About

My name is Alex Franquelli and this is my online portfolio.

I am a freelance journalist and writer, mainly writing about politics and music, and my articles appear on a bunch of magazines and online publications. And when they do, they do so both in English and Italian.

I write for The Quietus, Open Democracy, Ondarock, All About Jazz, Angry Metal Guy, Indie For Bunnies and Il Mucchio.

My portfolio: 1, 2, 3

John Zorn - Fragmentations, Prayers & Interjections

Published by PopMatters

Darius Milhaud’s polytonality and Shostakovich’s cynicism seem to welcome the listener as they approach John Zorn’s latest effort, while Jacques Ibert’s perennial state of unrest and irony, quietly (albeit not silently) lurk in the background. As peculiar as the thought might sound, avant-garde can sometimes revel in vintage clothes, toy with retroactivity, instigate a certain eagerness for obsoleteness and still sound quintessentially fresh.

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Melt-Banana - Fetch

Published by Last Rites

Whenever an adjective like “mature” (or one of its many synonyms, for that matter) is used in a music review, I am naively inclined to think that, no matter how good the album in question might be, the party is truly and sadly over. However, the Japanese noise music scene is an objection to this unwritten rule.

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Ulver - Messe I.X-VI.X

Published by Angry Metal Guy

The good people reading this blog will certainly not be offended if I start this review with a personal note. The problem is that, sometimes, I feel that in order to be able to express an individual judgement on an album, you have to try and see things from a different perspective. The world is full of people in bad faith and scribes with no taste in music, but problems arise when the two categories merge and ignorant self-assuredness is given a blank page and a word processor.

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Ulver - Messe I.X-VI.X

Published by IndieForBunnies

Dal morbido lamento delle anziane signore quasi protette dal loro stesso eco in una qualsiasi chiesa di provincia italiana, fino al principio, dove un grugnito primordiale risolve lo stridio di uno stormo di pennuti, a ritroso, non c’è un solo attimo, in “Messe I.X-VI.X” che non appaia consequenziale, quasi logico. In qualsiasi direzione e da qualsivoglia punto si decida di partire, c’è una linearità sottile ma ineluttabile con la quale è impossibile non fare i conti. Una peculiarità quasi ironica, se si tiene conto dell’enorme imprevedibilità dell’ensemble norvegese che, ancora una volta, cambia direzione in maniera brusca e del tutto inaspettata.

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Slint live at The Forum, London (UK) on 3 December 2013

Published by The Quietus

I have grown up not wanting to see Slint live. I wanted them to play in no place other than a pond, with only the sound trickling out of the water, as if it were coming from a natural, maternal womb. No colours, no "hellos" and no "goodbyes": just water and sound. And silence all around. And no Tweez, please, not at all.

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Piano Interrupted - The Unified Field

Published by The Quietus

Long before the commodification of romanticism, before its subjugation to the needs of a tertiary sector-lead society and the serious business of Chinese restaurant background music, long before all that and something else, there was a time when namedropping Claude Debussy, the Schumanns and Frédéric Chopin at meals was considered acceptable and a rather decent silence filler between the casserole and the pudding [...]

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Shellac - Shellac live at Netil House, London (UK) on 27 November 2013

Published by The Quietus

You could not ask a band, any band, to be rawer than Shellac. The trio's sound is a sonic manifesto of their leader's ethics, and their live sets are an obvious extension of it. The stage lights are motionless; the drum kit is stripped to the core; no silly guitar changes; there is no fixed setlist and the band sweats, they're all ugly and do nothing to conceal their anatomic brutalism.

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Charlemagne Palestine / Z'ev - Rubhitbangklanghear/Rubhitbangklangear

Published by The Quietus

The ringing, the jangling, the clanging, the dinging. The banging, the bumping, the rumbling, the knocking. There must be an alternative Earth, somewhere, sometime, where two similar aesthetics have already met. One where the purity of sound could vibrate for an indefinite amount of what resembled 'time' and 'distance'; one where waves propagated in a setting of no beauty or ambience: the matter and its shapes eventually destroyed the essence of sound and light.

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