The first LP is a movie on record, featuring the cues as they were presented in the film, and it’s an absolute mess. By the end of the first side, the listener is worn out with abrupt transitions, strange cuts, and fleeting snatches of dialogue and sound effects. Having to flip the record over and make another go is a bit daunting.
For the second LP, however: what a difference a full song can make. Mariano’s individual pieces are allowed their full reign, and this might be the finest collection of music the composer has yet seen released by Private and its various subsidiaries. Exterminators of the Year 3000 was impressive, but the mix of rather delightful pop songs such as Where Clouds Could Never Fly and the curious mix of giallo meets horror on the title theme turns L'assassino E Ancora Tra Noi into a great collection of cocktail music.
There are a couple of exceptions, however: World X is a disco banger which absolutely kills. Buried on the second side of the second LP, it’s an eye-opening cut which needs to be on each and every party mix for the next decade. If there’s any justice in the world, this Angella Dean cut originally from Mariano’s 1979 Ratataplan album needs to be brought back to life.
Part of the appeal to Mariano’s work on L'assassino E Ancora Tra Noi is the fact that the composer doesn’t go too far astray with his compositions. While he’s obviously able to work in funky synths and big strings both, he plays the music here in more of a beautiful vein than one that’s danceable. This is rather pretty music for a brutal film, and there’s nothing which makes a giallo work so well as that contrast. The second exception comes on the extended version of the title theme, wherein the back half gets a little video game-y and takes the listener out of the experience, but it’s otherwise a solid collection.
This is a limited-edition double vinyl LP, and it comes in both black and blue versions, each of which includes a reproduction movie poster. It’s likely to vanish quickly, so hop on it while there’s still time.
FIRENZE! L'ASSASSINO E ANCORA TRA NOI (1986) / COMPOSER: DETTO MARIANO / LABEL: STELLA EDIZIONI MUSICALI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW