen sounds like the swirling guitar that is in a hay-wiring effect that Manilo Maresca channels the midsection sequence of Mark Mothersbaugh’s guitar on Devo’s Too Much Paranoias. Plus diving into the droning effects between Eno, Cluster, Stockhausen, and the Zeit-era of Tangerine Dream.

With Out Here, Scala goes into this Trip-Hop effect as he walks into these big gigantic steps with Tarenzi’s intensive piano exercise that goes from this cliffhanger effect into a Thelonious Monk approach. He along with Puglisi’s double bass, walk into this garden of dream-like beauty that has been unleashed to its own amazement.

Overnight Walk sees Nicola Costa’s guitar carrying this bluesy effect by channeling some of the early Floyd sounds while Raponi’s Wurlitzer soars into this R&B/Soulful twist with Liberti & Santodonato’s horn sections to take us into a midnight dance with some incredible grooves to give us a chance to see the sun in all of its glory. Cracked at first sounds like these complex challenges with some odd time textures thanks to Mareca’s guitar lines going up and down the rabbit hole.

It becomes this spiraling staircase into the wacky worlds of Mr. Bungle, Frank Zappa, and Kerry Minnear’s keyboard work from Gentle Giant. Now for me, Andrea Scala’s debut album is like a powder keg that is ready to explode. And he’s not backing down without a fight. He along with his team mates have worked well together to bring this album to life. So for me, I might peak my interest with not just with Scala’s work but the label itself to see what ideas they might have in store for me.