Another impossible to find Italian library recording sees the light of day once more. Originally released in 1972, in a minute pressing of 500 copies by the Italian Gemelli label, Egisto Macchi's "I Futuribili" is perhaps one of the finest examples of Italian library music ever recorded. Despite working extensively in the field of film, television and soundtrack music for over forty years, Egisto Macchi is known little outside a few soundtrack collectors and music library music aficionados. This is a shame, as much of his work and especially this recording is remarkably unparalleled in both vision and execution. The oppressive incertitude of "Camere Anecoiche"is a masterful study in compositional suspense. Vapourous and eerie electronic tones pulse and fluctuate like the flapping wings of stunted and misshapen insects. Sound becomes slowly asphyxiated as tense, blunted string motifs twist, loosen and tighten around the main electronic theme, the effect is like being suspended in a hallucinatory, motionless hall of fevered dreams. With each successive listen, new details are born out of the darkness, hidden resonances wait in the shadows, eager to snare the unsuspecting listener. "Nouvi Planeti" demonstrates Egisto Macchi's consummate prowess in cinematic composition, this arrangement weirdly pollinates twilight zone stuttering pizzicato, rattling percussive palpitations and deep resonant drum tremors which oddly sound reminiscent of a funereal procession in space. "Richiami Spacziali" is darker still, a vertigo inducing contradiction of ascending and descending scales, rising and falling in foul perfection. Sonorous strings decay in bleak noctambulation, the forest is alive with owl-like woodwind, archaic electronics cackle, rattle and hiss creating a veritable cinema for the ears. Thematically, "I Futuribili"is a strange beast, with sound images consistently converging in unexpected and radical ways. It seems strange that music such as this, which was originally intended as mere background music for the flickering screen and cathode ray tube sounds so emotively powerful to modern ears. Far from a collection of miscellaneous cues, each composition builds and develops into a singular vision of a dark, sinister, mysterious sound world. Is this sacred music? Is it music of the profane? Is this music of inner or music of outer space? Is this music of past, present or future? "Forme Planetaire" is a perfect example of these contradictions, as dank moog droplets languorously fall from the heavens, forming taught harmonic stalactites gilded by an elegant and restrained string arrangement. Sounds dissolve then momentarily reappear, flickering, wraithlike. In this dark,untenanted landscape everything which is solid melts into the black miasmatic smog. "I Futuribili", which translates as "The Futuristic" is a fascinating, category defying recording, investigate it at the earliest opportunity. Another wonderful cinematic communique from the immeasurable darkness by Roundtable. Now, if someone will only be so kind as to reissue Città Notte.
"I Futuribili" by Egisto Macchi is out now on Roundtable/Omni Recording Corporation in a limited run of 500.