PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

It's a difficult thing to review an album such as this when the tracks are so very specifically titled. The members of Orgasmo Sonore spent 2015 recording 21 tracks in various styles, and this release takes the best dozen of them for a very listenable album.

Themes International is a rather tightly-organised selection. When one looks back over the past year’s worth of recorded material for this project, what becomes apparent is that Orgasmo Sonore has rightly rejected the songs which weren't quite up to snuff. While the tracks here are tight and focused, the styles which didn't make the cut sound a little loose and improvisational, even in their final, recorded form.

Additionally - and what's particularly interesting - is the ways in which some of these styles step on each other's toes and the way in which certain things don't intersect when you think they might. In the first instance, a rejected cut was one which followed the style of Stelvio Cipriani, but it feels as if that cut was far too specifically scored to a heist, whereas the Italian Library track works in a more general way. It could work as readily in a heist film or a romantic getaway, while still being funky.

It's surprising to see both Ennio Morricone and Spaghetti Western on Themes International, but Orgasmo Sonore deserves credit for working in that psychedelic mode for which Morricone doesn't receive enough acclaim. Think something like Slalom or Machine Gun McCain, and you're in the right boat. Conversely, Spaghetti Western sounds more like a Bruno Nicolai piece (a la 100,000 Dollari per Ringo) than one of Morricone's Leone themes.

Especially worth noting is the sequencing of Themes International. Beginning with GiallO and ending with Spaghetti Western creates a sense of bookend - it's very much a sense of main titles and end credits - and slowly building up to a slow burn in the middle, with Erotische providing a clever bit of denouement at the halfway point. It flows very nicely, and should easily be the soundtrack for your next cocktail party.

The end result is that Themes International is a collection of themes which are more European -- essentially, the album's a little more continental than truly international. It's unfortunate that the more worldly tones of blaxploitation or Jamaican dub didn't make the cut, but Orgasmo Sonore has curated such a tight collection of note-perfect homages that it's ridiculous to focus on what's not there. Never has the term ‘derivative’ been applied in a more complimentary fashion.



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