Saturday 21 March 2015

La Corta Notte Delle Bambole Di Vetro & Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura - Ennio Morricone

I can't believe I haven't been alerted to or discovered this soundtrack until now. I somehow missed this when it first got released in 1998, only 27 years after it was recorded. I mean I know Morricone is a man of many soundtracks but why is this one remaining in obscurity? La Corta Notte Delle Bambole Di Vetro is outstanding. Its in that zone where his Argento soundtracks were. That's a great zone, one of my favorite sonic places to visit. La Corta Notte... is a giallo film that was the directorial debut for Aldo Lado. The La Corta Notte... soundtrack was recorded in 1971, around the same time Ennio recorded the OSTs for Argento's The Cat O Nine Tales, Four Flies On Grey Velvet and The Bird With Crystal Plummage, Fulci's A Lizard In A Woman's Skin, Rubartelli's Veruschka and Castellari's Gli Occhi Freddi Del Paura. He was certainly having a purple patch in 1971.

The music Ennio Morricone arranged for La Cotra Notte... is tense, intensely creepy, very minimal and unmistakeably Morricone does giallo. This music has more in common with Morricone's experimental improv side project Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza than his famous Spaghetti Western scores. Here he doesn't use funky psych guitars at all though (Like he does with the Gruppo or on A Lizard In A Woman's Skin etc.) leaving the score peculiarly sparse. Some tracks are dementedly atonal. There are horror motifs throughout so its not as audacious as the unpredictable score for Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura (which was recorded with Gruppo) but this is still brilliantly eerie, dark and experimental. Sometimes its like you can hear and feel the air on this recording. On several tunes a woman (Edda Dell'orso) who sounds like she's been tortured and then forced to sing appears with crippled fearful tones for your disturbing delight. It's apparently a film about some kind of hostage situation so this makes sense. Sospiri Di Morte features a deep breathing lady (Dell'orso again) over really baleful, minimal and muffled percussion, which is one of the most extraordinary soundtrack moments I've ever heard. Like the previously mentioned soundtracks, this score works perfectly as an album all by its nightmarish self. I've just noticed that Morricone scored Lado's next handful of films which include another giallo film, a science fiction flick and a video nasty. Still more to discover.....

1971: A hell of a year for Morricone.
While we're on the subject I might as well say a thing or two about the (pictured just above) aforementioned soundtrack Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura. Now this was another 1971 soundtrack but it didn't get a release until 2000. I didn't miss this one. I think it has been reissued again in the last year or two. So Morricone recorded this with his improv band Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. This score is not only one of the best soundtracks ever, its also one of the best albums ever. I guess people into AMM, Nihilist Spasm Band, Spontaneous Music Ensemble or Miles Davis in the 70s should take a special interest here. This is some top notch improv jams under the direction of the one and only Bruno Nicolai. Produced by none other than Gianni Dell'orso. We've got fuzz guitar duelling with jazz bass and electronics. That's just for starters. This LP is so unpredictable you never know where it's heading next. There's many a clank and a scrape to be heard amongst other haunting sounds. The group had been going since 1964 and are considered one of the pioneering collectives of experimental composers. It was by no means Morricone's band. Other members included Egisto Macchi (library music legend), Walter Branchi and Franco Evangelisti. I think it was Evangelisti who got the whole thing together. They were aspiring to a new form of composition through improvisation and other methods such as (like John Cage) chance. Apparently they sometimes used the game of chess as an inspiration. Anyway the credits on this one go to Morricone but that seems arbitrary as surely everyone contributed to each tune. Fabulously free percussion mixed with of sour sax/trumpet(?) and textural keyboards play their part on this recording. More than anything though its not the separate sounds that make up the music its the sound of the unit itself. This is an incredibly switched on unit comparable to Can and the ensembles Miles Davis put together in the 70s. Half the time I don't know what's making the sounds anyway. This doesn't sound like any other soundtrack I've ever heard. Most of the time you forget this incredibly fluid music even went with images as the tangent of where the hell they'll go next has you so engaged. You start to feel that your own ear is also an integral part of the unit as well...sort of becoming one with the music. This is a hell of a strange trip that never gets old. They have other albums as well, maybe I'll discuss them another time. Its quite hard to believe a film director just saying 'yeah sure' to this mental project. This is a unique record that could have a special place in your heart if you give it a listen. Like Harmonia's Deluxe this is an unheralded classic of 20th century music that deserves a better status.

Friday 20 March 2015

Jungle Gold

Tear Down - Dillinger (This tune went missing off the youtubes so I'm not sure if the re-upped version is the one I was talking about or not)

This is a bunch of jungle tunes I've only come across this year or at least ID'ed anyway. The jungle music jungle is vast indeed. I had a severe migraine earlier today so I was drugged to the eyeballs. After many hours the pain abated. I was still in a drug haze when I decided to listen to a mix I'd made earlier this year, before my computer crashed. I had found a stash of choice jungle tunes on the interweb I hadn't come across before but now I can't recall how or where I found them. Anyway it was a great decision to listen to this mix while I sunk into the bed finally feeling better and able to enjoy a snippet of life. The quality goes deep on these tunes. One thing I loved about hardcore and jungle was the amount of different sections to a song there were. If one bit wasn't doing it for ya it didn't matter because a new section would have probably arrived before you even realised. Tear Down is a bewdy. Total drum and bass science. These artists were so damn crafty, you have to admire their commitment and dedication. 

You Must Think First - DJ Hype
This is great mental jungle. Fucking crazy bass, kung fu samples, beats to die for, killer synth stabs and a lovely reggae vocal loop. What more do you need? You Must Think First is relentless.

Tune missing. It was obviously Dubb Hustlers but which bloody tune?

This really sounds like music from a Jungle at the start. Then the beats roll in, followed by a diva, then killer bass and breaks. The drums on this are incredible. This was a culture on a high and Dubb Hustlers were bringing their A game because you had to otherwise you'd be fucked as everyone else was raising the bar as well. Shit two sport analogies in the same sentence, I think I need to have another lie down.

Tune missing. It was Junglist Soldier by Chris Jay but not the 95 lick version. Whatever version it was, it's no longer on youtube!

There's something comforting about the sirens in this tune. Junglist Soldier has passed both tests ie. the bike one and the bed one. The beatz are amazing on this and that 80s Prince-esque synth is fabulous and unusual. Perhaps amongst the choppage here is a Prince drum sample. I think I'm hearing Devo drums as well. Maybe they're just the same drum machines. I don't know. When you think all is said and done an unexpected mental bassline kicks in at the 4 and a half minute mark which is pure gold. You could say that bass was proto-dubstep but that would kind of cheapen it I reckon. This is prime jungle, dubstep doesn't come anywhere near this shit man. 

Set It - X-Project
Lets face it music sounds better on drugs. Lets face it everything's better with drugs. Why do you think its such a massive worldwide industry. This sounds good when you're straight too. Its just that the last time I heard it (an hour and a half ago) I was off me head. Hoover soundz along with sweet soul vocals is a great combo as is bit of a chipmunk vocal, great keyboards, synth strings and a reggae sample. 

Monday 16 March 2015

Rufige Kru - Dark Metal

Just saw this got the reissue treatment this year. I'm not sure I even know it. It wasn't on that Goldie comp from a couple of years ago and it was originally released after I stopped listening to jungle which had then become drum'n'bass and tech-step. This is pretty tech-steppy and I like a very lot. The dub space opens at one point and becomes extremely cavernous. I thought Goldie had stopped using the Rufige Cru/Kru name way earlier than this (97).

Who could have imagined this music (even a year or two earlier) it was upside-down-sideways and around the other way reversed but still had a bit of sweetness to it. This still sounds amazing today. We're still waiting for this future to arrive or are we? Have we given up on it to listen to the Take Me To Church guy?

This is really fucked up. They were really pushing the boundaries of what was a song weren't they? This is a lofty peak in mental darkside hardcore. The future's not half as delirious as the old imagined future. In fact the future turned out to kinda be the opposite to this didn't it?

Friday 13 March 2015

Friday The 13th Again

How often do you get two fFriday The 13ths in a row? Here's some tunes to soundtrack your day, hope you make it out alive. Creepy that little f above what's it doing there? The jauntiness of the opening credits to Tourist Trap really adds to the ominous vibe here.

Here's another tune from the Tourist Trap by Pino Donaggio. Never seen the film but it's a hell of a soundtrack which I think is being reissued soon or today or something.

Now this is Libra who had like 3 Goblin people (ex or otherwise) in the band and they made like the 3rd best Goblin soundtrack really, just behind Suspiria and Profondo Rosso. If you love your Italian horror soundtracks then this is for you. Here's 10 minutes of Italian horror prog rock soundtrack gold.

This one just popped up as I was typing so how could I resist? That synth sound is fantastic and the whole Euro cinematic vibe is so cool. Tres creepy. Pino also did the soundtrack to Don't Look Now which is fabulously uncanny. He was also a pop star in Italy throughout the 60s. Here's a bizarre fact he wrote You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, yes the one of Dusty Springfield and Elvis fame. His own version was a number 1 smash in Italy in 1965.

Stelvio Cipriani: man of hundreds of soundtracks has done a few Giallo/Horror/Thriller scores. Why is Italy so disturbing? Something about cheesy 70s music really adds an extra sinister vibe here. More Goblin connections here as Cipriani did the Solamente Nero with them as well as recording another OST with Goblin's Claudio Simonetti Un' Ombra Nell' Ombra. Both of those records are well worth tracking down as they are excellent.

Everyone seems to be hip to Fabio Frizzi these days but here he collaborates with Franco Bixio and Vincenzo Tempera which he did on a handful of occasions. Great scary stuff.

I could go on and on and on some more but this is my final entry for today. What no John Carpenter? It's an outrage! This time its Frizzi on his own for another Fulci movie. This is kind of funny and kind of spooky. It's most definitely strange. The drumming in particular here is very peculiar.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

On The Hi-Fi Part 40

When I can get Luca Brasi 2 by Kevin Gates off the stereo I listen to some other stuff. This one is a snappy little 37 minute mix from Pearsall over at Sonicrampage. These are drum'n'bass tunes from 95 & 96. There's even one from 99 which is way past my usual cut off point of rarely venturing into or past 96/97. Anyway this is a little rollin' bewdy featuring just 4 different artists - Roni Size, DJ Krust, Bill Riley & DJ Die. The later 2 I'm not particularly sure I'm aware of. Most of these tunes are new to me. I love the little covers Pearsall makes and this one's no exception. Get 90s man.

Geez Mr Nick Edwards is one prolific musician. I think I may have missed a couple of Ekoplekz releases since Influkz. Entropic is just two long trax. Entropy Flash (neat title huh?) which runs at 13 minutes and Entropy Symphony that's around 16 minutes. This EP is more along the lines of his last mini album Influkz ie. it's a more subdued and subtle affair compared to his last two LPs. Then again that's a little deceptive because if you have it at low volume it seems quite nice but with the volume cranked it becomes quite intense and a little sinister. This is music from post-apocalyptic zones or is it outer space? Or perhaps its the landscape/headspace of Ekoplekz right now? Entropy Flash is repetitive almost funky technoid gear that occasionally has flourishes of melody amongst the darker drones and its damn fine as usual. How does he keep up the quality with so much quantity? Entropy Symphony is the swirliest swirly tune ever. It swirls and swirls until it swirls off into a vortex of epic oblivion. This has got to be one of the best Ekoplekz tracks ever. Me like a very lot.

I cannot recall how I came across this mix by Slimzee at Soundcloud All it says in my i-tunes is Truancy Vol. 111: Slimezee. Anyway its more jungle, this time more your 94/95 variety before it became drum'n'bass. Many a classic on here such as Hitman, Babylon and a very well worn copy of The Dark Stranger, why wouldn't it be? It's such a gem. An hour of jungle gold. This is some awesome DJing right here. Not loving that faux faded bollocks look of the virtual cover though. This guy was in Pay As You Go Cartel and pretty much invented Grime, I think. There you go, you learn something every day.

More good stuff from Pearsall. Not The Future We Were Promised... is more of your prime 94/95 jungle. He crams them in here. Thirty Five tunes in just over an hour and a half. It's one hell of a ride. Some classics and some lesser known classics whizz by so hold onto your hats. I guess at this stage you're either into it or you're not. This wouldn't be a bad introduction to jungle though. It would be hard not to be seduced by the 'rhythmic psychedelia' on display here as its soo darn great. This is when it was pretty much just jungle like the above Slimzee mix, post hardcore/darkside and pre drum'n'bass/tech-step/garridge. Huh, the future, it kinda went sideways then nowhere.

Last but not least is 10 Wanted Men's Wanted: Dead Or Alive which is Memphis Rap 1995 stylee. This features Memphis legends Tommy Wright III, Womack Da Omen and Princess Loco. Women in 90s Memphis rap are so fucking cool. They just really suit the vibe of this creepin shyt. Still getting my head around this one but fuck it sounds good so far. This is the real rap underground on absurdly lo-fi tapes. This ain't no backpacker shit! (RE: This article at FACT) Whatever the fuck that is? I have a feeling it means shite rap ie. rap that couldn't make the charts because it was shite so they tried to then pretend they were like indie or something, but in reality they were just a laughing stock. Obviously some people got sucked into their shtick though.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Beast Mode - Future

Future reasserts himself on this mixtape as one of the kingpins in weird Atlanta rap. Like Rome Fortune's Beautiful Pimp 2 last year, Future uses just the one producer here and keeps it short at 28 minutes. It all adds up to a wining combination. Perhaps other rappers need to take note of this. Everything's just way more cohesive and it's probably the best thing Future has done since his Pluto LP. The producer Zaytoven (great name huh?) is keen on jazzy piano and mournful strings sprinkled amongst the trap beats. It never comes across as backwards though, sideways maybe? The keyboards are sometimes minimal and sometimes they reach Aladdin Sane levels of absurdity. Lay Up's production is fine like a mini minimal symphony with a violin loop and a spooky piano. Future's trademark vocal slur, original flow and vocal effects are all present and accounted for. Some of this is experimental in a way that certain things have not been juxtaposed like this before. Hood raps over really baroque type of pop piano with brittle drum machines on Just Like Bruddas. That's really fucking strange. Real Sisters has really mental old school synthesisers played like I've never really heard before. They kind of swarm and swirl eerily. The centrepiece of the mixtape is the final track Forever Eva. Future's vocal is so slurred and a fucked with he's often incomprehensible. This is fine trap with great synth, abstract samples, choice beats and melancholy strings. I think this is about him being an ATL hood forever no matter what. He's a true bother forever. Well he's definitely keeping it strange for now and that's a good thing.

Tinashe & Iggy Azalea - All Hands On Deck

Dunno if this is an improvement on the original which along with 2 On were the 2 highlights of Tinashe's LP from last year. Funnily enough Iggy Azalea's rap here really reminds me of Lil Wayne. Iggy has in turn been often compared to Nicki Minaj who used to call herself the female Weezy.

Tryin to work out the fuss about this one. I like the ragga/dancehall bits on here. Is Lamar overrated? Anger can be a bit funny sometimes well most of the time can't it?

I'm also tryin to work out which is better Peanut Butter Tim Tams or Zumbo's Salted Caramel Tim Tams? It's a tough call, they're neck and neck. I'll have to get back to you with the results on that. Arnott's are not paying me by the way. I just need Tim Tams for the serotonin because where else am I gonna get that from? Maybe Peanut Butter in a photo finish.

Charlie has a bite of a Tim Tam, probably original, I'd say