Area’s unique blend of jazz-rock and ethnic folk, experimentation and political philosophies made it a prominent presence in Italy in the 1970s. Demetrio Stratos was the singer who led the band’s musical fusion. He also added his own operatic style with yodels, growls and yodel sounds. After releasing an instrumental album, Stratos passed away in 1979. The remaining members of the band disbanded. Arbeit Macht Frei was founded in 1972 by musicians with experience in jazz, avant-garde and pop music. Demetrio Stratos was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on June 13, 1975. He was a singer, organist, percussionist, and harpsichord player. Giulio Capiozzo was born in 1946. Patrizio Fariselli was born in Cesenatico, Italy, as a pianist, electric piano, bass clarinet. Patrizio Fariselli played percussion, ARP synthesizer, and percussion. Johnny Lambizzi, guitarist, and Victor Edouard Busniello, bass, were quickly replaced by Giampaolo Tfani (born 1944 in Florence – electric guitar and EMS guitar synthesizer), and Patrick Erard Djivas, (bass). Gianni Sassi, the manager, signed the group to Cramps, and Arbeit Macht Frei was released in 1973. Area’s bold title and cover imagery as well as the lyrical content were intended to protest fascism. By declaring themselves to be an “International POPular Group,” Area gave new meanings to playing music for people. The album was influenced by early jazz rock acts such as Nucleus and Soft Machine, but also features hints of folk music from the Balkans, Middle East, and Mediterranean. Djivas left PFM after the release of the first album and was replaced by Ares Tavolazzi (born 1948 in Ferrara, Italy, – bass, double basse, trombone, pocket trumpet). Caution Radiation Area was the second album. It embodied the unique sound of the group, which combines the power of rock with the terrifying chaos of experimental music. It also displayed their continued political activism. The group started to receive more international attention for their politics than their music by dedicating one song for Ulrike Meinhof (German guerilla activist). Area would continue to benefit from controversial political causes over the years and allied themselves with leftist youth movements and working class movements in Italy including the communist and socialist parties. Crac! won an Italian progressive music award. Area’s mad fusion was best demonstrated in 1975 with its ferocious rhythms and melodies, balanced with humor and the avantgarde. In 1975, Area released Are(A)zione live. Area seemed to be stuck in its quest for more experimentation. Maledetti (1976), who brought in guest musicians to help the band, was a bit disappointed and it fragmented the group in some ways. Event ’76 was one of those headache-inducing recordings. It was a live album that found Area at the farthest point of their orbit. The record is dominated by unmelodic, noisy sounds. Anto/Logicamente was an 1977 “greatest hits” release. Stratos had already begun recording solo albums of vocal experimentation. The band was able to record an album that was melodic, playful, and not too “pop” by 1978. 1978 Gli Dei Se Ne Vanno…, Area’s rebirth, was a masterpiece in world melodies and jazz virtuosity with off-the-wall attitude. The band’s career was cut short by Stratos’ death in New York from leukemia in 1979. A memorial concert featuring some of the most prominent stars in Italy’s progressive arts was recorded and performed for a double-album. Area returned with the mostly instrumental Tic

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