AUDIO REVIEW: EXTERMINATORS OF THE YEAR 3000 / COMPOSER: DETTO MARIANO / LABEL: STELLA EDIZIONI MUSICALI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Everything Stella Edizione Musicale does knocks things out of the park in terms of reissues. While it's great to reissue a score and try something new – be it in terms of artwork, sequencing, or otherwise – there is something to be said for the ability to just do a really great job of reproducing the original in a way that improves upon it.
Or, in the case of the label's double LP release for Detto Mariano's score to the Italian Ozploitation knock-off Exterminators of the Year 3000, you create something that looks vintage even if it's not. Mariano's score has never seen an official version, and this version is taken from the master tapes. The artwork looks like this release came straight from 1983, and the gatefold image over which the track listing is spread is absolutely great. The back cover, as with all of the label's albums, features a montage of imagery from the film, giving you a great spectrum of visuals to which you can attach the sounds.
Do you like that main title theme? Good, because you're going to hear half a dozen variations of it over the course of these two LPs. Version 2 is perhaps the best, with an expanded sonic palette that goes beyond the tinny horn stabs into something much more. It's deeper and more sonorous, and really demonstrates what Mariano's capable of doing with just one instrument.
Mariano explains, in detail, just what he did with that instrument, the Fairlight, in the liner notes. While not exactly fancy – the liner notes are, quite literally, three pieces of paper stapled together – Mariano's story of how he came to be involved with Exterminators of the Year 3000 and what he did on the Fairlight sampler is fascinating. It's not only informative, but the composer's writing style is flowery and delightful.
It's after reading Mariano's liner notes that you realize why this music that is rather simplistic-sounding at first ends up being so engrossing: he composed all of the music as he would for a symphonic orchestra, but then tried to make it with a tool that would lend the music an “unreal futurist and apocalyptic” vibe. The fact that the composer made the Fairlight stretch to meet his concept, rather than alter his concept to meet the limitations of the instrument, really elevates Exterminators of the Year 3000 above the standard squelching electronic scores of the 1980s.
While the exhaustively complete nature of this release may result in some repetition, such as the aforementioned five versions of the title theme, along with every cue used in the movie, it does allow one to see exactly how composer Detto Mariano made the score to Exterminators of the Year 3000 so much more than just another cheaply-made Italian knock-off, and into music which is legitimately a collection of lost gems.