Four Flies presents a super juicy treat for all 7-inch vinyl devotees: the first of its 45s series singles to feature tracks from Giuliano Sorgini’s masterpiece Zoo Folle. The psychedelic funk number “Mad Town”, on Side A, drags you in with its infectious drum breaks and the rapid yet hypnotic flute of Nino Rapicavoli. “Ultima Caccia”, on Side B, is sheer afro-tribal bliss, with drums by Sorgini himself and massive funky percussion by legendary session player Enzo Restuccia.
In 1977, in the midst of a period of political turmoil and social unrest that went down in Italian history as “years of lead”, screenwriter and director Massimo Pirri made a film no one else had the courage to make: Italia: ultimo atto? (Could It Happen Here?). Here, Pirri explores the controversial (and, in the 70s, very current) topic of left-wing armed struggle. He does so through a storyline that is almost prophetic: in the film, a mysterious ultra-leftwing armed group plans and executes the killing of the Ministry of the Interior; in 1978 Christian Democrat leader and former premier Aldo Moro was kidnapped and killed by the Marxist-Leninist Red Brigades).
The violence of Pirri’s storyline is fully captured by the score composed by Lallo Gori, who uses obscure synths, analog keyboards, and dry-sounding acoustic drums to create an extremely tense and frenzied soundscape of electronic textures. The result is an album that combines dark, haunting jazz-funk with ambient atmospheres and suspenseful electronic sounds, and which ends up sounding like an instrumental proto-hip hop record where Moog synths take the lead together with drums. At the time, this must have seemed like a low-budget, ramshackle soundtrack – essentially, a B-movie soundtrack. Indeed, the extensive use of electronic sounds was meant to compensate for the lack of acoustic instruments, such as the bass or (alas!) brass, which were replaced by keyboards and MiniMoog synths. Today, however, Lallo Gori’s odd and minimalistic style of arranging makes this score sound unexpected, avant-garde, and innovative. In short, modern and contemporary. Previously unreleased in any format, all tracks have been remastered from the original master tapes.
Four Flies presents the first Italian 7-inch release of “Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti” (also known as “The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue” and “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie”), the soundtrack that gave Giuliano Sorgini eternal and worldwide fame as an occult composer \ occult-oriented composer, one who, being perfectly at ease with a certain type of Italian horror cult films, has gradually come to represent the essence, the quintessence of Italian scary music, horror soundtracks.
Four Flies Records continues to explore the vast archives of synthesizer-loving cult Italian composer Piero Umiliani. This fine compilation focuses on the more cosmic and intergalactic side of his electronic work, drawing together a mixture of classic cuts, overlooked gems and previously unreleased material recorded between 1972 and ’83. There’s plenty of highlights to be found amongst the 16 tracks on show, with our picks including the echoing melodic motifs, spacey flourishes and chugging low-end of ‘Soundmaker Blues’, the deep space creepiness of ‘Fruitori’, the intergalactic minimalism of ‘Batticuori’, the Cold War-era spookiness of ‘Apocalisse Atomica’, and the gently funky ‘Eliogabulous’.
Two years after the stunning ‘Africa Oscura’, Four Flies Records is back with another gem from Giuliano Sorgini’s secret archives, this time one which unearths some of his darkest, eeriest music – that is, pieces he composed in the mid-70s for some of the most infamous, low-budget horror movies ever made in Italy. This collection brings together a selection of original recordings from those movies, which were directed by “Italian Kings of the B’s” Angelo Pannacciò, Salvatore Bugnatelli, Luigi Batzella, and Guido Zurli, with whom the Roman composer worked intensively throughout the 70s. Due to the very low-budget nature of the films, Sorgini recorded the soundtracks entirely on his own, in his Cat & Fox Studio in Rome. He played drums and percussions and added overlapping layers of analogue synths to create a superbly sinister soundscape, thus turning a constraint into an opportunity. The result is a journey into the mysterious atmospheres of the Italian occult-sounding music of the time, something very close to the dark electronic masterpieces that made Sorgini famous. ‘Occulto’ features ten previously unreleased tracks characterized by enigmatic moods, obscure beats and esoteric themes. All tracks are taken from original master tapes that remained buried in the composer’s archives for decades.
Just say ‘Background Disco’ and you’re quickly reminded of the super-groovy sound that pervaded certain sequences of 1970’s Italian films, generally set in discos or clubs with a strong presence of music. Soul, disco, and funk tracks playing in the background, between a dance on the floor and a glass of J&B at the counter, that were supposed not to overcome the dialogues. Two of these jewels, signed by Alessandroni for the sexy comedy Frittata all’italiana (1976, Alfonso Brescia), are proposed in a new edit designed for the dancefloor.
With just a few days from the current year left, I’ve compiled a list of 20 albums from 2018 that I enjoyed this year. Among these I have to highlight the much anticipated Mutant Beat Dance debut album, the first ever album from Gerard Hanson under the E.R.P. project, a new Gerald Donald project and a compilation of unreleased Heinrich Mueller remixes, a Silent Servant follow-up on Hospital Productions, a very interesting Fred Ventura compilation of unreleased house tracks, a new Lebanon Hanover, the beautiful debut album of Curses, the impressive Eindkrak album and the debut album of the Romanian producer Șerb.
The list is compiled in chronological order.
Eindkrak – Brullend Staal [Unknown Precept]
The unreleased dark side of Zoo Folle! Recorded by composer and multi-instrumentalist Giuliano Sorgini between 1974 and 1976 in his studio in Prati district in Rome, a stone’s throw from Italian television offices, Africa Oscura is a set of tracks inspired by the wildest and most obscure secret s of those lands, intended to be the background of some TV documentaries. Some tracks were recorded during the same session of “Zoo Folle”, the album widely recognized as his masterpiece, celebrated today by the most influential connoisseurs from all over the world. Some others came right after, for a mysterious documentary whose title was supposed to be “I corsari della savana” (as stated by the credits written on the reels that we have found). All these tracks remained unbelievably unreleased until now, forgotten on some old and dusty ¼-inch reels, amazingly survived up today, then transferred and restored to compile this much-needed release. A sort of concept-album about darkest Africa, with a kind of eerie mood, nearly esoteric, to which Sorgini was very close in these years, working on horror and b-movies soundtracks or experimental libraries. All tracks are entirely played by composer himself, with drums, percussions and all sorts of analog synths overlaps, to create an afro-ambient soundscape, something halfway between electronic and minimalism, with a vibrant prog flavour. Among John Carpenter’s reminds, occultism, large prairies and Saharan landscapes, this amazing score truly reveals the creepy dark-side of “Zoo Folle”.
A volume entirely dedicated to the jazz atmospheres of the Italian movies from the ‘60s, including genres such as noir, melò, giallo, dark comedy and crazy ‘musicarelli’. With a great variety of styles and moods, jazz represented the perfect soundtrack for the Italian “nouvelle vague” season: an element of great innovation that radically disrupted the way traditional scores were conceived. No longer entrusted to cumbersome orchestras but light combos, with a fresh and dynamic sound. This record is the result of a research that focused on the soundtrack archive of RCA Italy and consists of songs that have remained unpublished until today. It demonstrates how Italian jazz benefitted from its relationship with the film industry, which provided a fertile ground to experiment and create to great musicians such as Piero Umiliani, Romano Mussolini, Amedeo Tommasi, Robby Poitevin, Piero Piccioni or Armando Trovajoli.
A new stunning chapter of the Esterno series, dedicated to the rediscovery of rare and unreleased soundtracks and library music from Italy. While the previous volumes consisted of unreleased material from the mythical RCA Italy archive, the research has been extended thanks to some new mysterious sources, unveiling some of best kept secrets from the ‘60s and ‘70s. The result is a deep journey into the secret history of Italian Library music, dedicated to sounds that were designed for a cityscape pervaded with action, car-chases, and hightension scenes set in smoky nightclubs. Jazz-funk, deep breaks, prog and psych flavors from some of the most hip names from the Italian scene: Alessandro Alessandroni, Piero Piccioni, Carlo Pes and I Marc 4, Sandro Brugnolini. This all-star cast is completed by Silvano D’Auria, here with another terrifying unreleased track after the shocking ‘Sortilegio’, presented for the first time in volume UNO.
Previously unreleased full edition for this explosive jazz-funk score by Italian Maestro Riz Ortolani, created in 1973 for the crime-movie Si può essere più bastardi dell’ispettore Cliff’ (also known as Mafia Junction’). Only two tracks from this OST were published at the time in a now extremely rare C.A.M. 7-inch, but that was enough to create the legend. Four Flies had access to the original C.A.M. master tapes, so to present here the complete session for the first time. Just expect one of the funkiest piece of the whole Ortolani’s career: car chases, sex scenes, vicious kills are served here by amazing drum breaks, fat bass lines, captivating horn section and wonderful guitar effects. Totally outstanding session, and a real new classic for all crime-funk lovers.
Four Flies Records is back in full force, this time with an EP that looks at the more sophisticated and modern dancefloor… The Italian label embarked on another journey of rediscovery, a specialty they seem to master. The destination of this trip was a dusty vault in Africa, where a famous Italian musician moved years ago… The Italian film and TV industry provided in the 60s and 70s countless opportunity for talented musicians to compose and produce a rich variety of music: soundtracks, library music, experimental music – an infinite amount of recordings that still represents a paradise for the most curious and passionate diggers. So here we have the proof that there’s still lot to discover. Alessandro Alessandroni is one of those pioneers, a maestro that built the legend of Italian soundtracks and library music along with Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many others. His vault testifies how prolific had been those times, with hundreds of tapes and obscure recordings from that period. Among the many, a dusty tape bearing the hand-written label “Afro Discoteca” captured the attention of Four Flies. The music contained in the tape had never been released until now.