Something like Battiato's Fetus, but not Foetus.
March 14, 2010 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for albums along the lines of Franco Battiato's Fetus. Any suggestions on recordings, readings, music scenes?

I love the collage feel of the album, the instruments used, the songwriting and actual sound of the album in general. I'm looking for prog/psych albums of the 70s, but nothing in the prog vein with 8 minute solos (yes, I like Yes and King Crimson, but I'm looking for more avant garde poppish tunes than technical prowess wankery).

Here's where it gets tricky. I know quite a bit about:
* Tropicalia and its influence on Brazilian music.
* American psych.
* Post-punk and industrial.
* Newer stuff like Battles.
* UK psych, especially the proggy portions of the Canterbury scene.
* Krautrock.
* Fela
* Thomas Mapfumo

I know something less about, but like:
* Goblin
* Morricone
* Vangelis/Aphrodite's Child

I have a feeling that the Italian/Greek connection is what I'm looking for right now.

So, given the caveats (and sorry about all that, I know this is a bit specific and a bit of a long shot), is there a place I should start to find out more? Other scenes I should check out? Other time periods?
posted by sleepy pete to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My favourite Battiato is La convenzione
posted by dydecker at 1:55 PM on March 14, 2010

There was a HUGE prog scene in Italy in the '70s, which put even the Canturbury scene to shame. It tends to be more 'epic' than 'wanky.' I listed a bunch of stuff in an old thread; you can pick out the Italian names from that list. But, since that's not quite what you're after...

French guys like Jean Michel Jarre (the French Vangelis) and Jean-Claude Vannier (great proggy stuff) and Jacno (slow minimalist krautrock) are worth hearing.

Minimal synth in general.

Final Fantasy.

posted by Sys Rq at 2:29 PM on March 14, 2010

The synth work here — it's the only sample I've been able to find online from that album — reminds me of some of Brian Eno's poppier stuff from the seventies: Saint Elmo's Fire, f'rinstance. And besides, if you're into avant garde, prog/psych pop music, you need to be listening to Eno anyway. (Apologies for the redundant answer if you already are.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:45 PM on March 14, 2010

Seconding Vannier- L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches is absolutely essential. Maybe Michel Polnareff's album (confusingly) titled Polnareff's as well, though it's more conventionally poppy and less collage/musique concrete than Vannier. Also try a lesser-known Serge Gainsbourg album, L'Homme a Tete de Chou- another narrative concept album like Histoire de Melody Nelson but much looser and weirder.

Other stuff that comes to mind:
Pierre Henry's Messe pour les Tempes Present. Check out the track "Psyché Rock"; if you're a Futurama fan you'll definitely find it familiar.
The work of Jean-Pierre Massiera- check out the recent comp on Finders Keepers, the slightly harder to get Psyochses Freakoid comp (Psychoses Discoid is probably not what you're looking for) and Finders Keepers' upcoming reissue of his Horrific Child LP. FK and their associated B-Music group of labels put out a lot of music that might fit the bill.
Brainticket's album Cottonwoodhill. Proggy krautrock.

...And I appear to have run out. I'm sure I've got more, I'd just need to flip through my records. I'm awful at doing this off the top of my head.
posted by Merzbau at 8:58 PM on March 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Great answers so far. Thanks for all the French artists and the Italian list, Merzbau and Sys Rq. And yes, nebula, I've listened to quite a bit of Eno, but thanks.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:01 PM on March 14, 2010


that's a fantastic album and one I was quite enamoured with when I first heard it. I wish there were other albums that hit me like that one, but I haven't heard them. Most of the Italian prog stuff is just too ELP/Yes/Crimson apeing for me. I too am into just about everything listed in the original post.

I will say the 'electric storm' album from white noise is probably in the ballpark, but that's another one of a kind record.
posted by tremspeed at 5:07 AM on March 15, 2010

Bruce haack is another one, I'd have to imagine you've heard his stuff though.
posted by tremspeed at 5:10 AM on March 15, 2010

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