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Best of 2022

Ennio Morricone

Controfase (LP)

Label: Holy Basil Records

Format: LP

Genre: Library/Soundtracks

In stock


Composed by Ennio Morricone alongside friend and frequent collaborator Bruno Nicolai, "Controfase" is one of the most overlooked and lesser known chapters in the maestro's extensive catalog. Various experimental elements perfectly intertwine in these skilful compositions, VCS3 blend with hair-raising violin notes on a pattern of ominous percussions by Egisto Macchi. With the precious help of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza as well as Edda Dell'Orso angelic voice, the two masterminds have crafted a true hidden gem.

"Deep in the phone-book-sized discography of Ennio Morricone is a series of collaborative free-improv recordings with the avant collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza, just some of the work that gave him nearly as much esteem in contemporary classical circles as it did among film buffs. (Just ask John Zorn.) And while it might seem strange to consider Morricone part of the library music canon—a soundtrack written without a film in mind is a singular oddity in his catalog—it’s also a good entry point into his avant tendencies. Contro Fase was released in the midst of a repertoire of early ’70s soundtracks that stretched Morricone’s compositional mastery through the context of suspense thrillers, crime dramas, supernatural horror, and the last wave of spaghetti Westerns. Its ominous string section is like Morricone’s permutation of the motifs in the theme to Psycho, which is the kind of thing most people don’t know they want to hear until they know it exists—but the album also seems at home alongside the orchestral minimalism of Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet." (Pitchfork9

Cat. number: HBR-014
Year: 2022