M. Zalla, aka Italian maestro Piero Umiliani, composed ‘Problemi d’Oggi’ (‘Today’s Problems’) during a period of experimentation with creating atmospheric, psychedelic electro. Written in the early seventies, the album was intended as a musical document of the widespread feelings of social anxiety and unrest caused by living under mafia terrorism and social fascism, through low key compositions of uptight undercurrents of sound characterized by classic drum machines and the use of MOOG and Sinthy.
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- Problemi d'Oggi by M. Zalla
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 24 June 2015
This is a rare treat - a film composer’s experimental, politically charged tunes that span the sprawling Western styles (that got him lumped into the same category as Ennio Morricone) and rhythmic electronic music that, dare we say it, sounds a lot like primitive techno.
It’s sort of presented as program music, composed for a certain feeling, scene, or injustice, with the intended setting outlined on the back of the sleeve. “Atmosphere of stress” - I guess that’s fairly accurate, it totally fits my mood right now. They’re quite imaginative, some pulling from the musical status quo of the time (early 70s I believe) and others being wildly defiant of categorisation.
He’s great at the whole psychy prog wunderband thing, but it’s in the electronic tinkering that you’ll find the gold. The cyclic rhythms pulled from early drum machines and unidentifiable bleeps and clinks coalesce into strange steampunk waltzes, both existing in the past and future at the same time. Weird, eh? I think I’ll echo mr. Demdike Stare’s words - have a listen to ‘Produzione’ and try to keep your head still.
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