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Various Artists

Ennio Morricone Remixes, Volume 1 (Compost)

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Getting electronica producers to remix film scores seems as good an idea as asking them to airbrush abstract paintings. And when you mess with a guy like Italian composer Ennio Morricone, whose many achievements include inventing the spaghetti-Western soundtrack style, you're almost bound to come up with nothing really good, much bad, and some ugly. Almost. Ennio Morricone Remixes -- featuring 14 European beatheads interpreting pieces from the maestro's late-'60s and early '70s oeuvre of thrillers and Westerns -- comes off surprisingly well.

Sure, twiddling trio Needs traps the ominous piano piece "Amore Come Dolore" in lounge hell, and Hakan Lidbo gratuitously technofies the edgy bossa of "Alla Serenità." But free of electronica's trappings, International Pony strums acoustic guitars, toots muted horns, and croons dorkily adoring lyrics on its sunshine-psychedelic "We Love Ennio" mix of the formerly instrumental "La Moda," from 1971's The Invisible Woman. And Temporary Soundmuseum's ambient refix of the strings and desolate whistling in the title track to the Italo-cowboy flick Duck! You Sucker closes this volume on the plus side, by reflecting Morricone's sonic style on its own terms.

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