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Best of 2023

Egisto Macchi

Gangsters '70 (LP, Yellow Vinyl)

Label: Cinedelic, Soave

Format: LP, coloured vinyl

Genre: Library/Soundtracks

In stock

Cinedelic returns on the back of some pretty incredible releases over the last year with one of their most exciting and unexpected records to date, the first ever release of the legendary composer Egisto Macchi's soundtrack for Mino Guerrini’s 1968 film, “Gangsters '70”. Created in collaboration with his Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza associate, Walter Branchi, it's among the most strikingly experimental of all his soundtrack work and remains startlingly urgent more than half a century down the road.

Last copies ** 100 copies on Yellow Vinyl ** Founded in 2001, for more than two decades the Italian imprint, Cinedelic, has mined the history of 20th Century Italian music, shining light on under-celebrated gems of rigorous experimentalism, and left-field soundtracks, library music, and jazz. Running like a vein through their remarkable output, is the work of the legendary composer, Egisto Macchi, whose work fearlessly charged across the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, spanning numerous idioms and gathering an adoring fan base as he went. So far, they’ve issued just shy of a dozen releases dedicated to Macchi’s output, delivering some of the rarest of his recordings to our ears, and there’s no sign that this passionate focus is coming to an end. The label’s latest, the first ever release of one of Macchi’s earliest scores, the soundtrack for Mino Guerrini’s 1968 film, “Gangsters '70”, raises the bar, revealing a remarkable level of ambition percolating in the early years of his soundtrack work, channeling his radical experiments from within Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza into one of the most striking scores of its moment. We are thrilled to be able to offer two very special editions of this stunning gem, the standard black vinyl release, and a limited edition of 100 copies on yellow vinyl. This is a rare window into the world of a true master of radical sound practice at work during the 1960s that can’t be missed by any fan of Macchi, experimental music, soundtracks, or library music at large.

Most famous for his contributions within the seminal avant-garde collective, Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, like fellow member Ennio Morricone, or more far-flung peers like Bernard Parmegiani and Luc Ferrari, Egisto Macchi (1928-1992) lived something of a double life. While the forward and public aspect of his career were dedicated to the creation and performance of radically experimental compositions, he also dedicated a substantial amount of his creative energy to a more shadowy existence working within the field of film and television. He composed over 50 cinema soundtracks, and approximately 1.000 for documentaries and television shows, and a vast canon of library music - far broader in its aesthetic but no less experimental - quietly weaving a remarkable field of revolutionary sound that decisively intervened within the popular realm.

Cinedelic’s latest in their dedicated focus to the range of Macchi’s efforts, his soundtrack / score for Mino Guerrini’s 1968 film, “Gangsters '70”, dives into some of his most experimental work for film. Any listener with an awareness of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza and Macchi’s work within and around it, will be quick to notice a similar territory across the two sides of “Gangsters '70”, highlighting the presence of his Gruppo di Improvvisazione collaborator, Walter Branchi, who equally works his magic across these recordings. Coming to a total of 14 individual pieces, “Gangsters '70” falls somewhere between a full-force experimental record and a deconstructed, slow moving work of free jazz. Recorded on acoustic instruments - piano, sax, drums, etc. - pushed to their limits, the ensemble staggers through a deeply emotive set of changes and tonal shifts, sculpting a moody, collective whole that one could imagine pushing the Noir themes of the film toward their psychological maximum via charged blurts and rattles, machine gun fire clusters of notes, and remarkable textures and tense long tones culled from their instruments via extended techniques.

Perhaps most remarkable about Macchi’s soundtrack for “Gangsters '70”, beyond the fact that anyone might have allowed a film destined for mainstream audiences to be accompanied by such assertively radical and revolutionary sounds, is how contemporary it feels. It falls into none of the idiomatic traps and expected tropes of free jazz and experimental music of its days, and manages to feel fresh and surprising, if not boundary-pushing more than half a century after it was laid to tape.

A truly incredible accomplishment within an already remarkable composer’s career, it’s actually shocking that this body of work has, until now, remained unreleased in album form. Cinedelic has done some amazing work bringing this one into the world. Truly important and revelatory on every count, it’s available in two very special editions of this stunning gem, the standard black vinyl release, and a limited edition of 100 copies on yellow vinyl. Set aside your expectations and thoughts about soundtracks and library music. This one is going to blow minds. Impossible to recommend enough.

Cat. number: CNSV03
Year: 2023