Saturday, December 7, 2013

Revisiting Obscure Library Music


It may be one of the most unknown facts of the whole history of recorded music. Something the general public could have totally missed, thanks to the many labels who revealed their vaults to the collectors and DJ. Now, this way of doing music is long gone : recording music for films, TV, documentary or radio and pressing albums out of it. Album intended for studios, film directors, TV channels, distributed inside the industry and never released commercially for public. 
All of this music could have disappeared, totally, if not of a few deranged mind collectors who had their own ideas about this secret music. That there could be some good stuff to discover. How crazy! Generic music, background music, "musak", elevator music, what the heck!? Why not forget about all of this? Who needs to listen to background music for adds? 
Well, have you ever noticed the music in a 70's add? Or a late 60's TV show? or an early 80's sport program? Don't you remember the drums rolls and funky music all over the place on TV? That strange synthesizer music during TV intermission and obscure documentary and during children programs? Oh yeah, now you remember. Maybe it would worth to have look in case we find a few exceptional pieces of music, don't you think?

So, that was some of these collectors thought and that's what they did, plunging into this vast and unknown territory of the music industry. And some of them, never came back! The discovery was shocking, unexpected, perilous : Library Music is maybe one of the most underestimated genres of music! It goes beyond the simple background music it's supposedly intended for. The music is fresh, original, bold, funky, experimental, groovy, tight. The quality of the recording is high. The musicianship is high. And there seems to have no end to it. Imagine a big amount of records, a number you think there could be. Try to figure as many albums as you think there is out there from this industry. And then, multiply this number by 100. Really.

Nini Nardini - Tropicalia. It was first unfolded by Luke Vibert in his "Nuggets" compilation. This is so sensually groovy that your speakers will melt and your dinner guest will suddenly wants to get naked.

The total number of labels alone who produced this music is still hard to figure. They were coming from the UK, from France, from Germany, from Italy, from Canada, from the USA. We just start to have a complete figure now that the collectors are ripping the vinyl and make them available on blog, list them on place like We just now are seeing the himalayan amount of music to explore, in every existing genre.

April Orchestra présente Caravelli (vol. 16) - one of the most sought-after library albums, this masterpiece blend strings and a menacing bass in a way that will freak the shit out of you. A soundtrack for a horror film that never was.

Digging for Library music is like a drug. Once you get into it, you may not escape unscathed. Your social life will suffer. And your budget too! First of all, you will find nobody to discuss about your last listens. Because nobody knows about Library music. Then, you will see no end to the quest. And albums are selling for utter high amount of money. One song leads to another, albums after albums. You press play, and you never know what's next. Just a few evocative titles wrapped in some thematic album. Songs are short. You start to get into it, the music is growing on you, and then it's gone. You move to the next one, to the next album. Endlessly.

Telemusic 78 - Automation. The french touch before the french touch with this late 70s electronic library record composed by studio bassist Sauveur Mallia. A lot of library record from France, UK or Italy feature experimentation with synthesizers

I know some of you know a lot about Library music, others may be wondering what I'm talking about.

Well, this is where ORGASMO SONORE's new project arrives : Revisiting Obscure Library Music

After 3 albums doing the soundtrack revival thing, it's time for a new horizon. A new "obscure" field to reveal. Library and film music have many things in common. In Fact, a lot of film composers did works for library music labels : Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani, François de Roubaix... Piero Umiliani alone did so many Library records under different pseudonyms, it's beyond belief. 
Some of them may appear in this project. And definitively some new names too. Many ultra talented and professional composers made a career exclusively in library music.

So the first step in this project is a work of selection. Spanning into hundreds of vinyl rips and finding the potential Orgasmic interpretation. Then, work in the studio. And why not an album!

So stay tune, good music is coming!

Bruno Nicolai - Tempo Sospeso on the italian library label Edipan featuring some fuzzy guitars and typical Nicolai keys. You'll find the same quality of italian groove and musicianship in the library records than the soundtrack. And maybe more...


  1. This is an absolutely amazing project. Thanks, Frank.

  2. I love this paragraph: "Digging for Library music is like a drug... ect, etc..." true!

    Are you thinking of resurrecting this project? Seems like you had a nice start going.

    My site:

    1. Hey, very nice blog you have! Thanks for the heads up.

      In fact the project is living more than ever and I already have 3 library interpretations completed from Jean-Pierre Decerf, Alessandro Alessandroni and Bruno Nicolai. I'm satisfied with the result so far but yet think I can raise the bar even higher and I'm thinking about how to add some more production value to the project. I may still work on this the whole 2014 before I have anything worth an album.
      You can find the project audio update here:

      Thanks a lot for your message !

  3. I hope you keep up on this blog because I love library production music and the more obscure the better!

    Do you have this one; "Psychoanalysis" released by Corviva on the very obscure Squirrel records lable out of Italy. I had an mp3 on my old ipod but I broke it and now, sadly, I cannot find a replacement. Its an amazing record. good luck and happy blogging. +1 followed!

  4. heres a jpeg of the cover