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Ennio Morricone

Crime and Dissonance (Ipecac)

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The glossy booklet of stills from countless bizarre Italian films that accompanies this two-disc retrospective of Italian soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone only hints at the kaleidoscopic weirdness squirming beneath. With contributions to everything from Fistful of Dollars to Kill Bill (not to mention the 500 Italian titles in between), Morricone has penned themes from forgotten slasher flicks, silly soft-core, and family tales about Mama that reflect how the Maestro has also influenced noisemakers such as John Zorn and Mike Patton.

Morricone's scores can be by turns terrifying, whimsical, and poignant, often within a single interlude. There's no spaghetti-Western whistling here, but there are plenty of Sapphic moans, hallucinatory guitar flashbacks, bachelor shag music, and oddly metered jazz. "Corsa Sui Tetti" has all of the above, while "Forza G" alternates between the slinky and the tawdry. The epic title track from Un Uomo da Rispettare evokes a Miles Davis-Gil Evans processional juxtaposed with a zombie flick.

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