Category Archives: Alessandro Alessandroni

Anyone who had a heart

Last week, we told you about Alessandro Alessandroni, Morricone collaborator and whistler, soundtrack and library music composer extraordinaire, central figure in Italy’s 1960s and 1970s scene. Today we bring you Prisma Sonoro, apparently his personal favourite, an album which we haven’t managed to stop listening since we stumbled upon it a few weeks ago.

Prisma Sonoro could be the McGuffin in a remake of the Maltese Falcon set in the music nerd scene.It was a library music micro-press for the Sermi label. In it, Alessandroni was given access to a full orchestra and he went to town with it:

“The editor gave me total freedom, so I composed for a great orchestra with 16 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, it was truly fun. It isn’t often that a producer leaves you free to compose whatever you want.”

Words fail us as we attempt to describe this record. One could call it lounge, and imagine it playing in the backdrop of a jet-set party in a futuristic penthouse, though cigarette smoke and controversies about existentialism. But it is so much more. Like Burt Bacharach’s work (specially with Dionne Warwick) it is infected with transcendental innocence and melancholy, a psychedelia acquired not through filigree but through depth. Fly Basil Kirchin’s genius to the Italian riviera in a Learjet 23.  

We listen to it and feel the same sweetness we do when we look at photos of our parents when they were young and cool. Perhaps we miss the (nuclear eschaton-tinged) optimism of its times, perhaps we feel a vicarious nostalgia for its dreams and hopes, things that never came to be.

Perhaps we miss a world that gave up on itself so that we could be.

Alessandro Alessandroni – Personale

Prisma Sonoro was reissued by Light in the Attic some time ago but the older pressings go for $1500 in discogs, and this isn’t a market failure.

Although we know a few things about Toshifumi Hinata, a Japanese pianist / balearic composer we also featured recently, the Internet is silent regarding the history and meaning of Chat D’Ete, an album he released in 1986.

We have decided to post it today because, like Prisma Sonoro, it opens a wormhole into a universe that doesn’t exist anymore, a universe that perhaps didn’t ever exist, a universe that maybe can’t exist because basic physical constants don’t allow such perfect folding of coolness upon emotion.

To be honest, you could say that about most Hinata albums, seamless pot pourris of franco-phile piano, exquisite minimalism, pastel ambient and tracks like 異国の女たち (‘exotic women’), a stately synth ballad whose melody might have soundtracked Rutger Hauer’s terminal speech at the end of a version of Bladerunner scripted by Haruki Murakami and shot by Michael Mann in that impossible universe of blinding neon we alluded to above.

Toshifumi Hinata – 異国の女たち

More info about Chat D’Ete in discogs.

Italian Body Music

Riccardo Mazza’s first release in Yerevan Tapes is called the Hierarchy of Being, and each of its songs is a document from a journey through tundras of abstract menace.

Imagine the albino geology at the beginning of The Thing, and the unspeakable things that happened there, and then…go there. Although the underlying feeling is whatever exists a moment before horror reigns supreme, the channels through which it arrives are diverse: we roam the dissonant mists of an Anselm Kiefer nightmare; we infer alien cultures from a tablet found in the ice, we jack to the heartthrob of the beast in an abandoned hangar.

In h.b.t., we rediscover a black slab with Severed Head’s lost remix of Liars’ They Were Wrong So We Drowned, the one that disappeared from their studio after that power cut when the shadows came alive, and a sulphurous stench engulfed everything. The synth arpeggio in this jam is the meanest thing we’ve heard since Golden Teacher’s Dante and Pilgrim, and we need to say no more.

RM – h.b.t.

The Hierarchy of Being comes out on the 22nd of this month on on white tape cassette limited to 100. Pre-order here.

Alessandro Alessandroni is a total legend. He was the twangy guitarist and master whistler in Ennio Morricone’s soundtracks for Sergio Leone’s Western trilogy. He himself has soundtracked everything – from horror to eurotrash to porn. He has created transcendental lounge wonders the likes of you you won’t believe…

…but we’ll tell you about all these things some other day. Today we stick with the theme of Italian Body Music, and bring you ‘Heavy and Light Industry’, an Alessandroni library music LP released in experimental label Coloursound.

In it, he creates the sonic backdrop for a hauntology of research and development and continuous manufacturing processes, its syncopated rhythms represent the march of progress and its materialistic cornucopia at their most terrifying, ending with the grotesque carnival in Karl Marx’ dance of commodities, where humans become machines and machines come alive.

It’s scary because it’s true.

And if Akira had been a 1970s defcon-2 spy-fest starring James Coburn, Work Cycle would have provided Tetsuo’s theme.

Alessandro Alessandroni – Work Cycle

More information at Discogs.