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FOUR FLIES

Koralle & Modern Sound Quartet

New Levels (feat. Illa J) / Chartreuse

A new installment in the RELOVED series, 'New Levels / Chartreuse', with an original track from late-70s Italian ensemble Modern Sound Quartet and a rework from producer and beatmaker Koralle featuring iconic rapper Illa J.

In keeping with the aim of the series, which is to put a modern and urban spin on tunes from Italian golden age soundtracks and library music, Koralle has used the unique jazz-funk sound of the original sample to create a smooth and stylish hip-hop beat to which Illa J adds irresistible swag and coolness. More than a remix, 'New Levels' is a new composition that takes 'Chartreuse' into the world of contemporary hip-hop and rap.

Lorenzo Nada, aka Koralle, is a musician, beatmaker and producer from Bologna, Italy. Nada is best known for his project Godblesscomputers, which kicked off a couple of years ago while he was living in Berlin. After releasing four albums/EPs and touring Europe with a four-piece band, Nada is heading into a new direction as Koralle. Firmly rooted in hip-hop, Koralle is taking his jazz crates and field recordings to the studio. Equipped with an array of synths, Rhodes and bass, he creates deeply textured tracks that touch mind, body and soul. "Each beat is like an object found at the bottom of the sea," says Koralle to describe his music. And adds: "The samples emerge from the depths of my record collection and find a new meaning, transformed, like corals from the bottom of the ocean."

Rapping on Koralle's beat is Detroit artist Illa J. Raised in a musical family (his father played piano, his mother sang, and his older brother is the late hip-hop producer J Dilla), he grew up surrounded by jazz, gospel and soul, before building a name for himself as a rapper with a distinctive flow and timbre, but also as a singer and songwriter. Illa J has said of his approach to lyric writing that "the melody comes first, then I bring the words in, even when I'm rapping, you know rhythmically. I'm a singer, so melody comes first, but in terms of the subject matter, the music tells you."

The Modern Sound Quartet was an ensemble led by Milanese pianist and composer Oscar Rocchi. It included Rocchi on keys, Andrea Surdi on drums, Ernesto Verardi on guitars, and Luigi Cappellotto on bass. 'Chartreuse' (written by Cappellotto) comes from their 1976 library LP Cocktail Bar – a collection of jazz-funk/jazz-rock/fusion tunes, each named after a famous spirit. While little known to the general public, Cocktail Bar is highly sought after by diggers, DJs and beatmakers.

'New Levels / Chartreuse' is the fifth release in the RELOVED series, following Jolly Mare's retouch of Piero Umiliani's 'Discomania' (12"), Free The Robots' rework Gianni Safred's 'Autumn 2001' (7"), Dengue Dengue Dengue's remix of Giuliano Sorgini's 'Oasi Nella Giungla' (7"), and Fratelli Malibu's reversioning of Alessandro Alessandroni's 'Tema di Susie' (12"). The 7" releases are co-curated by fellow independent label Little Beat More.

TRACK LISTING

1. New Levels (feat. Illa J)
2. Chartreuse

The new album from Italian duo Dressel Amorosi, comprising Federico Amorosi and Valerio Lombardozzi, is a fervent homage to the realm of Italian soundtracks and library music from the late '70s and early '80s. Navigating effortlessly through a spectrum of scenarios and atmospheres, it conjures up vivid images of action-packed sequences, wistful retro vibes, chic party scenes, and hair-raising horror chills.

With a refined, contemporary flair, Spectrum celebrates early '80s cinema and its unmistakable aesthetics, steering clear of any trace of nostalgia. It weaves together elements of synth-pop, jazz-prog, electric fusion, and chill-funk across its seven compelling tracks, reimagining the past through a contemporary lens.

Compared to their previous, strictly horror-themed album, here Dressel Amorosi broaden their musical and cinematic palette, adding ingredients from the giallo, sexy thriller, comedy, and crime genres.

Their sonic exploration, too, strikes a delicate balance between the past and present. Federico Amorosi's basslines resonate with the distinctive timbre of a Rickenbacker 4003, its effects ranging from time-honored classics like the Mutron pedal to more modern marvels like the Darkglass, with a sprinkle of 'secret sauce' to ensure a signature sound. In addition, Valerio Lombardozzi's 'arsenal of machines' boasts iconic synthesizers such as the Roland Juno 106, the Korg MS 20, and the Farfisa Syntorchestra, which was a game-changer for an entire generation of Krautrock bands, including the early Tangerine Dream.

Merging an array of moods and hues into a mesmerizing chromatic tapestry, Spectrum summons the essence of late '70s and early '80s Italian cinema, reminding us of the astonishing diversity, enduring iconography, and sonic identity that defined that era. The album's packaging, artwork and graphic layout intentionally channel the spirit of a classic library music LP from that period, or rather its deluxe version. The 650g hardcover sleeve, designed by specialist Eric Adrien Lee, is complemented on the back by descriptions of the atmospheres of each track, which back in the day were meant to guide music consultants and TV programmers in their selections.

TRACK LISTING

1. Skipass
2. Voxson
3. Studio 70
4. Killing
5. Synthporn
6. Blitz
7. Redemption

Alessandro Alessandroni

Don't Give Up / Tema Di Susie

'Tema di Susie' is one of the main themes from the soundtrack composed by Alessandro Alessandroni for the 1976 Italian noir Sangue di sbirro, known in English as Blood and Bullets, as well as Knell, Bloody Avenger (the Susie in the original title refers to the female love interest of the film's hero, who is on a mission to seek revenge for the gangland murder of his policeman father).

At once sweet and sentimental, haunting and melancholic, 'Tema di Susie' stands out from the other tracks in the film, which are more action oriented. Like the rest of the score, however, it exemplifies the way in which, during the '70s, Italian film composers created their own version of the sound of American blaxploitation cinema, with its groovy blend of funk, jazz, and soul. It is no coincidence that the film's director, B-movie specialist Alfonso Brescia, specifically requested music in the style of Shaft, the iconic film that defined that sound in 1971.

Though seemingly simple, 'Tema di Susie' is a perfect example of Alessandroni's style – in particular his unique ability to effortlessly blend groove and melody, funk and feeling, into one musical piece. So, we invited different artists with different backgrounds, influences and approaches to bring their individual take on this elegant and now timeless tune.

With his characteristic style, enigmatic French producer Mounika has spun Alessandroni's dreamy melody into a remix that resonates with the soul.

Right from the first note, Mounika sets the stage for an uplifting journey. The track's opening, with its hauntingly isolated piano, lays the foundation for what's to come. As the music swells, you'll feel an irresistible surge of positivity and motivation, culminating in a joyous crescendo that celebrates the heart of the composition. Along the way, he weaves in elements that are reminiscent of the French touch sound and the bold beats of the late '90s, all while steering clear of overpowering rhythms or any hint of nostalgic retro vibes.

What emerges is a remix that's nothing short of a breath of fresh air. It's the kind of music that not only makes you move but stirs something deep within. Mounika's touch is like a painter's brush, layering sonic texture and dynamics to bring new emotional depth to Alessandroni's masterpiece.

The RELOVED series - is co-curated with fellow independent label Little Beat More.

TRACK LISTING

1. Don't Give Up (feat. Mounika.)
2. Tema Di Susie


Drop a needle on Psyché's debut album and you'll see visions, or rather Mediterranean visions, be they of waves of heat shimmering above dunes of sand, or of women dancing around a bonfire on a rocky plain, or of bushy cliffs overlooking emerald-green and turquoise sea. The name Psyché is of course ancient Greek for 'soul' or 'mind', signifying the band's love of psychedelic funk, but also the wide range of Mediterranean influences – from Southern Europe to the Balkan Peninsula, and from Anatolia to the Maghreb – that provide an endless source of inspiration for their hypnotic sound and minimalist style.

Psyché members Marcello Giannini (Guru, Nu Genea, Slivovitz), Andrea De Fazio (Parbleu, Nu Genea, Funkin Machine) and Paolo Petrella (Nu Genea) have been active in the Naples music scene for almost two decades, most notably during the first wave of the new Neapolitan Power movement (Slivovitz, Revenaz Quartet). Over the years they have often crossed paths and collaborated on side projects in various genres (math-rock duo Arduo and, more recently, synth-pop duo Fratelli Malibu), before working together as the rhythm section of Nu Genea's live band. Following their first tour with Nu Genea in 2018, they started Psyché with the intent of exploring more minimalist styles and making music with just a few elements.

A unique combination of psychedelia, groove and improvisation, the music of Psyché goes back to the roots of our future; it evokes visions of a mythical past, blending centuries-old music traditions and mixing them with modern genres. Like a warm Mediterranean breeze, it travels across lands, seas and eras, distilling essential rhythms and cosmic pulsations.

The album's opener "Kuma" (titled after the first ancient Greek colony on the Italian mainland, now an archeological site near Naples) is like a vibrant, magical wave. With its deliberately simple harmony and sharp guitar riffs, it travels across the Mediterranean from Italy to North Africa, first lapping gently on Greek and Turkish shores – with some compositional elements reminiscent of Italian pop legend Lucio Battisti – and then speeding up and landing on the driving, syncopated rhythms of afrobeat. While listening to it your eyes fill with images of small white houses shining in the sun, of fig trees heavy with fruit, of spice bazaars and colourful medinas, and you can almost feel the desert wind blowing in your hair.

The journey continues with two examples of Psyché's bold and elegant approach to contemporary afrobeat and cumbia fusion: "Cumbia Mahàre" and "Amma". The former combines minimal synths and exhilarating rhythmic patterns of drums, percussion, guitar and bass, drawing us into the movements of an imaginary ritual dance (the term mahàre was used in Southern Italian dialects to indicate witches). Next is the cinematic and mysterious ambiance of "Angizia" (a snake goddess worshipped by the Marsi in ancient Italy), another fascinating mixture of different sonic traditions and cultures where hip-hop/funk drums are blended with Maghreb influences, Balkan echoes, and hypnotic, Theremin-like synths that have sort of a sci-fi movie quality to them.

The title track "Psyché", with its uptempo afro-rhythms, ethereal vocalizations and refined percussion, is almost a manifesto of the band's style and confirms the freshness of their minimalism, which is not afraid of taking in the sun of lands confined between the sea and the desert. The following "Manea" (named after the Roman-Etruscan goddess of the dead) is an afro-funk number with smooth and introspective dreamy jazz touches, and with an arrangement dominated by a guitar that, dripping notes like drops of water, creates a delicate, cinematic sound. Next, we come to "Hekate" (the Greek goddess of magic, witchcraft and crossroads), a track that fuses psychedelia, spacious Latin guitars and a fast, tight groove. The album comes to a close with the exquisite melodic ballad "Kelebek", which seamlessly combines hip-hop drums and dreamy guitars, and whose warm, flowing sonorities and evocative atmospheres conjure the image of a butterfly (which is what kelebek means, in Turkish) floating over the Mediterranean and, from there, the world.

TRACK LISTING

1. Kuma
2. Cumbia Mahàre
3. Amma
4. Angizia
5. Psyché
6. Manea
7. Hekate
8. Kelebek

After the successful 7-inch release of Agip, Roman producer and composer Azzurro 80 is back on Four Flies with another triple-single that continues his love affair with dreamy synth-pop and Italian Eighties culture and society.

"Notte Inchiesta", on side A, could be the title music to an imaginary '80s investigative/true-crime program broadcast on late-night television. Clearly reminiscent in mood and texture of the soundtracks of late-70s/early-80s Italian detective-action films, it brings back the jazz-funk, post-prog and fusion overtones that characterized the music of those films. In short: a contemporary-retro sound nestled somewhere between Goblin's funk-oriented recordings, Azymuth's "Jazz Carnival", and electronic disco with a sprinkle of new wave.

Side B opens with "Equilibrio", which could serve as additional, more dynamic music for the same TV program mentioned above. The style is once againelectronic jazz-funk, but here we have abreak built upon a trail of notes chasing each other.

In contrast, "Sambuca", the single's closer, is deliberately nostalgic and melancholy. Perfectly suitable for visual narratives of an Italy that no longer exists, it sounds like one of those great Italian soundtrack themes that are able to convey tension and calm at the same time. The track is titled after the anise-flavoured liqueur that Italians often drink after their espresso, because "making references in my music to things that are part of our national popular culture is really important to me", as the artist has explained.

TRACK LISTING

1. Notte Inchiesta
2. Equilibrio
3. Sambuca

One of Piero Umiliani's most dancey tracks ever is finally available again on 12'' vinyl, both in its original version and in a special edit retouched by Jolly Mare that further increases its dancefloor potential.

Discomania was recorded by Umiliani in 1978 under the moniker Rovi (one of the many aliases he used at the time to avoid saturating the Italian library music market with his name), and sounds wonderfully in tune with the then-emerging cosmic disco scene, brimming as it is with Afro, disco and black music influences. In short, it was expressly conceived as music fit for the discos of the time (or the idea that Umiliani had of them). Moreover, Discomania enjoys a special place in Italian pop culture, having entered the collective imagination of national TV viewers between 1981-1987, when it was used as the closing theme song for RAI television football program 90° minuto.

This single launches RELOVED, a new series from Four Flies in which accomplished DJs and producers rework tunes from Italian golden age soundtracks and library music.

Choosing Piero Umiliani for the first release in the series was almost inevitable. Four Flies has devoted much of its archival music research and restoration efforts to the Florentine composer, contributing to expand his discography with two compilations featuring plenty of previously unreleased music (Studio Umiliani and L'Uomo Elettronico), as well as with various represses of seminal albums, the most recent of which is the library LP Paesaggi.

And who better than Jolly Mare, one of the label's greatest friends and collaborators, to put a contemporary spin on Umiliani's original track? As previously shown in Alessandro Alessandroni's Afro Discoteca Reworked and Giuliano Sorgini's Africa Oscura Reloved, the two records out of which the idea for this series was born, the Apulian DJ and music production wizard is perfectly at ease with reworking Afro-cosmic disco sounds.

Starting this autumn, future RELOVED releases will come in two different formats: special-edition 12-inches focussing on individual composers/themes, and 7-inches co-curated by Little Beat More and each containing a rework (on side A) and its original (on side B). The underlying aim is to give new life to absolute gems from the great but still relatively underrated legacy of Italian film and library music, launching them into the world of international clubbing.

TRACK LISTING

1. Discomania (Jolly Mare Lifting) [feat. Jolly Mare]
2. Discomania (Versione Originale)

By popular demand, Four Flies is proud to present a repress of Azzurro 80's AGIP, this time with a blue cover. The 7" vinyl single, which marked the artist's debut on the label, draws its energy from and is inspired by the Italian library scene of the 80s. More specifically, its retro but innovative sonic landscape combines shiny synthesizers and dynamic jazz-funk with pop and television culture.

As he himself explains, the name "Azzurro 80" is meant to refer to a particular shade of light blue: "a worn-out, faded light blue that feels retro and outmoded", just like the color adjective "azzurro" feels a bit outmoded these days (most people seem to prefer "celeste"). Through his music, he aims to evoke precisely that color, and the nostalgic but comforting combination of sounds that corresponds to it.

Side A features AGIP, titled after Italy's first national oil company (later absorbed by Italian multinational oil and gas company ENI), whose famous logo is a six-legged dog spitting fire. The track transports you to a night-driving scene seen through the eyes of a kid sitting in the back of a family car (i.e., the composer himself back in the 80s), the asphalt roads dimly lit by yellowish street lights surmounted by the fire-spitting canine.

Side B opens with ASTROTENSIONE, a cosmic synth-pop journey through a nebula, almost like the sonic depiction of someone touching a fast traveling asteroid, while TELEFONO GIALLO is a tribute to the late 80s Italian true crime and docudrama TV show of the same name.

Just let the tunes spin on your turntable and follow Azzurro 80 into his reimagined version of the Italian Eighties.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: If you missed out the first time then you're in luck, sleeved in a blue cover this time around but just as Balearic and breezy as the first (if even more so now) don't sleep on this one.

TRACK LISTING

1. Agip
2. Astrotensione
3. Telefono Giallo


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