CD Mint Pack
Reviewed by Nathan Ford / The Active Listener
Frank Rideau’s Orgasmo Sonore project has a new mission. After several collections interpreting classic European film music from the likes of Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and the likes, he’s now turning his attention to the vast field of library recordings. For those uncertain of what exactly library music is, here’s a handy introduction.
While Rideau’s “Revisiting Obscure Film Music” series mostly focused on material I was already familiar with, the source material for “Revisiting Obscure Library Music” is all previously unknown to me, mainly for reasons of access. After all, this music was created for industrial use, and it’s uncommon (but not unheard of) for it to appear in used record bins.
So, without familiarity of source material on my side, how exactly does “Revisiting Obscure Library Music” fare? Excellently. I can’t pass comment on how true to the originals Rideau’s interpretations are, but the track selection, sequencing and performances are uniformly excellent.
While library music is an extremely broad genre (as necessitated by the wide range of uses it was intended for), Rideau has been selective with what he’s taken on board here, creating an album that flows smoothly through progressive rock, funk, crime jazz and spacey synths – all the sorts of things beloved of Active Listener readers.
“Erba di Prima” starts things off in a pastoral prog vein which will make collectors of late sixties / early seventies U.K proto-prog feel right at home. Things then get nicely jazzy without losing their prog edge with Alessandro Alessandroni’s “White Sand” having a nice flutey Tonton Macoute vibe, before Piero Umiliani’s “Viadotti” channels Zappa at his busiest, and most melodic. Bruno Nicolai’s “Tempo Sospesso” utilises synth choirs, harpsichord and guitars on the verge of feedback, making this a good entry point for those more familiar with Rideau’s Giallo style work.
Side two changes pace slightly with the spy jazz of “Confronto” making good use of the sort of signature harpsichord / hammered keys motifs that John Barry employed so memorably during the sixties. “A Mind Level” mixes funk with some spacey synth passages, pre-empting the marvelous space age pop of “Electric Maneges” and “Space Team”, either of which would be a natural fit on an Advisory Circle record, or soundtracking a seventies science documentary, which the originals were likely intended for.
I’m suitably impressed. Rideau’s obvious knowledge and affection for the source material shines here, providing an ideal place for the novice to dip their toe in the water or the seasoned library collector to nod approvingly at his selections. And the handy sleeve notes annotate the source of the originals obsessively, which will be fueling my google searches for the next few days.
George Pacheko / Boston Examiner
You’ve heard library music before…you just may not know it.
Library music could be loosely defined as music composed to television, radio and film, to be used primarily in the background for a set piece, utilizing a myriad of moods from action, tension and suspense to comedy, dance and industrial soundscapes. It’s a massive, magical musical world to discover, with thousands of talented composers from around the world-including many respected artists responsible for proper film scores-having plied their wares to the library field.
Orgasmo Sonore is the moniker utilized by Canadian artist Frank Rideau, who has delved into obscure film music previously for releases on Cineploit Records, with Revisiting Obscure Library Music being the musician and composer’s first foray into the vast library music genre, here recreating twelve iconic library tracks from such composers as Italy’s Bruno Nicolai, Piero Umiliani and Alessandro Alessandroni to France’s Jacky Giordano and Bernard Fevre. It’s no secret that Orgasmo Sonore has chosen to mine particularly the 60s and 70s library scene here, for connoisseurs of the genre have longed championed these decades as a time when library music was its most fantastic and funky peak.
Yours truly would also add the electronically minded 80s library scene as an undervalued era for this music, but it must be said that Orgasmo Sonore does these classic tracks an immense amount of justice. Revisiting Obscure Library Music isn’t so much a gathering of re-recordings as it is a re-imagining and updating of this material, giving it a whole new lease on life for a young, hopefully appreciative audience. There’s a light and breezy bossa-nova vibe to such tracks as Umiliani’s “Viadotti,” while Nicolai’s “Tempo Sospeso” benefits from such gloriously fuzzy guitar, arriving with a sound composed to some sort of imaginary giallo or terror film from 1970s Italy.
This effort from Rideau and Orgasmo Sonore is successful in delivering the library groove goods, for sure, although here’s hoping that there’s a number of follow-up efforts in the work, as the world of library-from the hard edged crime funk to be found in Britain’s music for The Sweeney and The Professionals to synthesizer library tracks used to American adult films of the 1970s and 80s-truly is precious treasure source for which to be mined. In the meantime, however, Revisiting Obscure Library Music is a most excellent start from Orgasmo Sonore.
Marcus Stiglegger / Deadline Magazine
Dusty Groove Chicago USA
One of the first groups to bring back the sound of the classic Italian scene of the 70s – and still one of the best! Orgasmo Sonore spent their previous two records working through classic tracks from Italian soundtracks of the 70s – and this time around, they turn their ear towards the even funkier styles of the sound library scene – but with results that are equally great, given that many of the composers are the same! The group run through rare library tracks penned by Bruno Nicolai, Allesandro Alessandroni, Lesiman, Piero Umiliani, and others – all with this tight small combo feel that’s heavy on sweet keyboards and great guitars, and which gets just the right sort of production approach to keep things right. The album may well be the group’s best so far – and we’ve loved everything they’ve done already – and titles include “Tempo Sospeso”, “Confronto”, “Moonlight Drive”, “L’Erba Di Prima”, “Praries”, “Viadotti”, and “Space Team”. © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.