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Biography

  • Years Active

    1988 – present (29 years)

Passion, Passion, resistance, roots and innovation are the words that come to mind when describing Yo Yo Mundi, a five-piece band from Acqui Terme, a tiny spot on the hills and vineyards of Monferrato in the North of Italy.

Their musical journey is somewhere in between folk and rock. It’ s not easy to fit them in a genre because they often play with traditional as well as innovative sounds. The accordian is surely part of their sound in the best of folk traditions, although they are not your traditional folk band. Yo Yo Mundi begin their musical journey by writing a song inspired by the European cycle race Flèche de Wallonie.

Their first record came out in 1994 titled La Diserzione degli Animali del Circo and saw the participation of Brian Ritchie and Gordon Gano of Violent Femmes and the innovative guitarist and producer Michael Brook (who worked with U2, Pogues, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel). Brian Ritchie produced four tracks of the album, Gordon Gano sang and played violin in “Sitting in Silence”, while Michael Brook played his infinite guitar in two songs. Unrestrained songs, born from a melancholic province, acoustic basses and accordions, pocket tales about animals escaping from the circus, contortionists and children who in a slaughter-house discover the darkest sides of life: these are the themes of the album.

The second record is Bande Rumorose, an album with twelve new songs together with four songs from the first album completely re-arranged to make up an extraordinary melting-pot of committed songs, psycho-folk and rock. The version of “Freccia Vallona” included here has been played with the participation of French duo Corman & Tuscadù and in the CD there is also a version of Un Giudice, written by Fabrizio De Andrè, the great Italian songwriter.

Percorsi di Musica Sghemba came out in 1996 and the group changed again: melancholic songs and atmospheres full of underground energy take the place of the joyful mix of the debut. The album was received with great enthusiasm from the music critics and also on this occasion the guests are international: Trey Gunn with his magic stick-bass (who collaborated also with Robert Fripp and David Sylvian) and Guy Kyser of the unforgettable Thin White Rope, who ended his long period away from the stage for Yo Yo Mundi.

During their career Yo Yo Mundi have collaborated with many artists, among which Teresa de Sio (Neapolitan folk artist among the best known and most important of the Mediterranean), famous Italian actress Lella Costa and many others for the project Materiale Resistente. A number of songs of the Resistance were re-arranged by Italian groups of the young generation and Yo Yo Mundi participated with the song “Banditi della Acqui”, inspired by the WW2 tragedy of Cefalonia.

In 2001 they published a completely instrumental work. Sciopero is Yo Yo Mundi’s soundtrack to Strike, Eisenstein's first silent movie. Silent cinema interaction with live music is re-explored to bring back the experience of the moving image and the tradition of live performance. Yo Yo Mundi’s direction towards playing instrumental was maintained in 2002 when they released their album Alla Bellezza dei Margini. The instrumental track titled “Monferrina 2006” is an homage to their land, Monferrato, a land of hills and vineyards in the region of Piemonte. The beauty of the peripheries of the world and their marginal actors are celebrated in this work that catches Yo Yo Mundi’s essence at its best. The band has a huge history of live performances. Taking their music on the road is such a priority that they even played in Malaysia, as well as Switzerland, Austria, France and all the main music spots in Italy for a total of over 1000 gigs. In 2005, a tour of the UK and Ireland saw them playing live in cinemas to accompany the screening of 'Strike'.

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