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Corto Circuito, 99 Posse
99 Posse speaks out about the Italian Government in it's rap lyrics and produces an intensity in their music which is difficult to define. They sing in the Neopolitan dialect, and -- in this album-- 99 Posse has introduced more electronic aspects and taken on a sort of techno-hip sound. I really liked the title track, Corto Circuito (short circuit). They are extraordinary musicians and performers who are very passionate about their cause. I have friends who don't even speak Italian who are still really able to feel the music and enjoy it. I also recommend their earlier album, Cerco Tiempo which is the equivalent of a trip-hop, hip hop, jungle, electronic, "Italian style Tarantella"!

Spazio, Delta V
What do you get when you add the voice of Madonna to the creativity of Portishead and you sing it all in Italian? Delta V. This is a mellow album with a technological zing. Francesca Toure's throaty voice carries you through "Spazio" (Space). The name of this album is well-desrved with songs like "Senza gravita'" (Without gravity), and "Cento Parole" (100 words) where the lyrics begin with "Sono aria, Pensami cosi'" (I'm air, think of me that way). My favorite song on the album is "Tu mi vuoi" (You want me), which has a writhy sexy style; a sharp contrast to the virginal "Il mondo visto dallo spazio (Babinsky Remix)" (The world seen from space) which is woven with violins and a strictly acuoustic feel.

Lorenzo 99 (Capo Horn), Jovanotti
After his earlier Italo-pop and his recent experiments with African-influenced music, Lorenzo Jovanotti has released Capo Horn which is no doubt his best album to date. From the gentle start of "Per te" (for you) dedicated to his daughter, to more up beat numbers such as "Un raggio di Sole" (A ray of sunlight) the album really holds together with a wide range of influences, from jazz to funk to heavy rap. At one point he even inserts a short excerpt from the Sugarhill Gang's original "Rappers' Delight" (He did the whole song in his concert tour of Italy). This is an album that is good the first time you hear it but gets better with every listening - it has so many influences, and yet it reminds me of another album of a completely different genre - Malcolm MacLaren's "Duck Rock" - that also has a crazy assortment of styles. This album contains much rap, but it is not the gloomy rap in the German Style, it is rap full of the joy of life, full of irony but ultimately happy. Checkout his waaay cool multimedia site at!

Sotto Effetto Stono, Sottotono
One of the Premier Italian Hip Hop Groups This is Sottotono's 3rd album. Although a few songs take on a new sound(Drum & Bass),the majority of the songs stick to the smooth R&B; rap sound Sottotono is known for. The soft rueful ballads and lush production are what have kept Sottotono on Italy's Billboard Top Ten charts for years. There are numerous collaborations with hot R&B; singers (Shola Ama(UK), Irene Lamedica(Italy) to name a few. This is a great album for your initiation into Italian Hip Hop Music.


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