Album Review: Italian Guitar Player Diego Gencarelli Takes Us On An Acoustic Trip To Where Pinguini Biomeccanici Live
In an era where technology has made it possible to produce over-the-top music with an intensity to completely overwhelm your senses, Italian guitar maestro Diego Gencarelli opted for a back-to-basics approach. His first solo record, Pinguini Biomeccanici, is literally him picking up an acoustic guitar and telling musical stories. No studio trickery or other instruments take part in this conquest whatsoever. Yet, nothing at all appears to be missing. This is a raw and genuine account of a devoted guitar player doing what he loves most! We invite you to listen to it here 😉
The nine-song record channels noted acoustic wizards like Andy McGee and Tommy Emanuel, but it doesn’t sound for a moment like Diego is rethreading someone else’s path. While the man made himself plenty of opportunities to showcase his effortless technique, it’s all done tastefully, with the goal of bringing his vivid, resonating compositions to life. Feel free to dissect the playing all you want if that’s what gives you tingles – we’d rather close our eyes and listen, letting Diego’s tunes feed our imagination and take us places.
Though uniformly gentle, Pinguini often changes moods – playful, romantic, melancholic, lively – sometimes over the course of a single song. Just like any good story, each composition makes for a ride through emotions that leads to a suitable, possibly unexpected conclusion. Diego’s mastery shows there’s no limit to what you can express through the vibrations of a guitar string, provided you have the chops and inspiration. Who needs effects, vocals, percussion, or elaborate arrangements if all it takes to accomplish such beautiful, organic music is a single guitar and someone that knows to use it? You can hardly do minimalism any better, and yet, the songs are so rich in detail and full of life, they are anything but minimalistic.
It’s easy to end up sounding overly folksy, aristocratic, or virtuosic while doing pure acoustic guitar records. Thankfully, Diego evaded every possible cliche by simply being himself, having something to say, and possessing the skills to express it. Despite the complexity of the arrangements, Pinguini never sounds too calculated and rooted in musical education, of which Diego no doubt has a vast amount. While technically accomplished, it always stays laid-back and welcoming towards listeners with all kinds of ears. Mom and dad will probably like it. So will your friend who loves Animals as Leaders. Anyone who appreciates music for what it is – the language of the soul – must give Diego a listen, set their mind free, and enjoy the trip. Meanwhile, the prog nerds here at Drooble hope the man will eventually pick up the electric guitar and melt our faces!