Ianva – Disobbedisco!

Ianva is a relatively new band, but you wouldn’t say so when you experience this debut album. Both the music and the packaging leave a confident and professional impression. Perhaps not so surprising, because various members of Ianva are quite experienced in the music scene, having played in ‘dark’, avantgarde and metal bands in the past. On “Disobeddisco” the group digs deep into Italian cultural and musical history to create a colourful patchwork with a nostalgic and decadent atmosphere.

About ten musicians are involved who play a varied mixture of acoustic and electronic instruments, giving this cd a rich sound. Ianva finds it important to stress that they’re no typical ‘pale’ neofolk band. Though they incorporate some folky influences, the musical scope is much wider. Especially the Italian heritage plays an important role, from mainstream pop to the filmscores of Morricone and co, from early new wave to traditional ballads.

This album seems to deal conceptually with the “the imaginary romance of Maggiore Cesare Renzi and the chanteuse Elettra Stavros, based on the historical background of d’Annunzio’s occupation of Fiume 1918-1920”. In the booklet historical photos are included of military situations, but also of the futuristic manifesto and avantgarde ballet.

The first track sounds quite martial, with some offical speech, military drums, trumpets and orchestral sounds. Then follows perhaps my favourite song: ‘La Ballata dell’Ardito’, which has a wonderful trumpet melody, traditional instruments like accordion and nice melancholic male vocals. The next piece ‘Vittoria mutilata’ is a much more sober track, mostly in a moody guitar wave style. This variation in styles can also be found on the rest of the album. Special mention deserves the powerful fourth track ‘XII – IX – MCMXIX: Di Nuovo In Armi!’, with a bombastic martial folk sound.

If I have to compare Ianva to other acts, some names that come to mind are Camerata Mediolanense, Ain Soph and Spiritual Front. Mostly because they are rooted in the Italian heritage too and share a similar sense of stylish nonconformism. “Disobeddisco” is a very enjoyable cd, which will not easily become boring because of its lively character and its stilistic variety. One of the better albums I heard this year!

artist: Ianva
label: Antica Fonografia Il Levriero
details: cd, 11 tracks, 2005 [LEV 002]


  1. Ultrasroma says

    Best album of the 2006. It effectively blends martial to folk and retro music with an ironic touch.
    A pleasant surprise indeed!!!!