** by Brad Rose, editor / FOXY DIGITALIS online
music magazine (USA)
"Oklahoma is full of open spaces and windswept plains.
People often underestimate how much beauty there is in these simplistic
landscapes. The majesty is derived from the serenity. My favorite moments
driving from St. Louis back to Tulsa is the transition from the Ozark
hills of Missouri to the endless open spaces, covered in green grass and
wildflowers, that dominate Eastern Oklahoma. It's magical to me and ridiculously
What does any of this have to do with Praxinoscope? Everything and nothing,
really. First off, Praxinoscope is a new Italian duo featuring Roberto
Opalio (1/2 of the the space-brother duo, My Cat is an Alien) and long-time
MCIAA collaborator, Ramona Ponzini (the two also have a project with the
other Opalio, Maurizio called Painting Planets on Petal Ghost). This project
traverses a similar terrain as MCIAA, but is perhaps closer to Roberto's
brilliant solo album, "Chants From Isolated Ghosts."
Opalio's vocals star here, taking the limelight and thriving inside it.
Effects drench his voice making it something truly not of this world.
These lunar oceans of sound are magnificent and totally enthralling. It's
as though he's a cosmonaut trapped inside a glass box, unable to travel
the reaches of space. Such confinement derails your mind and Opalio sounds
like a person struggling against himself. At times, hearing this is almost
too much - there's simultaneous discomfort and exorcism happening and
you can't quite focus intently on either. You are a passive player in
this exercise, lost in the crevices Opalio and Ponzini create.
I cannot discount Ponzini's contributions to this 40 minute piece, either.
While it may seem minimal on the surface, her various "Japanese percussions"
(mostly chromatics, cymbals, and the like) add a great deal of needed
texture to counterbalance Opalio's haunted wails. It is reminiscent of
the way Finnish master, Keijo, works in a lot of percussive elements to
his tracks. And it has the same effect.
Praxinoscope is a great new project from the always wonderful My Cat is
an Alien. This is one of Opax's finest releases. Bringing to mind the
vocal transcendence of the Skaters, Praxinoscope are proof that you don't
need any instruments to make amazing sounds. This is wonderful, wonderful
** from BOOMKAT (UK)
"Coming on a rather gorgeous picture-disc, this album
mysteriously titled 'Praxinoscope' comes from the hallowed land of My
Cat is an Alien, and features the band's Roberto Opalio on production
duties with associate Ramona Ponzini on Japanese percussion. As I'm sure
you'd imagine coming from MCIAA the order of the day is spiritual, and
the Japanese bells make a huge impact on the sound, taking you into a
far Eastern realm of meditation and cherry blossom. I can imagine practising
some kind of ancient martial art or yoga listening to this music, but
at the same time it manages to retain a menacing undercurrent, a feeling
of deep disturbance bubbling beneath the surface. The album is split into
two tracks (one per side), the first taking more of a peaceful chiming
route while the second travels further into the realms of darkness and
drone, maybe closer to the regular work of MCIAA. I've heard a lot of
this sort of stuff over the years but Opalio and Ponzini have definitely
come up with a winning formula, listening to this slice of wax is like
sinking into another dimension, and that's exactly what it should be.
Spiritual in the best possible way."