PORTO, Luigi

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'Scimmie' LP/CD set.

This set is limited to 250 copies.


"Since I first joined forces with Cineploit, an Austrian record label that has been committed to the Italian Giallo films of the 70s and 80s; they have never failed to surprise. Their latest release Luigi Porto’s Scimmie (due September 8th) marks something of a departure for the label. In essence, it’s a modern score. L’Apocalisse Delle Scimmie is a 2012 film from Italian director Romano Scavolini – a director / cinematographer who has been around since the late 50s. However, Scavolini is perhaps best known for his 1981 slasher movie Nightmares in a Damaged Brain (aka Nightmare). The film gained certain notoriety among horror fans when it was banned in the UK as a video nasty which saw its distributor serving 18 months in prison for refusing to edit out one second of a violent scene.

For the purposes of Luigi Porto’s CD soundtrack, the title has been simplified to just Scimmie. Porto’s score is incredibly avant-garde in its delivery, almost experimental at stages. But there are some particularly haunting, atmospheric and dare I say familiar moments. Its opening track for instance, contains some eerie lone piano notes, a motif which instantly transported me to the glorious Stanley Myers score, Sitting Target (1971). Porto layers the track with delicate wordless vocals, a curious mix of static, monkey cries and an addictive percussion back beat – all of which transpires into an eclectic and yet quite beautiful introduction. There are of course darker moments which hint of Porto’s love of classic Giallo and its influences. The music is clearly (and unashamedly) unsettling, so don’t expect any form of flowing continuity. On their initial meeting, director Scavolini explained to Porto, ‘I don’t want film music […] create a sort of “pain symphony” something that continues even if the film stops, a music that doesn’t care’. A symphony is arguably the most apt description of Porto’s composition, there is something quite irresistible about it, and certainly never fails to hold the listeners attention. To use a somewhat redundant term, it is a fine example of ‘Musique concrete’, and Porto resurrects it extraordinarily well. On my initial listening, it left me a little bewildered, even puzzled by its irrational changing styles and directions. Yet, by the second and third play, the journey started to become smoother – almost as if a pattern or form was taking shape. If you are open minded enough and prepared to be embraced by the experience, Scimmie is something of a psychedelic ride. Initially, it may appear to be somewhat unwelcoming, but if you’re prepared to go the distance and perhaps take it around the track a few additional times, you may just find yourself in a very comfortable seat that you won’t want to give up easily…"

Darren Allison / Cinema Retro (UK)