In the mid-'70s, the Italian progressive rock scene was a strange and mysterious place. One of the most notable groups to come out of it where Sensation’s Fix, which featured Franco Falsini on guitar. In 1975, Falsini recorded his debut album, Cold Nose, which was the soundtrack to an underground film. The three tracks that make up the Cold Nose suite of songs are an intriguing mix of his guitar and various synthesizers. The music is an obscure treasure of sounds, as mysterious and beautiful as anything you are likely to hear.
“Cold Nose 1” (10:30) opens the set with some intriguing synthesizer atmospheres. Then Franco’s electric guitar comes in with an incredibly powerful sound. His leads are amazingly clean, almost poet in fact, but with a deep, and quietly dark statement of purpose. This is the very essence of what I have always looked for in prog, but have rarely found. There is nothing on this recording that even remotely hints at the clichés that would eventually make so many people dismiss progressive or space rock as a joke. Every note Franco Falsini plays has a purpose.
“Cold Nose 2” (6:36) is a bit more accessible than the first track, at least in the beginning. His guitar here reminds me somewhat of that of Steve Hackett, especially on the classic Genesis track “Watcher of the Skies.” I know it sounds strange, and may just be a fluke, but there are times where I swear Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains must have studied Falsini. His is the only modern guitar tone I have heard that sounds anything like this. It is definitely unique, and absolutely compelling all the way through.
After the introduction, Falsini uses the synthesizers much more prominently than on “Cold Nose 1.” While the guitar is still very much a dominant force, the synths take the song in a completely different direction midway. As the piece comes to its inevitable conclusion, we are left in a musical pocket that was once termed “space.” It is difficult to describe, but 70’s prog fans will undoubtedly know what I am talking about when they hear it.