After 25 years of music composition and performing I've thought that was time to dedicate an album to the artist that influences so much my style and the way I play music: Tony Banks. This is not a cover album, and for someone it's not even an album linked with Tony style and music. But every song has something of Tony inside. It's up to you to discover what, if you want.
released July 15, 2014
Composed, arranged, executed, recorded and mixed by Inner Prospekt, July 2014.
Inner Prospekt is a sensational solo project by Mad Crayon's keyboard master Alessandro di Benedetti , in a style that is more electronic oriented that Italian prog (RPI) but offers up some incredibly interesting tracks that are modern, fresh and yet infused with a vast amount of soling in a style that is reminiscent of , yes, you guessed it, Tony Banks! In fact, Inner Prospekt sounds a lot like cross between electronic composers William Orbit, Richard Kirk and Banco di Gaia with the added component of frequent piano, organ and synthesizer soloing in the style of the venerable Genesis maestro. Many people I introduce to prog tell me that 'it sounds like a soundtrack' which is not exactly a false claim but when they also say 'it sounds like video-game music', I cannot help but smile! The pieces here are all instrumentals and include a vast array of melodic references that keep everything constantly on the go, so there is no droning/noise electronics that can be so completely annoying! Shifting constantly, voyaging towards new sonic horizons, aided by some slick drum machine parts used intelligently when needed, the music is never dull, boring or forgettable. Quite the opposite really.
The effervescent 'Pinballs' is a bubbly intro into di Benedetti's musical universe, pulsating keyboard runs, swirling rhythmic convulsions and shimmering pace that hooks you right from the onset. The glossy soloing is adventurous, at times playful and extremely creative. One can also detect the influence of one of the greatest underrated artists ever, the legendary Tony Mansfield of New Muzik fame (as well as producing a boat load of other 80s artists), certainly an original innovator of modern synthesized music.
The kaleidoscopic 'Slow Scopes' is an epic dazzler, 12 minutes of syncopated, electronic bliss of the highest order that has the gall to start off with some extended electrified piano, a marimba 'like feeling heard before on Gong's Gazeuse album, the terrific 'Percolations', which slowly evolves into a dreamier state, open piano work that shows the clear virtuosity that Alessandro possesses in spades. Some delightful choir mellotron adds spice and dynamics to the proceedings, bass synth bustles in to push it all along. This shifts into more piano genius, shuffling drums and swirling overhead synthesizers. The process keeps constantly evolving, adding more dynamics to the mix and thus creating a real musical gem. Urban cool, organic yet modern, chic and classy.
Things keep on the same level track with the experimental 'Airing the Flow', an opportunity for some lovely melodies to take shape, all borne from some superb synthesizer tones and sequenced perfectly with unending variety and detail. The synth solo is straight out of Tony Banks' style as heard on his 'The Fugitive' album. Fabulous amount of detail.
The odd 'Gem' is a pulsating beatbox cafeteria, espresso aromas wafting in the air, almost Art of Noise territory. This could follow their 'Moments in Love' masterpiece pretty easily except that Alessandro unleashes a terrific synth solo that yawns, gasps and howls. Ciao, bello!
Appropriately titled 'Internal Clock', this mechanical piece sounds like the rollercoaster that happens within each person, none of which we really hear, save for the heartbeat and panting! If we could hear all our internal organs (Farfisa, Hammond, Yamaha, Wurlitzer and Leslie), I am sure it would kind of sound like this! Pinging, ponging, bubbling, gurgling, popping and swirling! He unbridles a series of ultra-sizzler synth solos, amid the infra cosmic rumble, a real creative mind at work here. There is then a trilling patch that sounds almost like a fuzz guitar, completely unexpected and applause worthy. As I stated earlier, nothing over states its welcome, clearly defining progressive rock characteristics and stamping its credentials with no hesitation.
The extended version of 'White Skies' terminates this amazing program with a nearly 11 minute foray into delectable sounds and amazing motifs. Here, the mood starts off gently, an almost Oriental piano riff augmented with a solid metronome beat which quickly evolves into a nearly classical rendition of some lost symphony, evoking puffy little blue clouds swimming in the white sky, a clever juxtaposition that is shredded by a guitar-patch gale out of nowhere.
Inner Prospekt is a sensational modern soundtrack that will please all progressive electronic fans as well as others who are looking to widen their horizons while still being comfortably numbed by the prog guidelines.
5 Imagining Genesis keyboardists