Cine 02 – MalaBimba S/T

George Pacheco / Boston Examiner

Malabimba create memorable, cinematic mood music

Inspired by the classic cinematic composers of 1970s Italy, the Austrian duo known as Malabimba achieve quite an evocative first effort here on their self-titled debut for Cineploit Records, a moving and memorable sonic excursion which drives home some severely shakin’ sonic ruckus. To be fair, there is also a hefty share of 1960s bossa nova groove and 80s synth magic present within Malabimba’s organic, funky grooves, embracing the Italian soundtrack aesthetic with glee ‘n glorious aplomb. Utilizing a handmade aesthetic in their approach, Malabimba make it a point to create all of their groovy sounds the old fashioned way, ensuring that the brilliantly warm, analog production does them the best possible sonic favors. As a result, the bass, guitar and organ tones are fleshed out to the max, setting up plenty of moods throughout the album’s eighteen tracks, from rugged and aggressive vibes—perfect for a hard boiled Italian crime thriller or poliziotteschi—to the smooth, swinging sexiness of “La Svolta” or “Diventare Adulto,” which wouldn’t sound out of place on one of Stelvio Cipriani’s erotic film scores. Malabimba aims to please, regardless of the mood, setting up a fitting audio accompaniment each and every time. Right from the get go, it becomes clear that this musical duo is more than just the sum of their inspired parts, but rather songsmiths who take said influence and run with it, in the process creating their own weird, wild and wonderful world of memorable mood music.

VIRUS Magazin

Alex Wank kommt aus Wien und war im früheren Leben Drummer der berühmt-berüchtigen Perverso-Metaller von Pungent Stench, die nicht nur Bilder des Virus-Frühphasen-Kunstboys Joel-Peter Witkin sondern auch ordentlich Humor an Bord hatten. Alex ist aber auch großer Fan italienischer Horror- Giallo- und anders zu verortender Bahnhofskinofilme aus dem Lande der guten Tomatensoßen. Als Fachmann der Materie und Musikus hat er natürlich einen besonderen Narren an den dräuenden Sleaze-Synthesizer-Soundtracks der Filme gefressen und vor nicht allzu langer Zeit sein Label Cineploit gegründet. Hier veröffentlicht er Soundtracks zu imaginären italienischen Genrefilmen. Das macht Spaß. Eines seiner Projekte ist das Drums & Tasten-Projekt Malabimba (benannt nach einem 1979er Bumsschloss-Heuler von Schmiermeister Andrea Bianchi) der Gebrüder Di Cipolla und vorm inneren Auge laufen dann auch sofort Szenen nackiger Rosalba Neris auf der Flucht vor schnaufenden Lucianno Pigozzi-Unholden mit komischen Hüten oder mindestens schwarzen Handschuhen ab, die früher von Leuten wie Cipriani, Micalizzi, den De Angelis Jungs oder Goblin unterlegt worden wären. Es pocht und pluckert, dass man sich in einer Mitternachtsvorstellung wähnt und manchmal musste ich beim Hören der Scheibe eher noch an die angefunkten Synthies John Carpenters als an die Cinecittà denken, was aber beileibe nichts Negatives ist. Der Gedanke, wie die Soundideen der Zwiebelbrüder wohl klängen, wenn man das Gerüst aus Keys und Schlagzeug mit Orchestrierung und/oder einer Band auskleiden würde, kommt mir äußerst reizvoll vor und beschäftigt den Komponisten bestimmt ebenfalls. Malabimba gibt’s auch als limitiertes Vinyl, was eine Freude ist.

Dusty Groove, Chicago

A really great group with a strong influence from 70s Italian soundtracks – one that serves up some mighty spare instrumentation that just includes percussion and keyboards – the latter of which is heavy on organ and synthesizer! The music has a really sinister feel – like the kind of grooves, both funky and mellow, you’d find on some sort of spooky soundtrack from years back – almost like some of Goblin’s best film scores of the 70s, but without as much jamming overall! The approach is really wonderful – lean, mean, and far from cliche – and titles include “Isolato”, “Malabimba 1”, “La Fortuna Alterna”, “La Svolta”, “Addormentato”, “La Piaga Dell Umo”, and “La Violenza”. (Comes with a bonus CD of the album!)

Zero Tolerance – Geoff Birchenall – 4/5

MalaBimba are an Austrian duo who are, it seems, huge fans of Giallo Cinema and the musical works of the likes of Goblin, Riz Ortolani and Franco Micalizzi. With this self titled debut they have gleefully carved out a rustically-produced homage to all things Giallo, and conjure a beautiful-yet-menacing dark-trash aesthetic that was in the DNA of 70´s Italian Cinema which wowed grindhouse theatres back in the day. The fact that the recording process was carried out on tape machines adds to the authentic vintage feel  and woven with that deep, deranged yet playful keyboard-assault, conjures images Argento set-pieces featuring impossibly red blood dripping from the neck of a bella donna italiana! Belissima!

Marcus Stiglegger Deadline

Und schließlich ist da noch Wanks eigenes Projekt MALABIMBA , benannt nach einem dubiosen 70er-Sexfilm, ein Duo, das unterschiedlichste genuin italienische Genres heraufbeschwört, mit analogen Keyboardsounds und teils fast funkigen Beats. Das ist verführerisch sleazy und verlangt nach entsprechenden Retrobildern – vom Giallo zum Polizeifilm, vom Erotikdrama zum Splatterhorror.

Subzine Blogspot New Zealand

A quick google search shows that “MalaBimba” is the title of a 1979 Italian horror/soft porn movie. I haven’t seen it so I’m going to go with my imagined version. The album cover features a small child stabbing a teddy bear through the top of the head with a bread knife. This sets the scene for a twisted B grade slasher/cannibal flick with a minimalist score featuring drums and 70s style analogue keyboards. Like a stripped back Goblin without guitars. The film kicks off with the creepy laid back jingle of “Meta Strada 1” which is followed by the 70’s cop show theme styled “Meta Strada 2”. Both of which allow us to establish that MalaBimba is set during 1974 in an isolated country town somewhere in Italy, where there is only one remaining cop. I did find the scene, set to the goofy ‘Addormentato’ (then leading into the more dramatic tones of ‘Addormentato 2’) to be very effective. In his teenage years, our main character seeks revenge on his over domineering grandmother by graphically forcing, base first, an entire dial telephone up her ass. However, I think that the director and producer should have chosen clever editing and sound effects to replicate this, rather than blowing a good chunk of the movie’s budget to hire an Anal Contortionist to carry out the stunt. As he grows up, our lead antagonist then goes on his sick and twisted psycho sexual rampage through the small Italian town, whilst evading (and eventually beheading) the local cop to the sounds of ‘Diventare Adulto’, ‘L’Ultimo Poliziotto’ and ‘La Violenza’ among others. This is a solid first effort, but I would like to hear this duo expand instrumentally. Funk bass, jazz trumpets and the odd gong or kettle drum wouldn’t go amiss here. Perhaps in future movies, if the director and producer channel their budgets towards the soundtrack (rather than international casting calls for practitioners in the dark arts of Anal Contortion), it will allow them to expand musically into these and ‘other’ areas.

For now though this stripped back approach works to the movie’s stark advantage. Particularly in the final scene, where in what we assume (hope?) is a dream sequence, the lead gets his just deserts when a giant replica of his tortured childhood Teddy bear gets his revenge by ramming a fence post through the top of his skull. All of which is set to the sound of the rather groovy and up tempo ‘Senza Disciplinare (Qui Finisce Male)’.