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Simonetti, Claudio: Il Cartaio

Thirty years of composing & recording, and he still has it: from Cherry Five and Goblin, to an ongoing soundtrack career, and Daemonia, the creative wellspring that Claudio Simonetti drinks from is likely to never run dry. With a temporary detour in the early 1980s, down decidedly more commercial avenues, Claudio returned to show Goblin & [Dario] Argento fans that he still meant business with the now-legendary score he provided for Dario's 1987 horror-mystery, Opera. After a sensational—if short-lived—reunion with his Goblin alums for Argento's shriekfest, Non Ho Sonno, Claudio is back as a composer par excellence in his own right, tapped once again to supply the scarific sounds for Argento's latest sanguinary opus.

As with his 1999 soundtrack, The Versace Murder, guitars and drums were scooted out into the hallway and Claudio revved up his arsenal of thirty-odd keyboards and assorted synthesizers, analog and digital; add to those, a real Hammond B3 and a Music Man bass guitar. Besides newer E-mu, Korg, Roland and Yamaha synths, he also powered up his original '72 Minimoog, a Mk. V Modular, a PPG Waveterm 2.3, and an Oberheim Matrix 1000. Such a cartload-sized palette of sounds to work with — not to mention the "virtual analog" units — and it shows (or sounds)! Argento's tale of a poker-obsessed killer who forces losing players to watch via webcams as he mutilates and kills his victims is vividly delineated through a blend of prog, neoclassical, and trance styles. Even the shorter "incidental" pieces, like "Obitory," "Anna and John" and "John's Theme," are assembled with care.

With its FX-oriented opening, "Il Cartaio" is squarely emulous of Kraftwerk (!), and the full lead-off version is four minutes longer than the main title near album's end. Good ol' melodic keys action the way we like it. Claudio tackles the aforementioned techno~trance motif, turning in a trio of techno-fied tracks: "Video Machine," "Fasan Techno," and "Techno Train." Breathtakingly cinematic in its arrangement, "Video Machine" is easily the best of the three, and the best track on the album, with a breakneck tempo and an intermediate section that houses a sizzling ana-synth solo! Hopefully this is a precursor of things to come on the next Daemonia release.

Twenty-seven tracks (not counting the bonus track) = plenty of music, and a smorgasbord of synths. Needless to say, Simonetti & Goblin fans, as well as those of us who indulge in Tangerine Dream's electronic scores, must have this. Il Cartaio is available direct from Claudio's site, or as an import; check with your favorite online music vendor, or New York's longtime purveyor of Goblinmusic, Footlight Records (


1. Il Cartaio 5:04
2. The Message 1:07
3. Mad Man 2:16
4. Poker Jingle 0:31
5. Schizzofrenia 3:47
6. Darkness 5:00
7. First Game 2:18
8. Anna and John 3:33
9. Obitory 2:21
10. John's Theme 1:14
11. Second Game 0:53
12. Muddy Lake 2:21
13. Anna's Book 1:03
14. Video Machine 4:39
15. Like A Wind 0:43
16. Third Game 2:29
17. Bloody Fingers 3:55
18. Fasan Techno 5:16
19. Telephone Call 1:09
20. Remo's Dream 1:59
21. Nasty Tunnel 1:42
22. Lucia's Nightmare 1:42
23. Gianicolo 2:00
24. The House 3:31
25. Techno Train 4:29
26. Il Cartaio – Main Title 1:50
27. Winner Jingle 0:34
Bonus Track:
28. The Dealer 3:04 (Radio Version – Simonetti/Molella Mix)
Total time: 71:34

Added: April 2nd 2004
Reviewer: Elias Granillo
Related Link: SIMONETTI Dot Org
Hits: 3448
Language: english

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