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Band: DFA

CD Title: “Kaleidoscope”

Label: Moonjune Records

Label Website: www.moonjune.com

Release Date: 2007

Band Website: http://digilander.libero.it/dfa

 

In their short history, Italy’s DFA have made quite a reputation for themselves becoming almost a cult classic. Their style is one that borrows from the classic Italian symphonic style and incorporates a healthy dose of jazz-fusion into the mix. Their first CD Lavori In Corso was released in 1997 and was selected as one of the top releases for that year by Keyboard magazine. In 1999 they released a follow-up entitled Duty Free Area which developed their trademark style even further. Both these releases have now been remastered and released as a double CD for fans old and new. 

 

Many of you are probably well acquainted with DFA’s busy, jazz-influenced progressive rock style. DFA consists of Luca Baldassari (bass), Silvio Minella (guitar), Alberto De Grandis (drums) and Alberto Bonomi (keyboards). The compositions take the traditional approach which places the guitar and keyboards out front trading off solo spots while the bass and drums provide the rhythm in the background propelling each piece forward. Listening to “Escher” (10:51) off their second CD says it all with the piece starting out in a softer style, trading licks back and forth while the song builds in intensity to climactic finish. In fact these guys “smoke!”

 

DFA’s music can be divided into two distinct styles; tracks like “Caleidoscopio” (9:38) and “La Via” (16:22) tend to be more slow-ish and spacey with the melody captured by the vocals while the band sets up a slow groove with each instrument taking a short solo, eventually building in intensity to a big finish, while other tracks like “Trip on Metro” (6:38) start out busy and keep building to a blinding finish, a cacophony of sound.

 

The compositions are a mix of instrumentals and vocals with pieces as long as 16-minutes and as short as 4-minutes. Most of their music is composed in the 7-10 minute range allowing them time to take their music in several directions. Even the pieces that have vocals still tend to place more emphasis on their instrumental prowess. Now this is an important point because even while DFA incorporate a healthy amount jazz or fusion in their music it’s never at the expense of an overall symphonic feel. Their music is rich in texture creating a lush landscape.

 

If you happen to unfamiliar with DFA, this is your lucky day! With the re-release of their first two studio albums in this remastered set you have the chance to experience this group with enhanced sonic clarity. If you already have these releases Kaleidoscope comes with 3-live bonus tracks recorded in Italy. This is a great release for both fusion and symphonic prog fans everywhere as it presents the best of both styles equally well. DFA are one of those bands everyone will enjoy having in the collection.

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