ATLANTIS: THE LAST DAYS OF KAPTARA is the retelling of a classic tale from Greek mythology. It is about a prince of the ancient city of Athens, Theseus, who engages in a brutal and epic battle with the dark, fearsome and foreboding Minotaur. The fascinating and exciting story is brought to life by the use of computer generated animation by Mind’s Eye Studio who with this project embark on their first feature length movie.



When I hear collectors of soundtracks saying that film music is no longer exciting I get a little frazzled because they obviously are not listening to some of the excellent new scores that are being created by relatively new composers, all I will say at this stage is if you are disenchanted with contemporary film music please, please, take an hour of your time and sit and listen to ATLANTIS;THE LAST DAYS OF KAPTARA by composer Peter Bateman. This is a wonderfully rich and luxurious sounding score, filled to overflowing with grand themes and epic sounding musical passages that I am sure Rozsa himself would have been proud of. It is a score that puts the power into powerhouse and evokes the richness and sumptuous thematic glory of a bygone age. The composer is no stranger to film music and the scoring of movies, in fact he has worked with a number of the worlds top film music composers as an additional music arranger and more predominantly as an orchestrator for Danny Elfman, Christopher Young and James Newton Howard, he also collaborated with composer Gary Schyman on the  BIOSHOCK games franchise. To achieve the grand and majestic sound for KAPTARA Batemen utilized three orchestra’s the largest of which consisted of around 70 musicians for the score Bateman increased the size of the brass section, which included 6 horns and 4 trombones. This certainly shows in the finished score, as I have said it is a throwback in a good way to the days of grand scores for imposing epic and dramatic movies, when the likes of Korngold and Steiner were kings of the sound stage, but it also contains a sound and a style that is more contemporary and Bateman fuses the two styles wonderfully creating a sound that is superbly lavish but at the same time edged with a sound that could be easily mistaken for something out of BATMAN or any such superhero of the silver screen. The score opens with THE PROLOGUE, in which the composer introduces us to the scores central and founding theme, strings, brass and percussion are fused and performed in unison and also at odds with each other to create a powerfully melodic piece that is a more than perfect opening for the score. This style of scoring continues in track number 2,SACRIFICE, but mid way through the cue there is a lull of sorts a respite if you will, that gives the composers a window to introduce more of the romantic elements that we will hear later in the soundtrack, choir and also strings are brought to the fore and together create a lush and also a melancholy sound that goes above and beyond lavish and luxurious. Track number 3, PARADE, is again a potent and commanding piece with its fair share of brass flourishes and driving strings, that are embellished by martial sounding percussion, and also within the cue we hear glimpses of Bateman’s MARCH OF THE CONCECRATED track, which is next in the running order, I thought at times these little carnival sounding interludes that seem to segue in and out of the piece were very reminiscent of John Williams victory music for the Ewoks in THE RETURN OF THE JEDI, it has a rawness a quirkiness and an ethnic authenticity about it. The composer also at this stage introduces a female voice which is ghostlike and highly affecting. This is a score of high quality a score that should be in your collection, because if you are not prepared to listen and be amazed then you will be the poorer for it.  Stunning cover art with brief notes on the movie included in the liner, a must have soundtrack.




Originally released on a CAM long playing record in the latter part of 1969, Gianni Marchetti’s SEVEN RED BERETS was released as a double soundtrack package which was something that CAM did back in those days, SEVEN RED BERETS took up the B side of the album with Marchetti,s classic Spaghetti western score COWARDS DON’T PRAY occupying the A side. Of course neither of the editions included on the LP were anywhere near complete versions of the soundtracks and were merely representations of the scores. The soundtrack to SEVEN RED BERETS had a running time of less than 20 minutes and consisted of 8 tracks on the LP, this new edition on Kronos records contains a stunning 31 tracks which have a combined running time of nearly 51 minutes, and the sound quality is staggeringly clear and crisp. The original album was issued in Mono with a few stereo versions being made available. The movie was released in 1969 and was to be fair a moderate success in Italy and also in certain parts of Europe. It took most of its inspiration from DARK OF THE SUN which also saw a group of mercenaries given a task to recover something valuable from bloodthirsty Simba revolutionaries in the middle of the Belgium Congo. DARK OF THE SUN was certainly the better film with SEVEN RED BERETS borrowing heavily from its higher budgeted and bigger star cast predecessor. Marchetti,s vibrant and pulsating music was in my opinion one of the films highlights, it is a mix of African sounding music and also has touches of jazz with a martial undercurrent, in short it is an inventive and original sounding work, that away from the movie remains entertaining and also fulfilling for the listener. I am very pleased with Godwin Borg of Kronos who took this project on with much enthusiasm and also affection, which I think has made it such a resounding success, who would have thought all those years ago when listening to the short soundtrack on CAM that one day fans of Marchetti would be able to buy the complete score. In fact thanks to all the new cues that are now available it is like discovering the soundtrack for the very first time, the opening cue alone is dramatic and infectious, AFRICAN DRUMS is a great opening for the compact disc and it sets the scene perfectly for much of what that follows, up tempo throbbing African sounding drums are supported by choir and punctuated by piano and strumming guitar, the drums stop suddenly and then re-start with a more pronounced an forceful persona, underlined by organ and African sounding voices, Marchetti seems then to go up a gear again and increases the tempo and whilst doing so adds more voices and the odd brass flourish. It is a driving and exciting piece which is relentless in its percussive and powerful three minute running time.


Track number 2, VERSO IL DESERTO, again relies upon the deployment of percussive elements and indeed the composition is built upon a foundation of African shakers that are further embellished by pounding drums, over which the composer places a harmonica solo, which performs a seven note motif that will feature throughout the score. Marchetti creates an ethnic and almost easy listening sound by combining the percussion and harmonica. Track number 3, DUNE MAGICHE opens with pulsating drums very much akin to the opening percussion flourishes from Jarre’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, these are interspersed and punctuated by use of shrill sounding flute, and a quirky almost comical guitar, and harpsichord. Drums then take the lead and are underlined by a feint choral support which is short lived but effective. Track number 4, is for me one of the highlights of the score, it begins with a pleasant slightly up-tempo sounding piano solo which takes on the seven note motif that the composer introduced in track number 2, he adds to this a low sounding harmonica that purrs in unison with the piano, and then introduces slightly urgent sounding strings with martial sounding timpani and as these fade he stirs a soulful choral sound that is punctuated by short but sweet sounding, harpsichord and continues to purvey an urgent atmosphere by employing the strings as a background to the proceedings. The seven note theme is heard throughout the score but pops up in various manifestations, Marchetti adding a freshness and vibrancy to it via his arrangement of the piece. Track number 6, SOLO NELLA GIUNGLE, could be from a spaghetti western, a fuzzy sounding guitar rift being the foundation of the composition, choir and also tense sounding percussion adding an atmosphere that is filled with a nervous sense of apprehension. Track number 7, AFRICAN SOUND, is again a variation of the scores central thematic material, again Marchetti adding vitality and originality to this because of his imaginative arranging skills. Track number 9, which is listed as SERENO, is a pleasantly calming guitar solo, in fact I have to point out that it is very similar to Marchetti,s COWARDS DON’T PRAY theme, if one was not aware it could easily be mistaken for a western theme or minor cue from the aforementioned Marchetti western score, it is an easy going and very simple piece, but affecting and pleasing. I love the way in which Marchetti also uses harmonica within the score, at times it is reminiscent to the style of Jerry goldsmith in scores such as STAGECOACH and Marchetti also makes effective use of a whistler later on within the score, that again is effective. This for me is a landmark release, and definitely a Golden Italian soundtrack. Highly Recommended.


CDX1001This has got to be one of the better compilations of Italian film music that has been issued in recent years. It’s a bright bouncy and rhythm filled collection of themes and outstanding tracks from Italian movies of the 1960 thru to the 1980,s. Written and performed by many of the Italian film music industries top composers and musicians. In many ways similar to the I SOGNI DELLA MUSICA series(WHICH SHOULD BE RE-ISSUED) that was also produced by BEAT. CINECOCKTAIL is sumptuously packaged with so many interesting notes by the likes of Franco De Gemini, Francesco De Masi, Enzo G Castellari and Daniele De Gemini and eye arresting art work, this will be a popular collection amongst long term devotees of Italian movie music and a great introduction to any collector that per chance might be oblivious to the great music that has been written to the many productions that hail from Cinecitta. Disc one contains 20 tracks which are the work of composers such as DE MASI, DE ANGELIS, PREGADIO, PLENZIO, ORTOLANI, CIPRIANI,UMILIANI, MORRICONE, PIOVANI, ALESSANDRONI and FRANCO DE GEMINI. If you are a novice in collecting Italian movie music then I suggest that you rush out straight away and purchase this collection, its easy listening, lounge type tracks are certainly infectious ad uplifting, in fact it’s a compact disc that one could put on repeat and just listen to all day.


It showcases also the unique and distinct sound of IL CANTORI MODERNI. The collection also features some unreleased tracks, for example YOU CAN DO A LOT WITH SEVEN WOMEN, the full version is included here, because when the original LP was issued there was not sufficient room to this. The tracks are taken from movies such as LA GATTA IN CALORE, PAPAYA ISLAND, IL MEDICO LA STUDENTESSA, UNA SULU ALTRA, MARCIA TRIONFALE, LA POLIZIA INCRIMINA LA LEGGE ASSOLVE and IL MOSTRO to name a handful.   This collection just manages to capture and convey to the listener the original and inimitable sound that is Italian film music, fresh, vibrant and above all original. The second disc is equally as entertaining, but more up-tempo, as far as I can make out it is a remix CD, the themes of Pregadio, being reworked and re-mixed by Daniele De Gemini, Paolo Scotti etc, this is an entertaining listen, produced well and a great companion disc to CD number one, my preference out of the three tracks on disc two was track number three entitled FUNKY CHOPPER it reminded me a little of the style of Robbie Rivera slightly funky house, one to put on and do some fancy foot work to, (on your own of course).  I cannot recommend this collection enough, watch out for Volume 2.


51Fu1TD0GCL._SX450_Following hot on the heels of CINECOCKTAIL, BEAT records have issued another compilation which is after the same style as the aforementioned release. CINECOCKTAIL – the second chance, is however in my opinion a better and more varied collection of themes and cues. Described as a jazzy and funky listening experience it is a fulfilling and highly enjoyable anthology of the wonderful music from Italian cinema that adorned the movies that were released during the 1960,s and 1970,s. This collection is most certainly more of a jazz orientated compilation than its predecessor, it possesses a sound that is easy going yet interesting, with cues included by composers such as Roberto Pregadio, Romano Mussolini, Francesco de Masi, Armando Trovaioli, Berto Pisano, S.M. Romitelli and G. & M. De Angelis, this can only be a collection that every self respecting Italian film music fan will just have to own. Many of the tracks are taken from film scores that will probably already be familiar to listeners, for example the playful cheeky and slightly risqué theme from SESSO MATTO, the groovy sound of FUNKY DISCO SOUL from YETI-GIGANTE DEL 20 SECOLO and the excellent ROMA VIOLENTA. But then we are treated to a number of tracks that have not been released until now, for example TIC NERVOSO both instrumental and vocal versions from DOVE VAI SE IL VIZIETTO NON CE L’HAI by Berto Pisano, which I personally think captures the entire mood of this wonderful compilation, its jazzy, funky and upbeat, a foot tapping, hip shaking, ass shaking cue that just don’t let up, makes one want to get out the white suit, teardrop collar shirt and medallion and strut your stuff around the room,(if of course I had any of those).


It’s a slice of retro that is still trendy. So overall a fantastic collection of cues, which will be played again and again. Disc two is a collection of jazzy re-mixes courtesy of Francesco Santucci, which are executed well and come across brilliantly. One knows that they are re-mixes of original tracks with a little bit of a funky kick, but they still retain the sound and flavour that can only be from the 60,s and 70,s. This is a must have compact disc, as always art work is striking and also the booklet contains informative notes.



The 1970,s was a particularly productive and busy time for the De Angelis Brothers, they worked on numerous motion pictures and also dipped their toes into working on a handful of television projects. The composing duo worked on many varying genres of movies from comedy to westerns and also horror movies. Their style and sound is unmistakable and quite unique, and combines jazz styles with that of dramatic and also a somewhat folky aspect. Their style of music has often been criticized by collectors and critics alike, and at times it beggared belief the type of music one was hearing on a soundtrack when De Angelis were involved. The off beat approach that they adopted sometimes was surprising to say the least, but I suppose they created the desired effect because the majority of their work for the cinema is memorable, even if not for all the right reasons. The rather bizarre approach that they utilized is as I have already said instantly recognizable, and nowadays when watching the movies that they worked on and also listening to their scores again was a very effective and innovative way of using music in film. ROMA VIOLENTA is certainly no exception, it is somewhat off beat a little quirky and definitely bizarre and up beat in its style and performance. The score is an interesting one, and a perfect example of the De Angelis style working perfectly in the movie, and of course it works well away as a stand alone listening experience.


I suppose one could say that the De Angelis composing siblings were doing in Italy what Isaac Hayes, Johnny Pate, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye were doing in the States at the same time on movies such as, SHAFT, SHAFT IN AFRICA, SUPERFLY and TROUBLE MAN, combining the dramatic aspect of scoring with a pop orientated jazz influenced musical fusion. ROMA VIOLENTA was scored with a very small line up of instruments, and the composers performed a number of these themselves, the soundtrack relies heavily upon the utilization of percussion, piano, harmonica, flute, keyboards and organ, with a sprinkling of choral work, it is a pulsating and vibrant tour de force which like another of their soundtracks LA POLIZIA INCRIMINA IN LEGGE ASSOLVE(also on BEAT). Is an essential and rewarding purchase, hopefully now some thirty years on collectors and critics will begin to appreciate the off beat, bizarre and somewhat quirky musical world that is The De Angelis Brothers. Worth a listen.



Another forgotten gem which has been plucked from the rich and seemingly never ending Italian film music archive. The movie was released in 1968, but this is the first time that the soundtrack has been issued in its entirety, Composed by the much respected yet underrated film music maestro Roberto Pregadio who for this assignment collaborated with jazz musician and composer Roberto Mussolini. Their joint efforts have produced a score which is a fusion of jazz styles and also dramatic and romantic musical interludes. It is a mixture of sixties hip shaking themes, lounge easy listening slanted cues and a definite influence from the big band/swing department. All in all this is an entertaining work, which although at times sounds as if it is a little ott, manages to hold the listeners attention throughout the nearly one hour running time of the compact disc. The film is placed in the horror/thriller category, and the plot is basically about an old hag of a woman called Marnie Bannister who works with a famous biologist, who has discovered a potion that can make old and tired humans look young and vibrant again. Marnie murders the professor and steals the potion. She then takes the elixir and is transformed into a stunning and sexy looking young woman.( make note! Get some of this stuff ASAP). SATANIK, is based upon one of the most popular comic book series from the 1960,s, which first appeared in 1964 and concluded in the latter part of 1965, a total of some 231 magazines were included in the series. Directed by Piero Vivarelli, the film proved to be attractive to audiences within Italy and also was moderately successful in Europe. The title role was taken by Polish born actress Magda Konopka, who was also seen in other Italian productions such as BLINDMAN and THE NIGHT OF THE SERPENT, as well as having a role in Hammer films production of WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH, and some minor roles in a handful of British made detective series made for television during the 1970,s, such as DANGER MAN, JASON KING etc etc. , Konopka brought her own unique brand of acting to the role, and although it was nothing like an Oscar winning performance, it was sufficient enough to be convincing to watching audiences. The score is an infectious and pulsating one that not only includes dramatic elements but also has a Latin flavour to it. If you liked the music from KRIMINAL then this will be right up your musical avenue, the style is I would say not dissimilar to that of Umiliani and at times Trovaioli, definitely worth a listen… sound quality is very good, and BEAT provide us with eye arresting art work along with numerous stills from the movie and a synopsis of the movie in Italian and English.