AUDIO REVIEW: CONCORDE AFFAIRE '79 (VINYL LP) / COMPOSER: STELVIO CIPRIANI / PUBLISHER: STELLA EDIZIONI MUSICALI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
It's been enjoyable to see Private Records' imprint Stella Edizioni Musicali dig deep into Italy's musical past and reissue these very entertaining soundtracks to some very oddball films. Now that they've turned their eyes to Stelvio Cipriani, and it's interesting that they've gone with this score to Ruggero Deodato's action thriller, Concorde Affaire '79, rather than what is maybe his best known work, Twitch of the Death Nerve.
“Dangerous Flight” is perhaps the standout track here. Rocking a Giorgio Moroder/Midnight Express vibe, it is propulsive and intense, and the fact that it sounds slightly less than organic – emphasizing its computerized origins, bordering on something like Switched-On Bach – lends it an immeasurable retro charm.
Elsewhere, Cipriani's score frequently lapses into cheesy disco lounge (although the appeal of the swirling, moody “Synth Theme” can't be denied). The absolute dichotomy between the two styles is stark, and whereas the majority of lounge tracks are eminently forgettable, the pure electronic pieces absolutely captivate.
On the rare occasions when the two styles converge, such as on “Martinca Feeling,” the interplay between burbling synth, disco bass and lush strings makes for music that is very much of its time and place, but all the more fascinating for it. This is something you will never hear the likes of again. It's an interesting counterpoint to something like “Soft Dream,” which is piano and synth side by side, and which could have easily been in a movie released last week.
“Percussion Theme,” a bongo workout, is far too short. There's something about bongos which nicely bridges the gap between the lounge and the more serious pieces. Lastly, “Life Alert” and “Danger Call” are intense string pieces, and the only works which manage to be timeless.
The packaging is of the quality we've come to expect from Private – heavyweight vinyl on either white or black, each numbered and limited to 250 copies, in a poly sleeve with a nice poster. The jacket, as per usual, is a little flimsy, but given all the care that's been taken – including taking the tracks from the original master, and including nine pieces not found on the original release – it's, yet again, a minor quibble.