Orgasmo Sonore - Revisiting Obscure Library Music (Cineploit Records, 2015)
François Riendeau, better known to most by his musical alter-ego, Orgasmo Sonore has been expanding my musical tastes for quite some time now. I discovered him while plumbing the depths of the Cineploit label’s back catalog after hearing Zoltan, who blew my mind, for the first time. Most of the Cineploit stuff was either right up my alley or I just couldn’t get into it for one reason or another, but I think that most experimental stuff is like that to be honest though. When I first came across Orgasmo Sonore I honestly didn’t even know what to think. His SoundCloud page had me listening to it for days after a while, just checking out all the different kinds of stuff that he was into. There was some instant common ground that we shared, especially Ennio Morricone, and I knew if he could approach the work of such a talented individual as that with enough reverence to do it justice and not screw it up, I could probably trust him to open up some new doors for me musically. I was especially fascinated by his knowledge, of all things, of ‘library’ music. With all the love and attention the giallo genre is enjoying right now there’re a ton of other styles of soundtrack work that deserve just as much praise. Unfortunately, it’s hard to even hear a lot of that stuff without watching whatever it was used in and next to impossible to find out who performed or wrote some of it. That’s where someone like Frank Rideau steps in and under the helping guise of the Orgasmo Sonore moniker, walks you through some of his favorite compositions that you probably had no idea even existed. His latest release Revisiting Obscure Library Music is specifically aimed at just that in fact. As always it was done for the Cineploit label and is available in your choice of 12” vinyl, CD, or digital formats (hyperlink is a direct webstore link, US orders can be made for some stuff through LiTA). While Orgasmo Sonore’s previous releases have concentrated a little bit more on some of the more widely accepted types of soundtrack work from across the globe that have seen a big resurgence in popularity lately, Obscure Library Music instead focuses simply on what Orgasmo Sonore likes and listens to. Flutes abound on the opening track “L’Erba Di Prima” and it instantly conjures images of just about any Italian film I have ever seen right from the get-go. Orgasmo Sonore’s unique ability to translate and reinterpret soundtrack work has long been an envy of mine, but this album truly takes things to another level. The intensity with which he recreates the soft, vibrant pallets of sound from the 60s, 70s and 80s without any of the expensive equipment is almost unbelievable. It’s his sheer will and determination that shine through on these tracks, immaculately constructed, composed and executed by a single man. The second track “Prairies” moves more into the Morricone zone that I felt so comfortable with when I first heard Orgasmo Sonore, the twanging guitars and wah drenched rhythm tracks bleed Spaghetti Western from every pore. I should also point out that Orgasmo Sonore’s drumming is done live with a real drum kit, it’s not synthesized or programmed, which for me adds to the finished product of his work in a big way heavily influencing his style and setting him apart from a lot of people that use canned or synth drums. “Prairies” sounds like a song out of time in many ways, it was obviously written and performed sometime ago, but Orgasmo Sonore breathes such a vivid new life into it that it’s hard to imagine it’s not just a pastiche or homage piece to the songs of the past, but is in fact the real deal. Following on “Prairies” heels “White Sands” is the quintessential idea of international film muzak to my mind. Soft, totally non-threatening guitars croon beneath a lithely shifting section of warm mellow strings and keys. To be honest, “White Sands” actually sounds a lot like something off of the Manos: The Hands Of Fate soundtrack, which is also coincidentally going to finally be seeing an official release on vinyl this year as well. The surrealistic tones and bizarre structure of much of the Manos material is quite evidenced in “White Sands” and give a very good clue of where the composers from Manos were drawing much of their inspiration. “Viadotti” keeps the playful warm energy going with the next track, this time relying more on synthesized horns than strings though. All I can imagine is two young lovers running about in a brightly lit sunny field playfully flirting in the most cheesy innocent 70s cinema sense. The drums bound and bubble while the bass follows it accordingly and the flutes are most definitely back at this point; you can actually hear several different types if you’re paying attention in fact. The funky, almost disco vibes of “Viadotti” are seriously infectious to say the least. Even if you’re not a big fan of this type of stuff normally, I guarantee that this song’s going to get you! “Tempo Suspero” instantly shifts back into my wheelhouse from there, the original composition is after all by Bruno Nicolai who I have a pretty deep affection for. The tense, hammered harpsichord key progression that jangles above the ebbing waves of choral voices chanting beneath them, they mix and blend with the distorted electric guitar delivering a secondary lead line for the song, almost battling it out with the synth harp, before seamlessly melding together into a perfect combination of both during the apex and subsequent ending of the song. “Tempo Suspero” is absolutely, undeniably, certifiably, one-hundred percent bad ass! And in my opinion “Tempo Suspero” makes Revisiting Obscure Library Music worth the price of admission simply on it’s own, far outshining it’s original counterpart and standing as a glowing example of the magic that Orgasmo Sonore is able to interject into his music even when it’s someone else’s composition. “Canon” contains a clip of some dialogue from some film from some country, though I have no idea what language it is, what movie it’s from, or what they’re talking about. All I know is that it isn’t English, but you can draw enough from the way the dialogue is emoted to form an emotional linchpin for “Canon” which is important. It’s a well thought out plan on Sonore’s part that, as always, plays out nearly flawlessly. Gentle and yet somehow strong, like green wood able to bend forever without breaking, able to resist fire, able to re-grow and rebound, living and breathing – the music of “Canon” is truly breathtaking. The seemingly simple shifting melody of haunting strings behind soft muted flutes that breath atop them are at times ghostly and haunting, while at all times absolutely beautiful. “Canon” appears to be the essence of this project, and I think that Orgasmo Sonore has an ability, an ability to see what others can’t, an ability to breathe a new life into the sounds and emotions that he can see and perceive in the world around us that others miss and “Canon” may be one of the strongest examples of that. “Canon” should probably come off kind of hackish or uninspired, but instead Orgasmo Sonore drives it home to a deeply emotional place based, in the most simple and pure of memories and emotions. It’s a level of thought applied to music that very few people outside of the actual soundtrack field are even capable of beginning to comprehend, let alone apply. Moving forward “Confronto” is another piano and harpsichord driven song. This time though the song’s much more in the thriller vein, the piano and harpsichord being teamed beside groaning organs and a series of echoed bass lines that hold the entire piece together. I’d really love to hear Orgasmo Sonore tackle one of these Revisiting albums with just his choice of mystery and thriller stuff as I think that’s where he shines the most, but maybe that’s just my closed mindedness speaking because honestly, given a choice, I’m not sure I’d see a single limitation placed on Orgasmo Sonore outside of something Frank would dream up himself. His work is always intriguing and his vision unparalleled, being just a few of the reasons he’s one of my favorite things going right now. His intricate ear for detail and attention to such things makes him perfectly suited for creating rich and vivid performance, even if like “Confronto” they last only about two minutes. During this finite period of time “Confronto” wavers back and forth between suspenseful mourning tones and fits of diabolical fear of some unknown thing that’s stalking you through dark streets and darkened alleyways of Orgasmo Sonore’s music that lead to “Moonlight Drive”, which is another of Revisiting Library Music’s most interesting moments. It starts off woefully sullen, a choir of voices chanting in unison behind a slow melancholy melody, before exploding into a synthesizer lead a la the original 60s Star Trek and getting funky with it. And I do mean funky. The bass and flutes begin to square off and shimmy down repeated progressions of call and repeat with each other. Now, some of this album feels like much neglected soundtrack work that could have been, or was, drawn from some of the great composers of the giallo and horror world, but this is not one of those tracks. “Moonlight Drive” attempts to really bring home the idea that you’re listening to a much more inclusive and altogether probably more interesting and intelligent collection of music than such a stilted pigeonholed view of music from that period. “A Mind Level” combines¬¬¬ the two opposite sides of the same coin in one convenient package right after that, as if subconsciously agreeing with me. It’s at once both very rooted in the Carpentercore synth heavy sound of horror as well as the funky giallo and westerns soundtracks from around Italy. It’s an extremely interesting combination to say the least. Jazzy 80s guitars team up with a romping bass to tag team on and off with the heavy lead synth lines that permeate from “A Mind Level” from the bottom up. The next track “Electric Manages” takes the world music genre and ingeniously flips it on its head. At first it sounds like fairly generic world music, but then the creepy synthesized progressions and blips of keys begin to appear. It’s also the only song on the album that I’m aware of that utilizes a vocoder, if only for one line ‘electric nightmares’ which is echoed several times throughout “Electric Manages”. It’s as funk and giallo disco as it is discombobulated horror or thriller fodder, and it thinly treads a line of foraying into almost laughable territory. But somehow it never once even sets foot there. Again I think this is proof of Orgasmo Sonore’s impeccable taste and untouchable knowledge of the proud heritage from where he draws his sounds, influences, and sometimes as in this case, even compositions. “Space Team” may well be the best track on Revisiting Obscure Library Music but I’m not sure I can explain exactly why that is. The tightly wound synth arp in the background melts into the undulating synthesizers that probe the gritty world around them, gliding effortlessly above the rest of the mix. It may be the almost flute like tones that Orgasmo manages to smuggle into the song, but it’s one a minute and forty seconds and I’m kind of unsure how such a short piece of work can be my favorite piece amongst such an impressive collection of otherwise pretty well full-fledged full-length songs. Finishing out the album is the track “Gypsy Manou”. “Gypsy Manou” seems to combine every type of music present on Revisiting Obscure Library Music, the few extremely heartfelt almost ballad like songs such as “Canon” notwithstanding, however it’s the only other track on the album with any dialogue, and again in another language, so don’t ask me what they’re talking about. There’s funky dissonant electric guitar in the background though, tight lively drums holding a tightly wound jazz rhythm most definitely inspired by Goblin, and there’s some wonderful piano work as well. It’s amazing to think that one person is able to simply pick up this many different instruments, sounds and unconnected pieces and then assemble them back into a reconstructed interpretation of music of which most people would have dismissed or simply forgotten about. The triumphant lead lines of the electric guitar that build and grow along with a hissing synthesizer snarling a repeated melody along it’s side begin to break down more and more and when it’s finally greeted by a small symphony of strings, it exudes one last call into the darkness before withering away into a shrinking pinhole of sound to end the album. Revisiting Library Music is an impressive album for a lot of different reasons, but none more so than its subject matter. This is music that other people considered toss away stuff, nothing to be acknowledged or admired. Frank Rideau not only vehemently disagrees with this sentiment, but with his absolutely back breaking release schedule I have no doubt that he’ll be delivering more testaments of his sermon in his continued attempts to win people over to this kind of music and his style of viewing music. His all-encompassing, all welcoming acceptance of all things presented to him with a truly open mind. I still remember the note that he sent me with the LP. All it really said was, “Hope you enjoy this and it introduces you to a whole new world of music”. It has Frank, it most certainly has. I pay more attention to every note on every single thing that I watch or hear. I appreciate cues and clips more. In short, Orgasmo Sonore made my world a little bit of a better place with this album and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank him enough for it. If you want to get in on the experience than I highly recommend you get a move on. Everything that Cineploit puts out is limited, even their CDs are usually limited to no more than 500 copies. So swing by there brand new webshop (don’t worry there’s a link below, no need for nasty Google searches) and if you need more testament to the skills and diverse nature of Orgasmo Sonore’s music than check out the SoundCloud link below for everything you’d ever need. Oh, and enjoy!
- Listen to some music here: https://soundcloud.com/orgasmo-sonore/sets
- Buy some music here: http://www.cineploit.com/?page_id=182
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