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Ennio Morricone 

Crime and Dissonance

Wednesday, Dec 14 2005
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Most attempts at compiling the massive output of Italian soundtrack giant Ennio Morricone have stuck to the obvious, focusing on a mix of the indelible spaghetti western themes that helped elevate director Sergio Leone's '60s films to high art along with a sampling of music from later, high-profile productions like Once Upon a Time in America and The Mission. Leave it to the avant-garde eggheads at rock maverick Mike Patton's Ipecac Records to put together this stunning two-disc set selected by Sun City Girls founder Alan Bishop that delves into the prolific composer's far more experimental work. Drawn from a variety of bloody psychological crime thrillers and horror movies made during the late '60s and early '70s, the music finds Morricone inspired to match the stylized violence of these Euro exploitation flicks with a wildly expanded sonic palette. Acid-rock freakouts writhe in the midst of free-jazz mayhem; female voices constricted with passion and/or strangulation pant and moan in time to spare, heartbeat drums; and fractured electronics swirl over jangling junkyard percussion, sometimes all within the space of a single piece. Morricone's nonlinear, ADD style on the collection recalls the chaotic universe of Looney Tunes maestro Carl Stalling, another composer Patton and liner-note writer John Zorn hold in high esteem. Crime and Dissonance is completely batshit bananas and an absolutely essential purchase for any adventurous fan of terrifying and beautiful music.

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Dave Pehling

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