10 Sept 2013

"Criminale : Vol 1 : Paura / Vol. 2 : Ossessione" Review

Whether you're merely a library music dabbler like myself, or a fully fledged acolyte, these two new collections from Penny Records make for essential listening. Culled from the vaults of Flipper Records, one of Italy's most prominent library music labels, and originally recorded as stock cues for suspenseful seventies TV shows, it's a credit to the inventive spirit of the composers (and the times), as well as the competitive nature of the industry of the time that this stuff stands up so well under the increasingly intense scrutiny of genre collectors.
And this isn't just music for anoraks either, featuring many of the biggest names in Italian library music (among them Daniela Casa, Fabio Frizzi, Amedeo Tommasi), these are impressively varied collections that tap into the post-psychedelic excess of the era in an often traumatic fashion that those who appreciate giallo scores of the same era will instantly fall in love with.
And while it's tempting to view TV as Cinema's unsophisticated cousin, the scope of the material featured here is much wider than even the best giallo scores of the era could offer, embracing musique concrete, psychedelia with plenty of fuzzy and/or twangy guitars, orchestral themes that could have graced Hammer's output, as well as plenty of prog rock influenced material (check out "Topazio", which sounds like Pompeii era Floyd taking on "Tubular Bells" or "Suspiria"s understudy).And it's all toe-curlingly sinister.
This is only the tip of the iceberg too - here's hoping Penny make enough from these handsomely packaged vinyl + CD packages to encourage a return visit to the vaults before too long.

Vol 1 : Paura available here (140 Gram LP + Bonus CD).

Vol 2 : Ossessione available here (140 Gram LP + Bonus CD).

Youtube stream of Volume 1 below, but please support Penny Records by buying a copy once you've heard how great it is!


  1. good gods, i'm so obsessed with this kind of thing right now, exactly my kind of thing. Thanks for posting/spreading the word!

  2. vol 1 is rubbish audio quality