AREA — Caution Radiation Area

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AREA - Caution Radiation Area cover
3.15 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1974

Filed under Jazz Related Rock


A1 Cometa Rossa 4:00
A2 ZYG (Crescita Zero) 5:27
A3 Brujo 8:02
B1 MIRage? Mirage! 10:27
B2 Lobotomia 4:23

Total Time: 31:35


Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass, Trombone – Ares Tavolazzi
Electric Guitar, Synthesizer [E.M.S.], Flute – Giampaolo Tofani
Electric Piano, Piano, Bass Clarinet, Percussion, Synthesizer [A.R.P.] – Patrizio Fariselli
Percussion, Drums – Giulio Capiozzo
Voice, Organ, Harpsichord, Steel Drums, Percussion – Demetrio Stratos

About this release

Cramps Records ‎– CRSLP 5102(Italy)

Recorded At – Fono Roma, Milano

Thanks to snobb for the updates


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Members reviews

siLLy puPPy
I guess I have an appetite for the wilder side of music. I absolutely love it when a band has the audacity to go places where no one was expecting. AREA did just that with an even more outlandish second album after an already experimental first.

I think this album is albsolutely brilliant! If you listen from beginning to end you will notice that the music is the perfect representation of either radiation poisoning or a nuclear meltdown (not sure which). The album starts off with kind of a warning siren sound and proceeds to a familiar song structure similar to their first album ARBEIT MACHT FREI with the same Macedonian inspired scale that leads you to believe you're in for a continuation of the debut. However things quickly change gear after the first track and the free-jazz-fusion and avant-prog experiments begin.

The tracks gradually become freer and more experimental as they procede until the very last track simulates complete breakdown of anything remotely melodic and structured representing a total musical meltdown similar to the death of a human cell or a nuclear reactor (still not sure which). It leaves you with a feel of lifelessness where only radioactive isotopes now rule for the rest of eternity.

An interesting concept album that allows the listener to slowly devolve from order to chaos representing the destructive nature of radioactivity. Unbelievable that Demetrio Stratos would go on to die from complications due to aplastic anemia which can be caused by exposure to radiation. I just wish he would've used his vocal skills more on this one.
This was the second album by Area. Jan Patrick Djivas had left the group and joined PFM (L'Isola di Nienti was PFM's first album with Djivas). In comes Ares Tavolazzi, who is a fantastic bassist in his own right. Here Demetrio Stratos only sings on one song, and the rest is him doing the occasional spoken dialog and funny sounds. The band also takes on a less accessible, more experimental direction. "Cometa Rossa" is the only song in which Stratos actually sings, in Greek (he was Greek, after all). There are plenty of great fusion passages that would keep any fusion fans happy. "ZYG" and "Brujo" features some rather avant garde passages with some great jamming fusion passages with synths and electric piano from Patrizio Farisello. I really love how "Brujo" ends with Stratos giving some spoken dialog and some really tripped out synths. "MIRage? Mirage!" is really out there, lots of tripped out passage, screaming voices, but even here they go into fusion territory. "Lobotomia" is simply a bunch of noise off synths.

Perhaps the biggest thing that might turn off some people about Area is their politics as they were openly communist (in fact a hammer and sickle can be seen in the gatefold of Arbeit Macht Frei, their debut). Regardless, I didn't let their politics get in the way of my enjoying their music, that same goes to Robert Wyatt and Henry Cow (who were also communists, the latter also showing a hammer and sickle on their Western Culture album), because Area certainly made some of my all-time favorite fusion/prog albums. Caution: Radiation Area is great, but if you're new, you probably should start with Arbeit Macht Frei or Crac!
Caution Radiation Area sees the band taking on a more experimental approach, incorporating avant-garde experiments into the album. However, these experimentations aren't especially well-integrated into the band's music at this stage. The first three tracks are fusion pieces of a style familiar to anyone who's listened to their first album; the second side is where things really get odd. Mirage consists of arrhythmic moanings and clankings reminiscent of the sort of pieces Art Zoyd would later produce, interspersed with outbreaks of straight-ahead fusion along the lines of the first side. Lobotomia, meanwhile, is simply irritating, a series of squawks and wails produced by a synthesiser which is about as discordant and ugly as Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Worth it for the first side if you're already an Area fan, but be ready to skip the last track.
Sean Trane
Warning!!!! This album is real hazard to anybody's mental health and not just because of the radiations. Area's chronological second album (third in the Archives list) is actually a secret document that the left-wing activists they were destined for the Soviet Block! Forget the titles of the tracks above, as they should read:

1) U235 + Ar + Honey = Pu 240

2) Zyrconium Yaltanium Germanium (Precipita Zero)

3) H + He = Kaboum

4) U238 = Co60 + Cs137 + Fu 2 + n' + n'

5) Lobotomia

If you think I am kidding you, get the album and you will actually hear what nuclear fission and nuclear fusion sound like, neutrons colliding with Vaginium69 . On the second track , torturing of a Co59 isotope whose nucleus is being ripped apart in order to evolve into Absurdium 89! On track 3 , you can hear a Zircon molecule copulating a Germanium electron on the G-string of the double-bass. How about that Strontium 90 isotope leaving an indelibile mark on contact with the snare drum for the fourth track! Then you shall listen to the last track , head out to CCCP and they will pull out this vital stuff!

Only recommended to terrorist , nuclear physicists and babies under two years of age!

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  • Phrank
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