MAGIC MIX

easy . exotica . library music . soundtracks

WEEK STARTING 15 Sep

Genre pick of the week Cover of The Italian Job OST by Quincy Jones.
The Italian Job was made in 1969 and has been hailed as one of the great British films of all time, Set in Italy it tells the tale of a bunch of bank robber who set out to steal Gold Bullion - it is fondly remembered for it huge car chase featuring Mini's around the city of Turin.

Quincy Jones was handed the task of producing the music score for The Italian Job as director Peter Collinson wanted to give the pennyless musician a chance. Apparently Quincy had no job, no money and he and his wife were expecting a baby, but he was talented. So producer Michael Deeley brought Quincy and his family over to England and set them up in a flat in Marble Arch and was commissioned hired.

The production team were worried about the last few minutes of the film as the editing was a little choppy and Quincy was credited in saving the film by creating a music score that pulled it all together.

Highly regarded lyricist Don Black wrote the lyrics for the two vocal tracks on the score - 'On Days Like These' and 'Get a Bloomin' Move On'. Matt Monroe sang 'On Days Like These', as he was working with Don Black at the time.

'Get a Bloomin' Move On' (or 'The Self-Preservation Society' as it is sometimes referred to) originated from old East End tunes like 'My Old Man's a Dustman'. Quincy had a fascination with Cockney rhyming slang, he found it very funny and apparently created it for the amusement of the production team.


STAFF COMMENTS

Philippa says: "Hang on a minute, lads, I've got a great idea..." Quincy Jones soundtrack to the classic gold bullion bank heist caper flick. One part crooning (with Matt Monro), one part swinging London, one part football terrace Cockney knees up. Love it!

Goblin's genius lies in skilfully combining elements of progressive psychedelia with jazz-rock, Eastern European folk music and the Baroque. Their music often displays an eerie fairy tale quality that underscores tensions within a film to great effect.

If Bella Casa's 2012 box set, 'The Awakening' (CASA12BOX) documented Goblin's formative years, this edition comprises selections from ten films scored by the group across a twenty-five year period from 1977, culminating in Non Ho Sonno the Argento thriller for which this remarkable aggregation reformed to help create.

Among the manifold musical innovations occured in recent years, one of the trends both in Europe and in USA is to set up ensemble devoted to improvisation. These bands show similarities in their rich expressions, but could nonetheless be pigeonholed in two great families: one directly coming from the jazz tradition and one of a more intellectual kind, connected with contemporary classical music.

These trends had been deeply analysed by Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, aka The Group, aka The Feed-Back, whose bold approach to music, more linked with current tendencies, placed them at the forefront of the Beat scene. The name of the ensemble, The Feed-Back, is noteworthy: a word coming from the cutting edge science of cybernetics communicates to the public the idea of a contemporary reality, almost physical in its essence.

A feed-back is a device that enables an effect to counteract on its causes, achieving this way a given goal, as our body does when it regulates automatically our actions according to their ends. This mechanism underlies the improvisation - a special circuit whose action adjusts and fine-tunes the energy of each single musician in relation to the others.

The mechanism of feed-back transcends the inner dynamics of improvisation and aims to extend its action to the listeners, enabling another feed-back circuit, now between the band and the public. This purpose is sought hrough unusual and disrupting stimulations such as the loss of traditional melodic lines, the introduction of noise in the musical discourse and a deconstructive approach which reduces vocals to the essence leaving only a few basic rhythmic elements as a blueprint that still characterises this music as Beat. Within this avantgarde context the band feels at ease thanks to its innovating spirit and is projected in a fertile future.

For now they invite us to listen to evocative titles like “The Feed-Back”, “Kumâlo” and “Quasars” - aptly chosen for a public ready to discover them, a public capable to understand how this band overcame current musical structures like psychedelic music or underground's timorous attempts with a sound closer to our times that we could name.

Listening Center

Other Voices 02

NYC's Listening Center return to Ghost Box with another 45. The second in the Other Voices series, in which David Mason puts his analogue electronics to work on two powerfully melodic pieces. Drawing on the classic library-esque, music for schools and colleges sounds that inspired Ghost Box at its very beginnings.

After the sampledelic beauty of J-Walk's excellent "Off Beat", Wonderfulsound keep the gold flowing with Simon Lord's beautiful sophomore solo LP.

Following on from his 2012 debut "One" - a stripped down, acoustic album with a touch of the psychedelic about it - "Stripes" sees Lord return with the same classic pop songwriting attitude but a different approach, including an upright bass player and jazz inspired drummer with Simon as producer and engineer.  With the inspiration of "Astral Weeks" and the groove and sonics of "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover"-era Paul Simon, ‘Stripes’ is a fully realised perfect pop album.

Chen Qigang

Coming Home OST - Transparent Vinyl Edition

Zhang Yimou’s movie Coming Home (original title “Gui lai”) is adapted from the novel The Criminal Lu Yanshi by American- based novelist Yan Geling. The film chronicles the journey of a Chinese dissident from the 1920′s to the 1990′s, and world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2014. Filmmaking doesn’t get more timeless than this heartbreaking historical romance, a family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of China’s Cultural Revolution.

The original soundtrack has been composed by Qigang Chen, who worked as Music Director of the Opening Ceremony at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In 2013 he was voted, along with Mo Yan (Nobel Laureate, Literature) and Lang Lang, “Most Influential Chinese in the World of Culture and the Arts” by a consortium of major Chinese media.

Chen Qigang’s score, drawn from vintage Chinese revolutionary symphonies performed by legendary pianist Lang Lang, is a sentimental one. Piano is the main “voice” of this score, with cello, violin and female voices in upporting roles. In order to make it work with the story, the music of Coming Home features simple tunes and forms. Anything excessively rousing is avoided, with the soundtrack largely providing an understated aural backdrop, coming up to the foreground only when the occasion calls for it.


Vangelis

Heaven And Hell - Remastered Edition

The record was the first album by Vangelis to be released by RCA Records in 1975 and was also the first album to be recorded at his personal studio in London, Nemo. This epic work in two parts featured the English Chamber Choir (conducted by Guy Protheroe) and Vangelis’ first collaboration with Jon Anderson, “So Long Ago, So Clear”.

This Esoteric Recordings release (undertaken with the full approval and supervision of Vangelis himself) is taken from a new remaster undertaken by Vangelis and the artwork is a facsimile of the original 1975 LP packaging.

Fernando Velázquez

Hercules OST - Blue Vinyl Edition

    Hercules (2014) is a riveting adventure blockbuster directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), Joseph Fiennes, John Hurt and more. It is based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

    The film was a pleasant surprise to critics. The chief film critic for Variety wrote: “it’s a grandly staged, solidly entertaining, old-fashioned adventure movie that does something no other Hercules movie has quite done before: it cuts the mythical son of Zeus down to human size (or as human as you can get while still being played by Dwayne Johnson)” and further added that “[Hercules’s] strongest asset is surely Johnson, who continues to foster one of the most affable, guileless screen personas in movies today.”

    The music epic, driving, classic and cool. All of these adjectives were used to describe the music desired by the creative team making Hercules. Composer Fernando Velázquez rose to the occasion and delivered a fantastic score. The recording sessions took place at Air Studios and Abbey Road Studios in London, with Fernando conducting the tremendous London Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Various Artists

    Northern Soul: The Soundtrack

      In one of the most anticipated releases of the year, Harmless issue the soundtrack to the film, Northern Soul directed by Elaine Constantine. Early viewings confirm that Northern Soul is the most accurate portrayal yet of this legendary musical movement which started in the north of England in the late 1960s and has now spread around the world and become a huge international scene.

      The soundtrack package for Northern Soul consists of 2 CDs. CD1 features the soundtrack itself containing all the key northern soul tracks from the film, while CD2 includes specially chosen northern soul tracks compiled by Constantine herself. We also get an exclusive DVD with Elaine Constantine being interviewed about the making of the film by actor James Lance who plays top northern soul DJ Ray Henderson in the film.

      This beautifully packaged 2CD/DVD package also comes with a 20 page booklet specially written by Gareth Sweeney - co-author of the bestselling accompanying book Northern Soul.



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