Fredo Viola

“The Turn”

BEC5772438 scanZoom inLabelBecause Music
Cat. No.BEC5772438
FormatEXCL1CD
Orders fromWed, 13 Feb 2008
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Review

Fredo Viola’s sublime music grew from an inspired marriage between 21st century technology and the oldest of musical instruments, the human voice. His songs have an innocent, romantic, almost mystical quality that seeks out the magical in the everyday. They feel like dream soundscapes, alien but strangely beautiful. Fredo’s debut album ‘The Turn’ combines traces of singer-songwriter pop, ambient electronica, classical, religious hymns and even mediaeval folk ballads. He cites a broad range of inspirations including Harry Nilsson, Bartok, Kate Bush, Bach, Belle and Sebastian, Shostakovich, Boards of Canada, Stravinsky, Odetta and Alfred Schnittke. But his mesmerising music clearly has a strong and singular voice that is entirely his own. Many tracks on The Turn feature abstract vocals rather than recognisable words, a rich tradition that Fredo shares with Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins, early REM and other left-field innovators. Clearly defined lyrics, he explains, can be too confining whereas music is “ambiguous, exciting, terrifying, heart-breaking, joyous.” The words are far less important than the deeper emotions beneath. ‘The Turn’ is certainly a highly emotional album full of sunshine and sorrow, playful humour and sombre beauty. The euphoric rush of childhood memories on ‘Robinson Crusoe’ has the grainy, flickering quality of old Super-8 home movies. The pulsing techno-folk ditty ‘Friendship Is’ conjurs up a similar nursery-rhyme feel, with Fredo’s intertwined harmonies bouncing off an electronically manipulated version of his voice. Meanwhile, ‘Red States’ is a breezy parable of love and war carried aloft on warm currents of Beatle-ish melody. The more experimental tracks on ‘The Turn’ inhabit the same free-floating realm as Radiohead or Sigur Ros at their most adventurous. A creamy swirl of spectral voices drifting through an electrical storm of science-fiction sound effects, ‘K Thru 6′ could almost be a lost track from ‘In Rainbows’. On ‘Death of a Son’, the

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