**Special discounted bundle** You may have noticed, over the last few years, a slow trickle of remarkable, genre defiant works emerging from the small, Milan based imprint, Intervallo. Largely falling under the banner of Library Music, the label’s effort have illuminated this fascinating context as an artistic Trojan horse - compositions of profound worth, often explicitly experimental and avant-garde, created within the shadows of the commercial world. After brief period of silence, the label returns with two more astounding efforts which dance within this world - Leonardo Marletta's astounding Percussioni ed effetti, originally released by Cenacolo in 1983, and Antonino Riccardo Luciani’s equally mesmerising Agonia Della Civiltà, originally issued by Flower records in 1972. Lingering below the surface for decades, these are unquestionably among the wildest and most mesmerizing recordings that we’ve heard all year.
Leonardo Marletta - Percussioni ed Effetti
Long coveted by diggers, samplers, and beat makers, Library Music has, over the decades, remained one of the great, unheralded treasure troves within the history of recorded music. A relic of the golden age of the record industry, this body of recordings was almost entirely commissioned and owned by record labels, to be licensed for use within television programs, radio, and film - stock or background music. Despite the obvious limitations of the context, particularly in Italy, many composers found a way to write, produce, and record albums which, while heard by few for what they were, ranked among the most interesting and ambitious works of their era - pure experimental exploration which rank among the wildest and most ambitious gestures of 20th century avant-grade. Within these, there is arguably no better example than Leonardo Marletta's astounding Percussioni ed Effetti, originally released by Cenacolo in 1983.
Percussioni ed Effetti is the composer, Leonardo Marletta’s, one and only album. Other than a handful of compositions which appear on other Library albums from the era, very little about him remains known, adding an air of tragedy for what might have been, as the first sounds of the album ring through the air.
Simply titled descriptively as “Percussion and Effects”, when viewed within a wider avant-garde landscape, we encounter a composer taking the reigns and pushing forward from the territory demarcated by slightly earlier works, such Groupes de Recherches Musicales composer and electroacoustic pioneer, Jean Schwartz’s, Anticycle II (Pour Bande Magnétique et Percussions), from 1974. An absolutely astounding and visionary piece of work, Percussioni ed Effetti stands entirely on its own - way out on a limb, like nothing else emerging from Italy during the early 80s. Entirely built on a painstaking work with acoustic and electronic percussion, placed against hints of piano and scattered organ, the album almost entirely presents a new vision for avant-gardism - flirting with the honking depths of free and spiritual jazz, rattling with reverb and delay, yet constantly deconstructing and falling apart in a way that defies concrete definition - forming a strange and uncomfortable rethinking of minimalism - harsh and displacing, as it is immersive and intoxicating.
Astounding from start to finish. Few will have heard anything like Percussioni ed Effetti before. A lone masterstroke from Leonardo Marletta which can’t be missed and comes beautifully designed by the usual suspect Bruno Stucchi / dinamomilano.com who is also responsible for all the Die Schachtel releases. Issued in a very limited edition of 300 copies. Grab it while you can.
Antonino Riccardo Luciani - Agonia Della Civiltà
Unlike Leonardo Marletta, Antonino Riccardo Luciani is far from unknown and obscure. Not only is he one of Italy’s most celebrated composers of library music, a member of Peymont, who’s album, Cibernetica, Intervallo offered the reissue treatment to back in 2016, but he is also one of the country’s most celebrated composers of soundtracks, partially for his work on Almanacco del giorno dopo, a famous Italian television program that broadcast for over twenty years.
Wildly varied in his approaches and techniques, Agonia Della Civiltà, originally issued by Flower records in 1972, takes us plummeting toward Luciani’s wider and more experimental temperaments. A churning expanse of dissonant ambiences, tense tonality, textures, and muted rhythms, the 13 discrete works featured across the album’s two sides amass as a moody, almost landscape of sound - almost industrial, yet infused with a depth of humanity with scatters fragments of light throughout.
Flirting with the symphonic through its depth of emotiveness and scale, dynamics ding behind a aural shroud, is a stunning and ambitious, freestanding work which, had it been made in another context, would likely have been celebrated for decades, far and wide. Absolutely engrossing and creatively challenging at every turn. Yet another must have from Intervallo, shedding light on the remarkable Library world. Like Marletta's Percussioni ed Effetti, this one is issued in a very limited edition of 300 copies and features artwork by Bruno Stucchi / dinamomilano.com. We can’t recommend grabbing them both while you can. Essential!