Fireworks

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Alberto Rigoni - 'Bassorama' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/39/54/0e/Alberto-Rigoni-Bassorama-87-1486237041.jpg Hot

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For those of a non-instrumental persuasion, 'Bassorama' isn't going to be an easy sell.

After revealing myself as a bassist in this section of the last issue*, our canny Reviews Editor proffered this album my way, with the proposal of "something different". Different is good when you're reviewing upwards of say thirty releases a year, and so I'll absolutely take a (largely) instrumental bass album over a not-so-super "super-group" project any day; yes, certain labels, I mean you!

'Bass Guy', the opening number on this, Alberto Rigoni's sixth solo album, fails to endear itself to these ears, due to the unnecessary repetitive chorus of "I'm a bass guy", alongside the irritating Frank Zappa-esque addition of a girl's (spoken) voice running throughout. Happily, the title track is simply outstanding, as it immediately establishes a powerful melodic spine which Rigoni ventures in and out of, changing tempo and timbre, without ever losing sight of the piece's propulsive signature lick. 'Mad Tex', also featuring bassist and Joe Satriani collaborator Stuart Hamm, fails to match the impact of the previous standout number, though it's still an engagingly sinister, dust-imbued affair – think a greasy, pre-'Eliminator' (ZZ Top) instrumental that charts a clandestine, cross-border bootleg liquor run.

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'Doctor Who' isn't, were you not unreasonably wondering, a rumbling remake of Tom Baker's get-behind-the-sofa warning theme, but rather a smooth, wine-bar friendly slice of bass-centric ambience, whilst 'The Alien' is enhanced by Federico Solazzo's prominent keys, on what is a more contemplative, moody piece than its title would suggest. 'Funk Me Fender' earns its nomination for the second best track of the album thanks to its playful, up-tempo vibe.

For those of a non-instrumental persuasion, 'Bassorama' isn't going to be an easy sell (though I really do suggest you check out the storming title-track), and I must confess that, in hoping to hear some cinematic, "night-drive" bass-driven compositions, it's inadvertently inspired my own musical ambitions.

Caesar Barton


(* Fireworks Magazine #75)

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