Calomito – Cane Di Schiena

Ever since I first started listening to this band by Italian instrumental act Calomito, I frnkly have not been able to get enough of it. Over the past while, I have been hearing recent albums from the year that have attempted to pursue prog rock through an instrumental outlet. This seems like a great idea on paper- after all, who wants pesky vocals in the way of the instruments?- but all too often, the so-called ‘virtuosic’ musicianship, paired with a focus on instrumental complexity or showmanship typically results in music that manages to be both impressive and dreadfully boring. Calomito juice their soundw ith something that is largely missing from instrumental prog that quite a few bands could do with; a sense of surprise in their music. Throughout ‘Cane Di Schiena’, Calomito dazzles with a wide variety of different sounds, tones, and niches, yet keeps their expression coherent and purposeful. I would be lying if I said this wasn’t one of the best prog albums of the year.

Calomito have been called an avant-prog act, and this might ring true in their music. There is a vibrant sense of ‘weirdness’ surrounding some of these ideas, and the generally eclectic approach that Calomito takes only serves to fuel this sense of adventure that the band enjoys throughout the music. It also doesn’t hurt that their music somewhat reminds me of my favourite avant-garde act, Kayo Dot; at least as far as their modern use of violins and atmospheric guitars are concerned. For anyone who shares a fanhood of Kayo Dot, I suggest checking out the title track of this album. Like most of the great instrumental prog works, there is a very multi-faceted sound going on here, ranging from the brooding expressions of the title track, to downright avant-silliness with ‘Fungo’, which goes as far as to sample generic cartoon sounds.

Instead of sporting their skills in the open, there is the real sense that Calomito focuses on creating magical moments in unison, rather than trying to let one, o two of the musicians do the work. I was left in a rare case where even after a few listens, I could identify and distinguish the mood of each track from the other. Calomito’s use of texture in their music is gorgeous, and emotion pours through every open gap. This is certain an album that hits the emotion with plenty of gorgeous moments, be it an atmospheric build-up, a jazzy hook, or something plain weird and fun- a cowboy jig, perhaps? My mind is perhaps even more impressed by all of this, with the group playing some deceptively complex passages tightly and coherently. I have not said this about a new album in a while, but Calomito’s ‘Cane Di Schiena’ is a masterpiece of prog. Time will tell if this album gets the recognition it deserves.


1. Bella Lee (3:34)
2. Parliamone (5:43)
3. Infraditi (7:36)
4. Fungo (6:42)
5 Cane Di Schiena (6:32)
6. Pappa Irreale (2:27)
7. Antenna (7:59)
8. Klez (4:16)
9. Max Dembo (8:47)


* Tommaso Rolando – acoustic bass (5,8,9), el bass, acoustic guitar (4), synth. (2-5, 7, 9), sampler (2,4), trumpet (9)
* Filippo Cantarella – violin, viola (3-7, 9)
* Marco Ravera – electric guitar, acoustic guitar (6), synth (3,9)
* Nicola Magri – drums
* Cosimo Francavilla – soprano saxophone (2)
* Nando Magni – trombone
* Antonio Carletti – vocals (7)


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