Homunculus Res – Della stessa sostanza dei sogni

Homunculus Res – Della stessa sostanza dei sogni

This fine Italian band, led by guitar player Dario D’Alessandro, make no secret of their love of all things Canterbury, but within these zeros and ones you will find classical references, and Beatles-inspired classy pop, all living comfortably in the breezy, open arrangements. I type this on the laptop while chilling in the grounds of Burwood Towers on this warm sunny morning, the apple trees are in full blossom, and there are bluebells everywhere, having migrated over the years up from the pine trees in the lower field. Alpha male blackbirds in the area are competing with each other to see who can produce the most gloriously complicated melody. Their sound leaks through in the quieter moments and in the gaps between the tracks, and together with the floral ambience make a somewhat perfect combination.

The often wayward Google Translate tells me the album title translates as “Of the same substance of dreams”, which, while it probably is not 100% accurate is near enough to convey the dream-like quality herein.

While one can play a good game of Canterbury Bingo while listening to this, cynicism is soon left in the potting shed as Homunculus Res do more than enough with their obvious influences to make their own wonderful retro sound. I suppose it is a sign of personal preference, as had this been one of the far more common Genesis or Yes influenced records that put me to sleep, suitably dismissive words would have been scribed. Another bonus is the vocals, as the singers actually justify the description. The kooky jauntiness of Se la Mente mentisse with its faux girl group “la la las”, presented in an obviously slightly comedic fashion makes me smile and is a case in point. You should all know by now that poor vocals are a personal bugbear, but this album is at the other end of the scale, thankfully!

Crazily complex arrangements are played with consummate ease by the group, making the multiple time signature changes flow with the ease of a top 40 4/4 pop song. They make it all sound so easy, but just try following the beat on any one of these charmingly baffling ditties.

The instrumentation provided by the multitude of players is highly varied, just look at those credits! Heck, they even have a dedicated guitar player for each channel, thus confirming that the music I listen to is the preserve of geeks. The masterful production by AltrOck sound wizard Paolo Botta is warm, and… that word again… breezy, just the thing for this warm late Spring day. I would say that Della stessa sostanza dei sogni is an improvement on their last waxing Come si diventa ciò si era, which was a more than decent enough effort. Whatever the true translation of the album title, I am sure that the word “dream” is in there somewhere, and this is one reverie I do not want to wake up from.

01. La Cabala (4:00)
02. Faccio una pazzia (2:49)
03. Bianco supremo (3:32)
04. Non sogno più (2:44)
05. Mentre dormi (4:16)
06. Rimedi ancestrali (3:39)
07. Se la mente mentisse (4:16)
08. Il nome di Dio (2:34)
09. Denti cadenti (4:41)
10. Dopamine (3:49)
11. Preludio e distrazioni (2:09)
12. La casa dei sogni (2:54)

Total Time – 41:23

Dario D’Alessandro – Guitar (R), Voice, Keyboards, Bass (track 5)
Davide Di Giovanni – Piano, Organ, Synth, Acoustic Guitar (track 9)
Daniele Di Giovanni – Drums, Percussion
Mauro Turdo – Guitar (L)
Daniele Crisci – Bass
~ With:
Dave Newhouse – Saxophones , Clarinets, Flute (tracks 1,2,5,9 & 12)
Luciano Margorani – Guitar (tracks 5 & 10)
Tommaso Leddi – Mandolin (track 5), Trombone (track 10)
Rocco Lomonaco – Winds Orchestration (track 3), Guitars & Bass (track 11)
Petter Herbertsson – Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Vibraphone, Bass (final part, track 6)
Lorenzo Leddi – Guitar (track 7)
Giuseppe Turdo – Oboe, French Horn, English Horn (tracks 3 & 12)
Giorgio Trombino – Aalto Sax (tracks 1 & 8), Voice (track 5)
Paolo Botta – Synthesizers, Hammond, Wurlitzer (tracks 1,4,5,9 & 10)
Dario Lo Cicero – Flutes (tracks 3 & 7), Chamois Horn (track 12)
Alessandra Oria Bollino – Voice (track 7)
Valerio Mirone – Voice (track 2)
Sara Zerilli – Voice (track 12)
Pivio – Electronics & Samples (track 5)
Giovanni Rotondi – Clarinets (track 11)
Marco Monterosso – Whistle (track 9)

Record Label: AltrOck Productions
Catalogue#: ALT-059
Date of Release: 9th March 2018

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