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New Release on the Label Monster Melodies Records: The album of Dies Irae A flagship group of French Progressive Underground from the 70s, based on the French Riviera (Monaco).
This is the first record of this group to be released by MONSTER MELODIES (not to be confused with the German namesake training krautrock record release on the Pilz label in 1971).
It consists of tracks recorded on stage and in the studio from 1976 and 1978, when Dies Irae was at the top of its game. A record that will allow you to judge the qualities of this little-known group that claims its influences (including notorious groups of the era King Crimson, Van der Graaf generator and Magma) nevertheless has a very personal and original touch which deserves to be included in the history of French rock.
In 1969, four students from Monaco in the wake of May 68, decide to start a band "to shout about chaos, distress, the Apocalypse, revolt and hope." None of them had ever touched a musical instrument. But passion prevails, François Szönyi takes a guitar, his brother Stéphane Szönyi grabs a bass guitar, Guy Galassini starts on the drums and Andre Fasseta handles the second guitar. The four beginners learn and practice their instruments together, thereafter adding to it the mastery of the piano, clarinet, saxophone and finally singing.
In 1971, they perform their first concert at La Turbie, a difficult audience. They perform covers of Cream, Hendrix, Deep purple, and triangle. Still amateurs, encouraged by this first trial, they decide to develop their first compositions to move to the next level. Guy's poems became songs and in 1972 another saxophonist is added to the group. Resulting in the first part of Magma.
Thereafter they play covers of Magma on many occasions, adding two other musicians and three singers. In 1975, they participate in the Golf Drouot, unfortunately, Guy is ill and Andre Fasseta is stuck in transports coming from the town of Nice. Regardless, the band plays with only three members, improvising for two hours, in front of an audience wanting more, winning the award.
Dies Irae, despite this early recognition, continue to give concerts in its region but fails, probably out of lack of effective management and a lack of interest from record companies, to increase brand awareness in France. In 1979, after ten years, worn down by the struggle, the Monegasque musicians give up.
But the story does not end there, Francois Szönyi who began to study classical guitar in 1976 at the Academy of Music Rainier III of Monaco, to perfect his performance within Dies Irae, decided to create the Aighetta Quartett with Alexandre Del Fa and other musicians, a quartet of guitars that toured often in Germany and Italy.
Their intimate music repertoire with personal transcriptions ranging from Telemann, Ravel, Bartók, Castelnuovo- Tedesco, Hindemith music of Spanish composers De Falla, Albéniz, Grandos to renaissance music arouses enthusiasm of a more varied audience. This is confirmed after more than twenty world premieres, and a dozen recordings for Universal, Harmonia Mundi, Musea, Nocturne, etc. Anthony Burgess, author of a Clockwork Orange composed for them two songs for the guitar and John McLaughlin invited them to play in the band Time Remembered.
At the same time, Dies Goa is created, a jazz rock trio constituted of Francis Szönyi (guitar, electronics), Alexandre Del Fa (bass, acoustic guitar) and Guy Galassini (drums, electronics). A group which performs at the Nice Jazz Festival Off (2009-2011), at the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival (with Marcus Miller) in 2009, Cape Jazz (with André Cecarelli) and Antichi Borghi Festival di Liguria (Italy) in August 2010. Then in Italy (Pescara , Arezzo, Rovigo, Verona, Padova) in 2011-2012 and in the Off Antibes-Juan les Pins in July 2013. The band returned to the studio in November 2013 to record an album “Nothing Has An End” (after a quote from Alejandro Jodorowsky) to be published in 2015. A year where the band tours with Richard Sinclair former bassist of Caravan and Hatfield and the North.