Pianist, musician, conductor and composer – Lelio Luttazzi was a multifaceted talent, one of the main innovators in the Italian music scene in the booming times that followed the Second World War. “I Miei Stati D’animo” is one of his finest works.
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A new chapter of The Golden Age Of Danish Pornography by Alex Puddu is coming soon!!!
Considering the incredibly wide range of styles adopted by Piero Umiliani during his career, it will come as no surprise for you to know that he also produced disco. And therefore here we have the long awaited reissue of a record that goes by the explicit title of “Discomusic”. The release was signed as Soundwork Shoppers, a moniker concealing the identities of the Maestro and some of the most talented session musicians of that time, such as Giovanni Tommaso, Dino Piana, Franco D’Andrea, Oscar Valdambrini, Silvano Chimenti and Sergio Carnini to name a few. The compositions instead, had been credited to Rovi (another alias used by Umiliani).
This LP made by ten tracks could have been the perfect soundtrack of a ‘Commedia Sexy All’Italiana’ (a genre characterised by sex-based plots and bawdy jokes). At that time in Italy disco had still an exotic appeal and was considered apt to accompany a genre of movies that was at once erotic and comic. “Discomusic” is some sort of a white version of a sound that is inherently black, a unique record within Umiliani‘s discography.
The track “Discomania” became popular as the closing theme of 90° Minuto, a famous Italian football TV show, bringing Umiliani’s music to millions of Italian households. The cover artwork deserves a special mention: a pop collage by Sandro Lodolo, a director and screenwriter, composer also of TV themes like Rischiatutto (a popular show conducted by Mike Bongiorno).
“The Devil Made Me Do It” is a three-track EP, a homonymous one and two different versions of the same, distributed on the two sides of a 10-inch LP. The music composer is Alex Puddu, longtime Schema Records collaborator with several solo works in a very different music field than this.
In fact, the main source of inspiration of “The Devil ...” is the music of Fela Kuti, with particular reference to the Africa 70 project to which he belonged together with drummer Tony Allen. In its original version, “The Devil Made Me Do It” is pure downtempo afro beat while, for what concerns the other two versions here included, the “Invisible Cosmic Echoes” has a slower pace and is characterized - as the title suggests - by reverberations and space sound, while the “Invisible Astral Wave” is perfect for a DJ remix and has got a slightly accelerated pace, with an emphasis on the percussive / tribal element.
“The Devil Made Me Do It” confirms once again that a handful of notes and chords is more than enough to produce charming and enchanting music; to light the fuse of creativity we don’t need anything else than a bunch of few right tones!
Listening today to Piero Umiliani’s music is an experience that we wouldn’t hesitate to define ‘totalizing’ and ‘revealing’. Totalizing, because Umiliani’s has touched a multitude of genres; revealing, because any listener can immediately realize how his extensive production was way ahead of its time and still very fresh today, now that a few decades have passed.
“Produzione” is the LP “Problemi d’oggi” opening track, originally released in 1973 on Umiliani’s Liuto Records label under the pseudonym of Zalla, one of many under which the artist used to hide at that time. The track can be found in its original version at the beginning of side B: it’s an amazing mix of acoustic percussion and electronic experimentation, considered by some as the first example of techno / trance music ever recorded.
This song, along with “Attività”, another excerpt from “Problemi d’oggi”, has been reworked by Gerardo Frisina, who cleverly extends the original content by mixing it with contemporary electronic sensations.The result, packaged in an artwork inspired by the original 1973 release, are two tracks in which the ’70s avant-garde and today’s music blend with surprising ease.
This new mini-LP by Gerardo Frisina should have been called “Olympia - Part II”, since it ideally restarts where the previous EP “Olympia” had arrived. It’s been recorded with the same line-up of musicians: John Guerretti (piano and Hammond), Ernesto Lopez (drums and percussion), Hendrickson “Pucci” Mena (trumpet), Domenico Mamone (baritone and tenor saxophone), Alessandro Marcado (bass) and Gilas (flute).
Looks like a classic jazz ensemble; however, a strong passion for afro and Latin sounds, combined with abundant dose of electronic music, leads to a completely different result. Frisina’s trademark hasn’t actually changed: jazz house music contaminated by Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and Latin-jazz elements, all made fluid, compelling and above all... Danceable!
It is almost impossible, in fact, not to associate Frisina’s music to a dance floor environment, and “Blue latin” is no exception: conceived, as its predecessors, as the ideal musical accompaniment to a packed dance hall, also this record reinterprets a musical genre – jazz, of course! - which even decades ago was considered the dance music ‘par excellence’, and delivers it, extremely modernized, to the present day.
Among the six tracks from “Blue Latin”, exclusively printed on LP, there’s a personal rework of “Na- quela Base” João Donato, where the original piano melody is played by wind instruments, and the almost-meditative “Incanto”, which combines spiritual jazz influences and African atmospheres.
There is only a tiny Wikepedia page about LucianoMichelini, and is written in German. A fact that should make us think on how he is still virtually unknown and unappreciated in Italy. After graduating from the conservatory, the pianist and composer started working as a teacher, while pursuing a more creative career as a composer. From 1964 to 1982 he also worked as a manager for RCA and left his mark primarily as the author of Italian film soundtracks. Among his best-known scores are worth mentioning “Il Decameronene-ro”, “La poliziaaccusa: ilserviziosegretouccide”, “La cittàgiocad’azzardo” and, above all, the beautiful “L’isoladegliuominipesce”, written for the eponymous sci-fi horror film by Sergio Martino.
His true masterpiece, however, was composed in 1969 and is titled “La Conquistadi Luna” (The Moon’s Conquest), one of the rarest and most sought Italian soundtracks, virtually impossible to get without spend-ing a fortune. Michelini and his orchestra produced this imaginary sci-fi soundtrack enriched by the pres-ence of the legendary singer EddaDell’Orso on some tracks.
Drawing its structure from classical and orchestral soundtracks, the album is tinged with prog elements ahead of their time, soft psychedelia and moments of sheer genius: more than 40 years after its first re-lease, it still guarantees a jaw-dropping listening experience.
It is almost impossible, for example, to listen to “Tycho” without thinking of the following decades of or-chestral pop production and how a song like that could and should have exerted its influence. Better late than never…
Way ahead of their time, GruppodiImprovvisazioneNuovaConsonanza were an experimental collective fully based on improvised music. It was the only European group exclusively made of composers, instead of simple performers. The Group tried to break the schemes by making use of new instruments and electronic effects, reinventing new timbres, using the voice in an unconventional way. They were also known for the presence of EnnioMorricone on trumpet who, at the same time (1966), was also working as a soundtrack composer for Sergio Leone’s western movies!
Up until now all the works have been the fruit of a composer and that this «open» form was in reality still «closed» to a still greater opening.
It was the presence in Rome of one of its principal members, the composer Larry Austin, that encouraged the formation of the IMPROVISATION GROUP OF THE NUOVACONSONANZA, which is the only group in Europe formed exclusively of Composers.
The members of this group intercalate the instruments into various formations, from a minimum of two instruments, to a total formation. The essential element of the group is a sense of good understanding, which is the base for finding a fertile field first for discussion and then for performance.
This is the first time in the history of western music that more than one composer get together playing various instruments, where the result is no longer the result of an individual effort but of a joint effort.
For all this, it is clear that the GROUP makes an effort to surmount the limits of this system, and despite these limits, in some cases, gives glimpses of new horizons, of a new system, with the use of new instruments. The continual invention of timbres, and also the use of some electronic effects, for example the use of voices as impulse-phonemons, puts the group in a position of actuality, where contemporary composers of subjective vision have yet to arrive.
All the pieces in this collection are absolutely «improvised» and are not the result of «editing». The most interesting thing is that the actual duration of the piece for the listener is the same as that taken for its production, that is an «effort» of few minutes. The art of improvisation is fascinating and this way of «composing together» results in an internal and external tension of great sensitivity, and I think that this is the only magic still possible in the music of to-day, no longer written, and completely deprived of all myth in front of that personage once called Author.
‘Musica per commentisonori’ is a cult series within the diverse world of Italian library music. In the late sixties and seventies, the small record label Costanza Records has published several releases precisely focusing on ‘background music’, including works of great composers such as Peppino De Luca, Roberto Pregadio, Franco Micalizzi, Vito Thomas, Giancarlo Thomas PuccioRoelens, RiccardoLuciani, and by the
protagonists of this long-time due reissue: SandroBrugnolini and Stefano Torossi.
The two musicians, who had also worked together on the masterpiece “Feelings” (1974), have often collaborated and delivered some of the best Italian library music of all time. “Musica per commentisonori” is certainly one of the most interesting. On the two equally split sides of this LP, the first for Torossi and the second for Brugnolini (but it seems that this partition was exclusively dictated by legal demands), there are twelve amazing tracks that will excite lovers of the wildest funk, producers in search of rare breaks, and those with a penchant for the psycho-beat atmospheres of the sixties.
Among the most heated tracks featured on Torossi’s side, we can’t pass over the amazing “Sweet-Beat”, “Interrupted” (perhaps the best track of the album) and “Repetition” while “Polyphony”, “Motuproprio” and the closing track “Flyer” shine on Brugnolini’s. Virtually impossible to find, even at astonishing prices, this reissue puts back into the market one of the best examples of ‘The art of Italian library music’: a genre worldwide envied and collected.
Among all the aliases used by the great PieroUmiliani, M. Zalla is perhaps his most rich and surprisingly multifarious: mainly used to produce experimental records that had little commercial appeal, this nom de plume (along with Moggi) is tied to memorable episodes of his career, releases such as “Problemid’oggi” (literally “Today’s Problems”), “Mondoinquieto” (i.e. “An Unsettling World”), and also “Suspense”, now reissued by Schema Records.
And if titles such as those mentioned above may somehow disguise the musical content (electronic music, by the way), “Suspense” perfectly anticipates what you will hear in its seventeen songs. A full-black front cover, the title written with yellow coloured typeface (it couldn’t be any different) for an album that promises tension, gloomy atmospheres, mystery and, needless to say, suspense elements that convey anxiety and distress. Thanks to the clever use of Moog and keyboards, combined with magnificent orchestral arrangements, the tracks rapidly flow one after another in a crescendo that leaves you breathless, to cite the title of one of the best tracks.
And, speaking about the titles of the tracks, what better way to introduce this reissue to the public other than quoting “Suspense notturna”, “Paurasulfondo”, “Killer”, “Inquieto”, “Suspense angosciosa”, “Evasionenotturna” and my favourite one, “Suspense atomica”. A treat for your ears, and another fundamental piece to reconstruct the story of a Master of Italian music. Lean back in your chair and turn off the light...
The record you are holding in your hands is the third (and final?) instalment of the soundtrack composed by our hero for the third chapter of the DVD series “The Golden Age of Danish Pornography 1970-1974”. The project began in 2011, with the release of a collection of twelve 8mm vintage hardcore short movies from the early 70s directed by the pioneer of Danish porn cinema Freddy Weiss. A second DVD published by Jan Schmidt's Pink Flamingo Entertainment followed in 2014.
But the thing is that this third DVD has never been produced, and never will be… So what’s the deal with this soundtrack?
So to boil it down, some of the tracks Alex was working on were almost completed; it took him little effort to finish those/ polish them off and add some outtakes originally thought for the first two albums and there we go!
Enough? Absolutely not!
So here's "Black Orgasm" (previously published only on 7” with the b-side "Naughty girls at the wild party" on Schema), "Sex Bar", "XXX Action" and "Feeling Saxy": for the first time these 4 tracks, which appeared only on a single or as CD bonus tracks on Volume 1, are now pressed on vinyl!
This ‘circle of pleasure’ comes to a closing, at least for what concern the soundtrack.
In fact, the guy behind this project is Jan Schmidt: a close friend of Alex, sharing his taste for Italian movies from the 60s and 70s and a love for their unparalleled soundtracks, Jan is the same old friend that produced Alex at the beginning of his solo artist career, with Alex Puddu and The Butterfly Collectors, right after the success of the Puddu-Varano duo. When Jan decided to produce this DVD series and started to restore the original films, he realised that the original audio was lost forever, and immediately thought of involving Alex in writing a new soundtrack. He loved Alex’s groovy porn sound so deeply to feel compelled to write the liner notes of his second volume of tracks for The Golden Age of Danish Pornography.
And there is in fact a leitmotif that subtly connects these three X-rated albums, a red light that glows and illuminates the faces of the actors, a recognisable mark deriving from the perfect knowledge of the sound that made Italian library music and soundtrack famous in the past decades. And even this time, Alex is doing (almost) everything by himself – writing, arranging producing and performing by himself with little help from a few trusty friends.
“Original Sin” offers the listener the surprise of a new sound, a real rediscovery of one of the most ancestral and natural sounds the Western history of music bequeathed us: the clavichord.
In CesarePicco’s hands this instrument, unknown to the public as very little played in the same Baroque era, abandons every kind of stereotype and musical commonplace to embark on a path which tears down all the stylistic barriers, taking us to unexplored sound territories.
The codes of baroque music naturally match with the ones of contemporary music: cinematic, electronic and experimental.
Beside CesarePicco, an internationally known ensemble of strings specialized in baroque music: SezioneAurea String Quintet.
CesarePicco described his album this way:
“I think that the sound of clavichord is one of the greatest treasures musicians have. With “Original Sin” I want to break the original sin and go against the rules imposed by the executive practice and the fundamentalisms of music, inventing new sounds connections with one purpose: taking the sound of clavichord to unexplored territories”
His album includes 8 tracks, 4 of which for clavichord and strings, two improvisations for clavichords and Wurlitzer piano, one track for strings and electronic and one for clavichord, bass and two violins.