A quintet formed in Milan in 1973 by the husband and wifeMaiolis , Cavallanti, Cerantol and Vaccina, Aktuala – named from the Esperanto "actually" - are justly ranked among the pioneers of modern world music, a furiously eclectic band whose progressive rock leanings were built around Arabian, African and Indian themes, and instrumentals that built around trance-inducing repetition. Cavallanti was simultaneously involved in Rome-based pianist Patrizia Scascitelli's eponymous quartet.
A self-titled debut album in 1973 brought the band some European recognition, and the following year saw the line-up swollen by the arrival of Corado, Zanchi, Klok and Gurtu, each a master of another ethnic instrument. Released in 1974, La Terra, the group's second album, is widely regarded as their masterpiece; their most ambitious project, however, was still to come. Aktuala spent much of 1975 traveling, piecing together what would become their third album in a variety of exotic locations, each of which would flavor one or more of the tracks. With Cassano's sitar and Rocchi's keyboards adding fresh textures to the brew, Tappeto Volante was released in 1976. Very well-received, and certainly an unspoken influence on a number of later European acts, it was nevertheless Aktuala's final offering. The band split later that same year. Cavallanti later resufaced with Nexus; Walter Maioli is today recognized among Italy's foremost experts in prehistoric music-making. ~ Dave Thompson, Rovi