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.
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]
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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”.