Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Sorry if I’m being late to reveal theme 05, but I’ve been very busy in the last days. Theme 05 will be “HORROR”. 

Do we feel at home with this theme? Yes, we could say so. Orgasmo Sonore project has already been devoted to the classic music of horror cult films over its 3 first albums. We are now well acquainted with the works Fabio Frizzi, Goblin or Stelvio Cipriani with some of the best horror film soundtracks of the 70s. But let’s try not to fall easily in the comfort zone here. 

This is the comfort zone (one of my favorite horror soundtrack) :

What if we take this theme on a pure musical sense? What kind of music, what type of piece of music could best represent this theme “Horror”? What direction do I give to this one? There seems to be so many possibilities, not so easy finally. I sure want to avoid the use of random odd synthesizer patches, low frequency drone and loudly reverbed drums, we hear enough of this in the current uninspired style of horror soundtracks.

I’d rather like to point out to the work of one particular composer that is maybe one of the most important influences of horror music, maybe you know his name, maybe not. You certainly know is music as it’s been used in important films like Exorcist and Shinning. I’m talking about the Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

I want to immediately say that I will not compose a Penderecki-like piece of music for the theme 05. I don’t have this capacity and I’m far from his genius. But I like to root each of my themes into something specific and Penderecki deserves a mention here for his contribution to some of the most out-of-this-world music and horrifying sounds that an orchestra of classical instruments can produce, and this without the use of synthesizers or soundscaping techniques.

One of his masterpieces, Threnody, was composed in 1960 and dedicated to the victim of Hiroshima. Horror of war. For this, he use very large section of strings and create wall of sounds by assigning each player on one note creating a cluster effect. Like it or not, his music never let anybody indifferent, it’s pure horror of dissonance. In the example below (video), you can follow the strange notations to see how organised his chaos was. But just replace the notation with a slightly horrific image, and you have horror power 10.

Even with some of the pieces he made, and the fact many of his music was used in Exorcist and Shinning, we may overlook his real influences in the way music for horror movie is made today. Even the modern low frequency drone we hear so much in way of atmospheric climaxes may originated from the effect of his cluster strings technique.

Recently, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood used a lot of Penderecki techniques for his score to There Will be Blood. Not necessarily a horror film, but it was a perfect score to depict the descent of one individual in some kind of hell.

But OK, let’s go back to theme 05, let see what Orgasmo Sonore can do in 2 weeks with “HORROR” !

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Oh man, I was so looking forward to picking this one! This theme will be so much fun to make! Turkish Psychedelic is a sub genre from the 70s originating from… hey you guessed it: Turkey. And I loooove it !

Psychedelic Turk is a result of the western music influences of the 70s (Led Zepellin, Jimi Hendrix, Doors, etc…) on the anatolian culture, resulting in one of the most grooviest blend of folkloric and traditional local flavors with classic rock, fuzz guitar and funky beats. Some people will talk about a westernization of the local culture and music, but they are wrong. It's in fact really an "easternization" of the popular music of the west, where a bunch of Anatolian artists from the time appropriated themselves with the codes and styles of the British and American rock bands, and turned them into their own cultural canvas with typical folkloric instruments, percussions and music scales of the east. The result is called "Turkish Psych" for good reason as it is literally mind blowing, not heard anywhere else and that makes the Led Zep song Kashmir sounds like a mere attempt to incorporate eastern scale into rock when you hear how sounds the real thing.

To begin with some listening recommendations, you can't go wrong with this song by Barış Manço  Lambaya Puf De. The Frank Zappa looking Barış Manço is pointing at you on the cover sleeve like he is saying "Hey you, are you looking for some hashish? Well, listen to this first". Indeed, Lambaya Puf De, "The Lamp Trick", is quite a trip, and when it gets fast at the end, you get the essence of Psychedelic Turk and you may get up on your feet and start to do some exotic dancing.

In number 2 of my personal list, you have Erkin Koray, the coolest turtleneck wearing rocker ever, with the song Cemalin from the album Elektronik Türküler, a 8 minutes hypnotic rock groove that I swear you will become addicted only after a few listening. The way he looks at you at 1 : 20 and the strange words he sings, damn, what is going on, I feel strange and dizzy!

(apprently Blogger doesn't let me put directly the Youtube video, so here's the link)

And finally, another favorite of mine is the hip looking Zafer Dilek who gets even more deeper into instrumental turkish melodies and beats, not afraid to blend some spacey moog leads and that's why we love the 70s so much! In the second video, it's wah wah guitar, traditional instruments with fuzz and busy percussions and drums fills, man it's so good!

So for this one, I'll pretend I have some Turkish blood in my vein and I promise something that will kick your but. Check out the result in 2 weeks on Soundcloud.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


After passing two weeks in the beautiful and vast world of François de Roubaix, and working so hard on my theme 02, I was a bit anxious to know what would be next for the theme 03.  What if I had picked "Ennio Morricone" back to back with de Roubaix? No respite!

Although I did a thoughtful job with the selection of the 22 themes of this project, by choosing a great variety of genres and influences, I can't predict the order in which they will appear. And that's the funny part!

But finally, the next theme picked by our lovely Lisa, very much appropriated with her dressing, is : Exotica.

Oh, cool it sounds like a relief.

Well, Exotica is maybe one of the most misunderstood genres of music. Politely described as 'Tropical Jazz', it also bears the term -not always with good intent, of 'Easy Listening'. If we really want to be ill-intentionned, let's have a look to the definition given by the All-Music website "(…) exotica's primary concern is lightweight entertainment, gathering readily identifiable ethnic sounds into a smooth, easily digested pop form. The music typically conjures up images of exotic foreign tourist destinations geared toward white Americans, and in that sense, it's sort of the equivalent of a pre-packaged resort …"
Not a very positive view.

But I'm sure that you have learnt not to trust the right-minded cultural critics unable to put aside their cynical views or concerns about social acceptance. They are certainly not the ones who told you to dig the obscure Stelvio Cipriani soundtracks (no in fact it's me who told you, haha)!

Ok, yeah there's a lot of awful exotica music out there. But that is true for any genre.

We'd better listen to one of the most avant-garde, eclectic and prolific artists of the last 30 years, John Zorn, what he has to say in this interview about one of his primary sources of influence :

JazzTimes: Let’s talk about the Dreamers. I was delightfully surprised by this group. Where is this charming music coming from?
John Zorn: Well, it comes from my love for music that does delight and charm. I am a big fan of Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, the pioneers of exotica. I’ve been a fan of that music since I was young. It was part of my upbringing; it’s there. You can hear elements of it here and there in my music over time. You hear it in Bar Kokhba; even in things like Godard and Spillane there are moments that sound like that. This Dreamers project, I think, was bringing together all of these beautiful musics that I love, from world music to surf music to exotica music to different kinds of funk and blues. I put all of these things together and created something that, for me, was meant to charm and delight.

"Charm and delight". That is two words I'd rather choose to describe what this music is intent for, slightly more respectful than the All-Music's "lightweight entertainment" description. Certainly a matter of point of view and it's true that in this cynical age, it can be difficult to take the "charm and delight" to the first degree and let yourself be charmed by the simple beauty of music.

Anyway, I'll stick with John Zorn fascination for this genre (and we could also include his good body, Mike Patton, also a fan). For instance, Les Baxter music is everything except the ignorant definition of All-Music. He certainly was a master of his art, a great orchestrator and composer. He defined the genre already with his first album in back in 1951 (!), Ritual of the Savage. Here's one cool track from this album.

So, did I say it will be an easy theme? Well, I will definitively have to work out some nice tropical textures, or what others may ear as "readily identifiable ethnic sounds into a smooth, easily digested pop form"...
Easier said than done.

In the meantime, I'll let you with one of my favorites Library Music tracks (because you know I've been a lot into it recently), from one holy grail LP, Jungle Obsession (1971) : Tropical by Nino Nardino, a track of post-exotica before it's time, if I can say so. Certainly a starting point for my next theme!…

Also, great  piece of music (live) by John Zorn featuring Marc Ribot on guitar and fully influenced by Exotica music.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


The second theme has been picked, and  it definitively start to look like a real challenge!

François de Roubaix was a French composer. Unfortunately, he had a very short life and quit us in 1975 after a diving accident. He was 36.

Even with the current soundtracks revival and reissues of many euro-cult composer's work, I'd say François de Roubaix is still very much overlooked. Yes, he is recognized in close-circle enthusiast and in France, but he hasn't got the same attention as some others and no record label have made a serious attempt to put out a consistent discography of his work for film, television, documentary and publicity.

Surely, he was a real pioneer for many reasons. He was gifted with a real talent for creating original melodies and chord progressions, and he probably got from Morricone the idea to work with sonic textures using many different instruments and devices, from the Jew's harp to the EMS synthesizer.

But also, he was a precursor of the home studio recording, playing effectively many instruments with a great sense of experimentation and exploration and doing all the recording in his apartment. Ironically, he was not totally recognized by his fellow contemporary film composers, being an autodidact and a bit of an outsider.

How to approach a François de Roubaix theme? Already after picking this theme, I start looking closely to his music trying to identify some characteristics, typical chord progressions, instrumentation, style, etc... So many stuff is going. That's when I say he is overlooked. His music is very heterogeneous, yet you can definitively say there is a 'François de Roubaix' sound. Even if it's full synthesizer beat or folk jazz tune, there is something you know it's him. And that's what I will have to nail in 2 or 3 minutes ! Theme 02 is on its way !!!

Fascinating documentary (in french)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Theme 01 : GIALLO

Here we are, the new Orgasmo Sonore project is launched with the first theme picked : 'GIALLO' !

Some little hands have helped me to pick the first out of 22 themes and it was the word 'Giallo' who came out of the box. It was really a random choice, and I must say I'm happy to start with this theme, as you know the Italian 'yellow' drama music is not so stranger to me.

The term 'giallo' was first used to refer to a italian genre of litterature, typically thriller with cheap yellow book cover, as 'giallo' means 'yellow' in Italian. It also refer to a sub genre of exploitation italian crime movies that had their glory days between 1965 and 1980. What makes it a musical theme is that such specific movies called for an atmospheric and mysterious type of music and maestros like Ennio Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani or Gianni Ferrio have established the standard.

The great Bruno Nicolai elevated the genre to higher peak, and one could argue he may even have surpassed Ennio in the field. The third album of Orgasmo Sonore was specifically dedicated to the giallo film music of Nicolai. 

The music for giallo film is often a mix of dark jazz with chamber music instrumentation (harpsichord, strings, harp, mandolin), with classical influences that will sometime sound baroque, sometime avant-garde.

In some case, the erotic side of these films called for more sensual music but always with the mysterious touch and baroque instrumentation. For some people, this was maybe italian soundtrack at its height.

So this will be the first theme of this new project, a great way to start the year! I will have until Sunday January 18th to compose a totally original song influenced by giallo music and publish it on my Soundcloud. I take a little more time for this first theme just to start things properly, It will after goes each 2 weeks' Sunday to reveal and post other themes.

You can see a full list of the coming themes here

See you on January the 18th !