We Release Whatever the Fuck We Want Records has started to gain attention for the interesting things they do to their records, and locked grooves are quickly becoming a hallmark. However, while the likes of the Dark Star soundtrack featured them at the end of each side, Amer's soundtrack 10-inch record begins with not just one locked bit of sound effect, but multiple instances thereof on each side. It's absolutely diabolical.
The pieces are referred to as "tension loops," and feature a second or two of sound which repeat ad infinitum until the listener lifts the needle. There's crackling fire, an idling engine, and a series of ominous tones which will only serve to make the listener clutch at the tone arm of their turntable to make it stop before they're driven to absolute madness. It's quite an impressive way to set the stage for the actual music. The music for the soundtrack to Amer is rather appropriate to the film. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani's Belgian-French giallo was described by The New York Times as "a surreal cinematic tone poem that pays slavering homage to Italian giallo horror films of the 1970s," so what better than a series of cuts taken from the films of the same period?
The cuts are all energetic and slightly sinister, with the opening cut - Bruno Nicolai's theme for 1971's La Coda Dello Scorpione - being the most eerie of the bunch. All three of Stelvio Cipriani's themes for the La Polizia series are represented, as well, giving a nicely funky backbone to the entire compilation. The first side closes with a rather romantic number from Ennio Morricone. "Un Uomo Si E Dimesso," from The Black Belly of the Tarantula (also 1971), is breathy and jazzy, and ends up being reflected in the closing number of the second side.
After five cuts of intense and funky cuts from Nicolai, Cipriani, and Morricone, the album closes with Adriano Celentano's 1960 single "Furore," which is the absolutely epitome of slow-grind Italian rhythm and blues. It ends the album on a sexy note, and it's absolutely worth purchasing the six-song album just for it.
Granted, the tension loops are a nice touch, and the packaging is a further homage to the era which it's referencing. The limited edition of 500 comes on heavy-duty black 10-inch vinyl, and is housed in a heavy cardboard tip-on jacket. Factor in the fact that all six tracks were remastered, and this is definitely a must for giallo fans, and Italian soundtrack fans in general.
AMER (2009) / COMPOSER: BRUNO NICOLAI, STELVIO CIPRIANI, ENNIO MORRICONE, & ADRIANO CELENTANO / LABEL: WE RELEASE WHATEVER THE FUCK WE WANT RECORDS / RELEASE: OUT NOW