Category Archives: REVIEWS IN BRIEF.

MAN FROM DEEP RIVER.

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Daniele Patucchi is a composer who is sadly unrepresented on compact disc and when you think about it he was also treated in a similar fashion when it came to his scores being issued on vinyl. Thankfully his score for MAN FROM DEEP RIVER aka SACRIFICE has at last made it onto compact disc, Patucchi,s score is mainly a melodic one with two central themes re-occurring throughout its running time, the composer also makes good use of some slightly more atonal and sinister sounding music which is a fusion of symphonic and also electronic, but the two elements combine seamlessly and compliment each other along the way, giving support and also bolstering one another as the score progresses. The composer utilises strings and also a scattering of harpsichord that are in turn supported by subdued brass and woodwind with the occasional female solo voice making an appearance giving the work an uplifting and almost sensuous atmosphere as in track number 12 until said Female performer is interrupted by a searing electronic sound which is thankfully short lived but necessary. Track number 11 is one that I returned to because of the fresh and vibrant arrangement of one of the core themes, Patucchi launching it headlong in an up-tempo but at the same time slightly manic fashion with the string section doing most of the work, this is a score that I have to recommend because it is a great example of the work of this underrated composer in fact when Patucchi utilises harpsichord and strings and introduces woods and mixes in a sensual female voice the sound achieved is not unlike that of Ennio Morricone, and at one point his harpsichord has a chilling effect that is very similar to that when Bruno Nicolai used the instrument in a spidery sounding introduction to IL CONTE DRACULA, this is a gem of a score that has thankfully been preserved by BEAT. Nice art work with informative notes by Umberto Lenzi and Fabio Babini.

SON OF BATMAN.

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Composer Frederik Wiedmann is I believe one of the most versatile and talented music smiths working in film today, he is able to turn his hand and alter his music style to most genres and on each outing produces something that is not only wonderful with the images on screen but also gives us music that we can enjoy away from the images. SON OF BATMAN is an animated feature from DC UNIVERSE. Released on La La Land records who seem to have established themselves as the label for these types of scores, the score is a driving and exciting one which is filled with moments of high drama and passages and sections that verge on the operatic. A dark score that posses riveting and foreboding themes and sub themes with rich symphonic performances being embellished and supported by a sprinkling of electronics, Wiedmann getting the balance just right between symphonic and synthetic and creating a soundtrack that is filled with a brooding and apprehensive atmosphere. Urgent brasses and swirling strings underline the action scenes and the composer also treats us to some low key moments within the scores running time that are melodic and subdued, it is without a doubt a soundtrack that once heard will be returned to many times. Do not hesitate to add this one to your collection.

BATMAN ASSAULT ON ARKHAM.

batmanAOA-cover In the liner notes from this release the co director Jay Oliver talks about how the team that produced this animated movie wanted to change direction musically and wanted the score to have a more contemporary feel and sound to it. I am sure that the music and musical sounds and beats work within the context of the movie, however I feel personally that the music is rather grating on the nerves it is edgy and mostly synthesised but seems to have very little real melody or stature, yes admittedly there are a handful of moments within the score that can be deemed as being grandeur or interesting as in track number 22 FINAL CONFRONTATION which is at times quite operatic and tantalisingly dramatic, but these moments occur too few and too far between The composer Robert J Kral fuses synthetic sounds with orchestral flourishes but my own opinion is that the electronics jar against the conventional instrumentation with the sporadic choral sections making the whole thing far too busy and  muddled. The motif for Batman does manage to get above the mayhem and piercing sound of the electronics but it is sadly lost amongst a cacophony of noise that is being offered up by the synthetics.  The music for Batman has always been grand,operatic and sweeping,why change it if its not broke? Nice art work and as always presented well by la la land records. BUT, Not one for me I am afraid to say.

NIENTE ROSE PER OSS 117.

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The music of Piero Piccioni was a great influence upon people during the 1960,s and 1970,s. He along with Ennio Morricone was probably one of the busiest composers in Italy that was writing for film at this time. Piccioni could turn his composing hand to almost any genre of film, but he seemed to excel in the world of the Eurospy and scored numerous examples of these movies. But I have to say that NIENTE ROSE PER OSS 117 is something of a disappointment, I think because the composer was involved with so many of these low budgets but entertaining movies his attention to originality began to stray slightly. NIENTE ROSE PER OSS 117 is a collection of nice enough themes but to be honest these themes could be taken from any number of other scores that Piccioni was responsible for during this period and by the third or maybe fourth cue it becomes a little tiring and monotonous. To be truthful I could not really differentiate where one track stopped and the next started and rather than a soundtrack to a Eurospy movie I began to think I was listening to an easy listening compilation and although packaged and presented well by BEAT with clear and lush sound quality for me personally this is a disc that will sadly remain in its jewel case after my initial first few listens, its good to see it released but honestly it could have probably remained in the archive for a little longer.

Available on BEAT RECORDS BCM9522

ERIKA.

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It is such a shame that the late Roberto Pregadio is not more widely represented on compact disc his music after all was an important and vital element of Italian cinema. ERIKA is a soft porn drama that was fairly typical of movies that were being produced in Italy towards the end of the 1960,s and into the early 1970, s. Pregadio created a charming and infectious score for the film and his soundtrack is brimming to overflowing with cool sounding pop shake material, smooth and light easy listening passages and smokey, steamy and erotic sounding compositions. The composer employing soft and wistful woodwind on a number of occasions to set the scene. Light strings and punctuating bass and percussion also play a big part in the creation of the sound and style of the score. It is I suppose text book Italian film score material blending a slightly classical approach with a more upbeat and modern style. Piano, guitar and flute are the mainstays of the score with strings and percussion adding support with fragile flourishes of harpsichord occasionally entering into the equation. A rewarding and entertaining release which is packaged well by BEAT containing a number of stills from the movie and liner notes by Fabio Babini.

Available on BEAT RECORDS(ITALY). BCM 9535