elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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One problem with having a rather large collection of music is that you tend to lose track of a few otherwise unforgettable and amazing albums. While I was focusing on my dark and twistedlibrary music theme in November, I somehow managed to overlook this twisted gem from the dark Italian maestro, Egisto Macchi. "Sei Composizioni" (Catalog # GG.ST 10.036) was released on the Italian label, Gemelli, in 1975, and was Egisto Macchi's 10th full-length library music LP. His typically dark and discordant approach can be compared to some of fellow Italian composer Piero Umiliani's own library music efforts. Egisto Macchi was also known as an avid promoter of music and theatre, and was actually much more active in this role than he was as a composer. Not only did belong to a number of organizations which promoted the study, advancement and appreciation of music and the arts, but he also founded several of his own. You can read more about his personal life and evolution as a composer here.
"Sei Composizioni" consists only of 6 tracks, though two of these are long-players, approaching and exceeding 10 minutes in length. Macchi manages to make a powerful statement in a relatively short amount of time with his hauntingly effective compositions, which rival even the most legendary of horror film scores. This is music designed to infect your mind with paranoia and nightmares, and it succeeds masterfully. While I don't have time to thoroughly review each track, I would like to focus on the two tracks which stand high above the rest contained on this album.
"Sei Composizioni" begins with the strange and disturbing "Per Cembalo", which is dominated by unsettling and discordant harpsichord sounds, which are accompanied by a variety of unsettling sounds. Macchi pounds on the harpsichord in a most savage manner, and bombards the keys with various objects. The sounds of footsteps running across the floor, objects being dropped and glass being broken help construct and maintain the tense atmosphere. "Per Cembalo" would be my favorite track on the album were it not for the track that follows it.
The second track, "Kleines Dachauer Requiem", is an absolute masterpiece of dark and experimental music. The vocals, which are utilized as musical instruments in his composition, are the highlight of the track. Choral chants, menacing hisses and haunting whispers are brilliantly used throughout . The sound of glass breaking and unidentified items clashing together make up the abstract percussionary sounds. At first the atmosphere is sparse, as the vocals and sound effects are used rather sparingly. Layers of sound are subsequently introduced, and the tension begins to gradually build toward the latter half of the track. The choral chanting becomes more frantic and urgent, eventually reaching a nearly overwhelming atmosphere of suspense and dread. The cacophony of overlapping voices creates a deliciously sinister sound. If you could make a recording of the descent into the mind of a psychotic individual, I would imagine that it would sound something like this, as each layer of the subconscious is explored before finally emerging upon the chaotic source that lies at the heart of the disturbed mind.
"Lamento" and Quintetto Seriale" are dominated by stringed instruments and piano, with melodies that are more traditional in structure in comparison to the abstract and experimental sound heard in the preceding tracks. At certain points the mood becomes noticeably lighter, as Macchi parts the atmosphere of impending doom, allowing moments of beauty to emerge, if only for an instant. "Computers" recaptures Macchi's more experimental side. It begins with a solo of clicking percussion sounds, which sound somewhat like hooves on a cobblestone road. New layers of sound are gradually added, as strings, flute and chimes are subsequently introduced. "Computers" culminates in a tense atmosphere that stops short of the frenzied atmosphere of "Kleines Dachauer Requiem". "Allunage" rounds out the album strongly. It begins with yet another sparse percussion intro before reintroducing the choral arrangements once again. The piece begin rather grimly, however, the latter half introduces a more uplifting and otherwordly sound to close out the album.
I honestly can't recommend this album enough. It is worth downloading simply for the rewarding experience of listening to "Kleines Dachauer Requiem", but the rest of the album is very impressive. Those of you who enjoy experimental and contemporary classical should especially enjoy this masterpiece of library music.
Year of Release: 1975 Label: Gemelli Catalog #: GG.ST 10.036 Genres: Library Music, Experimental, Avant-Garde, Musique Concrete, Contemporary Classical Bitrate: 320kbps
A1. Per Cembalo
A2. Kleines Dachauer Requiem
B2. Quintetto Seriale