SAFARI STATION is the name of the record Andrea Van Cleef and Diego „Deadman“ Potron have recorded under the direction of Don Antonio Gramentieri (previously working as guitar player/producer for Green on Red’s Dan Stuart, Alejandro Escovedo, Hugo Race and Giant Sand).
Paolo Pagetti, CEO of Rivertale Productions, came up with the original idea: “you two guys should make an album together, and record it just the way records used to be done in the 70s: you go away for a week with a producer and a bunch of musicians, you get into the studio, you eat and sleep there, and you come out at the end of the week with a new album. Then we’ll take care of the mixing and mastering.”
And this is what happened: Diego and Andrea went up a hill between Toscana and Romagna (two of Italy’s most beautiful regions) to join Antonio Gramentieri and his crew: drummer extraordinaire Piero Perelli (Dana Fuchs, Emma Morton, Robin Hannibal, Pet Levin) and keyboard wizard Nicola Peruch (a well-known italian session player, most famous for his work with international blues-pop star Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari). The whole bunch of musicians went to work and recorded 10 songs, 9 originals plus an unrecognisable cover of 70s infamous disco-pop-rock song “In Zaire”, that in the hands of the whole band of musicians becomes a dark trip into Africa’s real heart of darkness.
The sounds of the album are constantly shifting between a more traditional approach to songwriting (mostly represented by Potron’s songs) and a different, free-form approach reminiscent of the psychedelic folk of the late 60s/early 70s merged with afrobeat rhythms (mostly represented by Van Cleef’s songs).
The closing song, the title track is the only song written by both musicians: Potron wrote the music and played the guitar, while Van Cleef sang and wrote the lyrics, dedicated to his late mother, who passed away at the end of March.
This is a collaboration between different musicians and an independent record company with a real producer, just like in the days of old, when music was not just digital ephemera, but something meant to last.