#06_The Rocktologist review about “Lophophora”

Following a review about stefano Ferrian’s dE-NOIZE “Lophophora”
Thanx so much to Rok and the Rocktologist

Review by: Rok Podgrajšek

Stefano Ferrian is an Italian multi-instrumentalist, involved in several projects in his home country. In 2011, he released a solo album, called Lophophora, one which I recently investigated and one which certainly made a big impression on me.

The occasional screeching guitar note aside, this album does well in presenting difficult avant-garde music with relatively “socially acceptable” patterns. Ferrian tackles the guitar in the same way that Fred Frith or Robert Fripp would, meaning that strange sequences are acceptable and in fact welcome, while at the same time keeping a cool control over the proceedings as well. The guitar and the rest of the music never gets away from him, as he never wanders too far into the obscure, but manages to present quite a multitude of crazy and bizarre ideas. The trick is in the way he does it – totally free while seemingly reserved and under control.

In terms of styles, we get just about the whole range of musical tastes here – from improvised jazz, metal, avant-garde rock, chamber music, world music, ambient,… you name it. The genres all mesh into this nice gooey collage of sounds from all over the musical map, yet keeping in the same spirit.

Ferrian gives us quite a chunk to digest. He tackles so many instruments on this album and manages to sound uniform and convincing on just about all of them. It is clear, however, that the guitar is where he is most at home at and he opens the window wide, so we may witness his skills on both the acoustic and electric. His saxophone skills are also extremely impressive and just like the guitar never stray too far, never being too self-important and annoying. Ferrian also occasionally uses vocals, but it’s more speak-singing than actual singing. If you are aware of the band Devil Doll, you’ll know what I mean.

Lophophora is a strangely beautiful album from an obviously extremely talented musician, one whom I definitely want to hear more from in the future. A thoroughly satisfying listen!

8 out of 10.