Real Essence

Tofu cover.jpg
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Catalog Number




Dark Companion




930 hand-numbered


01. Deep Emotion

02. Sari Dance

03. Holy Mind

04. Journey Home

05. Ashram

06. Hari
07. Jhana
08. Sweet Love

09. Maya 


Paolo Tofani: acoustic tricanta veena

about Paolo Tofani

Paolo Tofani, a living legend in Italian avantgarde music, nowadays is a hindi monk. But his career starts with the bloom of the beat generation with “i Samurai” then with “i Califfi”, two seminal Italian beat psych bands where he played lead guitar, distinguishing himself as a virtuoso.

Then he eventually moved to London where he released a single and meet people like Muff Winwood, Keith Emerson and Mike Oldfield. He started tostudy electronic music and the way electronics could express a new semanthic for electric guitar, when a call from Italy made him back to his homeland as the driving force, together with Demetrio Stratos, of the Progressive Avantgarde cult band “Area”.

In this period his amazing experiments with synths and work with Buchla Electronics and other builders in the U.S. lead his music to dare new lands and new experiments. Amongst his frequentations John Cage, Steve Lacy and the Tangerine Dream. At the peak of his carreer he felt the need of a deep change and started to study indian philosophy and religion and, after many collaborations with, became a monk along with Claudio Rocchi.

While still in Area he produced many of the Cramps label artists such as Arti e Mestieri, Eugenio Finardiand Alberto Camerini. He issued a solo album underthe moniker of Electric Frankenstein.

While studying religion and philosophy Paolo Tofani never gave up his research in electronic music and also in composition, developing a new syncretic musical language and even new instruments like the acoustic Tricanta Veena, a 3 necks guitar/sitar/sarangi new instrument with which he recorded this beautiful, mystical and haunting album.
He recorded Real Essence in the temple in Indian where 
he lived for over 30 years, in the spiritual dense hours just around dawn.
It is an album that signs the return of Paolo to record music. The music is resounds like if Robbie Basho had lived in India. Scales and harmonies between orient and occiddent, western and eastern culture with a contemporary feel. The album was recorded with no tricks at the state of the art audio quality.

When Greg Lake performed in Piacenza the premiere of his Italian tour the two great musicians met and Paolo Tofani showed one oh his Tricantas to Lake who was impressed by that instrument with 1,000 years old woods.

So when it was to release this album Lake asked to listen at it and after that was so impressed to homage Paolo Tofani writing the notes for the album cover.

<< This is a work of considerable quality. I am not knowledgeable about Indian music, but even I can see that this is far more than just some hopeful pretender. I very much like the deep, improvisational, almost free approach and the music does communicate on an emotional level. The playing of course is superb.>>

Greg Lake