5 Oct 2013

Daniela Casa "Società Malata" Review

Another excellent Italian library music reissue from the good folks at Penny Records (who brought us these excellent collections), this is a straight reissue of composer / guitarist Daniela Casa's 1975 opus "Società Malata" (Sick Society), and is one of the finest library records you will ever hear, no matter how deep you dig into the genre.
Soundtracking mankind's spiraling descent into corruption and wickedness, and more specifically, the troubled post-psychedelic world of 1970s Italy may not sound like a picnic for the listener, but Casa's innovative approach (which takes in ambient, electronica, psychedelia, experimental and all sorts of other adventurous sub-genres), coupled with an unerring ear for melody makes this a very easy album to listen to.
Opener "Ignoto" is cloked in an unsettling aura with moody vibes laying a cocoon-like backdrop for a ghostly flute melody that toys with John Barry's "Space March / Capsule in Space" theme from "You Only Live Twice". Elsewhere there's an incredibly wide range of material ranging from an impeccably creepy choral piece that makes Jerry Goldsmith's theme from "The Omen" seem decidedly lightweight to synthy proto-electronica that suggests John Carpenter may have listened to a few library LPs while developing his style.
There's an excellent flow to proceedings as well (which is unusual for library LPs) with the ominous mood rarely lifting, and a natural flow on effect from one track to another that belies the diversity on show here.
In 1975 this must have sounded groundbreaking. Today, it's still an envelope-pusher, but more than anything it's a finely crafted suite of exquisite melodies. One of the best, and most necessary reissues of the year.

Available on 140 gram LP with bonus CD here.

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