乐评：Universal Totem Orchestra《Mathematical Mother》
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Mathematical Mother, by UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRAuniversaltotemorchestra.bandcamp.com
Universal Totem Orchestra是一支来自意大利的Zeuhl乐队，不过其实是另一支乐队RUNAWAY TOTEM的分支项目，不过显然Universal Totem Orchestra取得了更大的成功。自1999年来发布了三张极高质量的专辑，尽管熊猫哥哥我对Zeuhl和Magma没有太大的感觉，但依然能受到这三张专辑的强大之处，我喜欢的是第一张Rituale Alieno和最近的第三张Mathematical Mother，当然第二张The Magus也很好。其中第三张尤其受到评论家的好评，可以说在Zeuhl领域内知名度极高，感兴趣的可以一听！
Universal Totem Orchestra is a very risky musical proposal, full of quality, details and technique, whose originality and concept are really impressive. But, which kind of music does Universal Totem Orchestra play? It's really very difficult to explain. What I can tell you is that their music is an explosive mixture of sounds with modern rock camera, krautrock elements, psychedelic space rock influences, the power and crudeness of hard rock, opera and folk touches, and influences from the most avant-garde Magma. The music presents also influences from jazz, rock and medieval music.
Universal Totem Orchestra是一个极具冒险精神的音乐组合，完全是高质量的、细节丰富而技术娴熟，他们的创造力和概念性都真的令人印象深刻。但，Universal Totem Orchestra到底在玩那种音乐？这实在很难解释。我只能告诉你的是他们的音乐摇滚电影、krautrock元素、迷幻太空摇滚和力量硬摇滚、歌剧和民谣感觉，以及来自先锋乐队Magma的影响的爆炸性混合物。音乐当然也显示出爵士、摇滚和中世纪音乐的影响。
Probably, the most unique attribute of this band are the vocals performed by Ana Torres Fraile and various male performers. You will hear choirs, operatic, tenor and soprano, and traditional male vocals, all very well done. There is so much happening instrumentally that the listener really needs to pay attention. This wouldn't be good background music as it's one of those albums that demand your full attention. Odd time signatures and sudden stops and starts, allowing that for different movements to take place, are the norm, not the exception. It's clear these musicians know how to play and a tremendous amount of work has gone into this piece of music. After all, there aren't many albums just short of 80 minutes long. So, you know you are getting your money's back. Sometimes, with albums this long, the music gets tiresome and boredom starts to set in prematurely. But, that isn't the case on here. I never got the sense they made a long album just for the sake of it. All of the pieces here fit the musical puzzle and nothing seems excessive or irrelevant. What makes this more rewarding are some of nice melodies provided by piano, guitar and saxophone.
也许这个乐队最独一无二的特质在于Ana Torres Fraile的歌唱以及众多男声了。你会听到合唱、歌剧、男高音和女高音以及传统的男声，都演绎得很好。有这么多在发声的乐器演奏，听众真的要集中注意力。它不会是舒适的背景音乐，而是一种需要你全神贯注去听的专辑。古怪的时间节拍、突然的停顿和开始、允许不同的音乐演奏发生，这些事情不是例外，而是常规。很显然，这些音乐家们知道如何演奏，并且在这部音乐作品中投入了大量的工作。毕竟，并没有许多有80分钟之长的专辑（此专是53分钟，所以？）。所以你知道你付出的钱很值得。有时候专辑太长了，音乐变得无聊，甚至在一开始就变得无聊。但没有发生在这张中。我甚至在听的时候没有发现他们制作了如此长的专辑。所有的部分都符合音乐的主题，没有任何东西看起来多余或者不相干。许多由钢琴、吉他和萨克斯提供的优美旋律让它值得聆听。
'Mathematical Mother' is an album influenced by several musical styles by a truly quixotic Italian band. We can hear soaring classical vocals, the perfect piano accompaniment, the amazing bass, or the move between jazz, fusion, funk, classical, Arabian and progressive styles. I can see why they're considered a zeuhl band due to some bombastic and hallucinating influences from Magma, such as the arrangements hover from bombastic Wagnerian explosions to jazzier climes, again a Kobaian characteristic. But, in reality only Magma sounds like Magma. I can also see occasional forays into Arabic, Gothic and Gregorian chants. It seems that 'Mathematical Mother' is Universal Totem Orchestra's most successful album and represents a union of zeuhl, symphonic, and other progressive rock styles, yet, creating a thoroughly original sound which any fan of avant-prog will find a joy to digest. It just blows me away to think of the time and talent that was put into this album. Finally, the instrumental arrangements are absolutely perfect. This is an album with a very Italian strong feeling. And as almost we know there is amount infinity of amazing Italian prog rock albums.
《Mathematical Mother》是一张受到诸多音乐流派影响的专辑，制作它的是意大利乐队中的唐吉珂德。我们可以听到飙升的古典化人声、完美的钢琴伴奏、惊人的贝司以及在爵士、即兴、放克、古典乐、Alabama和前卫音乐模式之间的切换。我能看出他们为何被称为是一支zeuhl乐队，因为他们具有来自Magma的一些特点：夸夸其谈、使人产生幻觉。比如从瓦格纳式的爆炸性音乐到爵士感觉的安排，并再度具有Kobaian（？）的特色。但，现实中只有Magma的声音像Magma。我也可以看到偶然的对于阿拉伯、凯尔特和格利高利圣咏的尝试。似乎《Mathematical Mother》是Universal Totem Orchestra最成功的唱片，它代表了zeuhl、交响以及其他前卫摇滚流派的融合。当然，他们创造了一个完全独创的声音，可以让先锋前卫乐迷们愉快地消化。它的确让我把时间和精力投入到这张唱片里。最后，器乐的安排也绝对是完美的。这是一张有强烈意大利感觉的专辑，也几乎可以称得上是我们所知的无数令人及你管谈的意大利前摇的精粹集合。
'Mathematical Mother' needs a careful and gradual metabolization before being grabbed and appreciated. Over fifty minutes of refined and articulated evolutions characterized by counter-tempos and overlaps, epic veins and oriental warps that contain echoes of some of the best Italian prog bands. Starting from the fourteen minutes of the 'Terra Cava' opener, the talents of Torres Fraile stand out, as a vocalist with a soprano extension and an emphatic theatrical verve, a true narrating soul of the entire staging. The technique of the execution and inspiration distinguish the entire line up all over the album. Stylistically, sought after 'Mathematical Mother', undoubtedly stands among the most valid albums of the recent wave made in Italy linked to the jazz-rock prog line, confirming all the excellent impressions that the Trentino orchestra has so far awakened. So, stick to this title and avoid letting it go unnoticed. This kind of prog albums doesn't happen every day. However, 'Mathematical Mother' needs a careful and gradual metabolization before being grabbed and appreciated. What are my favorite tracks? I don't can say that. The entire album is just amazing. It supplanted all my expectations. 'Mathematical Mother' mined blow my mind with a symphonic Italian flavored Zeuhl.
《Mathematical Mother》在播放和欣赏时需要一个仔细和心绪渐进的心态。超过五十分钟的精心制作的、连贯而进化的音乐，有许多重复和逆向的成分，史诗感以及东方感，包括最好的意大利乐队的影响。从14分钟的'Terra Cava'开场，Torres Fraile的天才脱颖而出，她的声音有延展的高音以及显著的戏剧化气势，是整个表演的真正叙述部分的灵魂。演奏的技术以及灵感贯穿了整个专辑。在风格上，《Mathematical Mother》受到追捧，毫无疑问，它是意大利最近在意大利发行的与爵士摇滚音乐相关的最有意义的专辑之一，唤醒了我们所有对Trentino orchestra的伟大的印象。所以，坚持把歌曲听下去，以及不要丧失注意力。这种前摇唱片不会每天都发行。然而，《Mathematical Mother》在播放和欣赏时需要一个仔细和心绪渐进的心态（奇怪，这句话重复了）。我最喜欢的曲目是很么？我不能说。整张专辑实在是太棒了，它实现了我所有的期望。《Mathematical Mother》用交响意大利风味的Zeuhl集中了我的灵魂！
Conclusion: Since the first minute I listened to 'Mathematical Mother', I was deeply impressed by it. Despite it suffers so many and different musical influences, it remains for me a truly impressive work. And curiously, they continue the old and great Italian tradition of using Italian lyrics. The album is characterized as Zeuhl, a genre on which I'm not very well familiarized. But, I can also see on it, influences of Gothic music, Gentle Giant, Dead Can Dance, and of course of the classical music, especially from the bombastic sound of the classic Wagnerian operas. The music is amazing and with great complexity. We may say this is an example of how the modern prog rock music must sound. There aren't many new prog albums that can impress me most than this one. Universal Totem Orchestra must be commended for making an album of such magnitude and scope. While this will not appeal to everyone, those of you who like to take musical adventures outside of the norm, would do well do give this a shot. I found this to be a fascinating album and a truly enjoyable listen to. It's really an amazing album. It's highly recommended for all lovers of sophisticated prog rock.
结论：打从听《Mathematical Mother》的第一分钟起，我就对它印象深刻。尽管它受到如此多不同的音乐的影响，但它仍然是真正给我印象深刻的作品。奇怪的是，他们延续了古老而伟大的意大利前摇传统，继续用意大利的歌词。专辑的特征是Zeuhl，这是一种我不太熟悉的流派。但，我也可以看到它受到凯尔特音乐、Gentle Giant、Dead Can Dance（中世纪风、黑暗民谣）、以及当然的古典音乐的影响，尤其是经典的瓦格纳歌剧其夸张的声音。音乐是神奇的、有伟大的复杂性的。我们可以说这是一个为何现代前摇值得聆听的例子。没有许多的新前摇专辑可以比它更打动我的了。Universal Totem Orchestra必须因为制作这样一张如此重要的唱片而被赞扬。虽然它不会对每个人都有吸引力，而那些喜欢音乐旅程超脱常规的人会尽量尝试下听它的。我发现这是一张令人着迷的专辑，我听得真的很愉快。它真的是惊人的专辑。对所有喜爱高度复杂的前卫摇滚的粉丝们高度推荐！