Crime and Dissonance

  • Ennio Morricone
  • Ipecac
  • 2005-11-18

This compilation gets right down deep into the more obscure and lesser-known waters of Ennio Morricone’s back catalogue. Often similar but at some points a far cry from the most famous works of the popular Italian composer’s canon like the soundtracks to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns including A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and other works such as The Mission (Roland Joffe, 1986), the pieces in this collection suggest that Morricone is definitely one of the most imaginative, diverse and interesting of film score composers. Other masters such as Maurice Jarre, John Williams, Bernard Herrmann and Lalo Schifrin seem to fade into the background in comparison not just to the quality and memorablity of Morricone’s work but also when recognising the diversity and incredible prolificness of the man – who has composed hundreds and hundreds of scores over the last four decades or so (and has complained that no-one pays enough attention to his other non-film work; many wouldn’t believe he has time for anything else, and find it hard to see past the huge amount of soundtrack works anyway).

Although some of the pieces on Crime and Dissonance have been previously available, this new double-CD compilation offers a choice, powerful and very wide selection (made by Alan Bishop, but no doubt with at least a guiding hand from Ipecac label boss and huge Morricone fan Mike Patton) from more obscure films made in the later 1960s and early 1970s, scores almost always ignored by the collections most easily available.

Morricone’s passion for experimentation and desire to explore sound is evident here on this release

Crime and Dissonance’s eclectic mix of exploitation flicks’ music showcases an array of styles and moods ranging from the very moving to the more decidedly bizarre. Morricone’s passion for experimentation and desire to explore sound is evident here on this release where tracks such as “Giorno Di Notte” from Una Lucertola Con La Pelle Di Donna, “Astratto 3” from Veruschka (Poesia Di Una Donna) and “Corsa Sui Tetti” from L’Uccelo Con e Piume Di Cristallo sit one after the other at the beggining of the first record, the first track being loose sounding late-sixties fusion or acid-rock, the second an experimental percussive piece with breathing and a kind of hushed wailing over the top, and the third offering a mix between Frank Zappa’s compositional jazz melee and the reverberating trumpet exercises of Miles Davis – once again with a breathed vocal (surprisingly a common characterstic to several tracks).

this compilation is a joy to listen to

Throughout the rest of the compilation Morricone’s hand is turned to various styles, each being striking in its own way, whether its an emotional, militaristic number like the main title from Un Uomo da Rispettare, the more recognisable-stlye of vocal/orchestration/band piece “Ricriazone Divertita” from Cuore Di Mamma, the cool suspense-jazz of Gli Intoccabili’s title or the ethnic minimalism of “Ric Happening” from Metti una Sera a Cena. Morrisone also takes us on a ride through his haunting and unnerving side in Barbablu’s “Postludio alla Terza Moglie”, impresses with a crazed-to-beautiful string journey in “Il Buio” from L’Anticristo and offers downright strange experimental pieces such as “Sensi” from Un Bellisiom Novembre or Il Serpente’s “Explicitamente Sospeso”.

Each track has something great to offer and deserves much individual attention, more this review can offer; this compilation is just a joy to listen to. What is perhaps even more incredible is how it does so much but still offers merely a fraction of insight into the career and mind of the composer. Ennio Morricone’s status was never in doubt, but after this release, somehow it seems even less so.

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