Review: Mondo's slow and steady output remains as consistent and attentive as ever as they continue to delve deep into Italy's seemingly endless library vaults. For this particularly cosmic collection they've explored documentary music that's been utilised by programs on topics as diverse as sea fauna to poaching. As you'd imagine, each cut comes with broad visual and imaginative appeal. From the dream-weaving guitar-shimmering of "Anxur" to the soft ebb and flow of "Maga Circe", close your eyes and start making your own documentaries. Stunning.
Review: Rome-based combo Odeon is an interesting proposition. Basically two sets of musician brothers brought together by mutual friend (and Mondo label boss) Francesco De Bellis, their debut recording is a pleasingly hard-to-pigeonhole affair. Sometimes psychedelic, often dreamy and always atmospheric, the album's 12-tracks variously draw influence from odd Italian library music, eccentric synthesizer soundtracks, Talk Talk, the Cocteau Twins, shoegaze and the heady, E'd-up sound soup of ambient house. In fact, one of the tracks even sounds a little like REM if Michael Stipe and company had necked a bunch of disco biscuits and moved to Ibiza. While the unique and intoxicating sound is clearly theirs, you can hear the guiding hand of De Bellis, who acted as producer throughout.
Review: Last year, Raiders of the Lost Arp (real name Marco Pierro) popped up on Edizioni Mondo with a decidedly Balearic EP that ranks amongst his best work to date (and that's saying something). Here he returns to Francesco de Bellis's label with an album that's arguably even better. Rich in analogue synthesizers, bubbly lo-fi drum machine rhythms, sun-baked guitars and toasty bass, "Transmissioni" brilliantly strings together drowsy neo-Balearic gems in a range of interconnected styles. It's a superb set all told, with highlights including the subtle Tullio de Piscopo tribute "Studio Ritmico", the stargazing, arpeggio-led ambient of "Progressi Della Scienzi", the shuffling afternoon warmth of "Nightlife" and the Mark Barrott-esque goodness of closing cut "Timing".
Review: The Running Back powered Edizioni Mondo label return with a third offering and the collectors out there that were charmed by previous blockbuster hits from L.U.C.A and ROTLA will be all over this sumptuous 12". Described by the label as a visionary production house, Studio 22 show the necessary chops to qualify that statement on the basis of these three tracks, not least the glistening title tracks that sees a smooth Library funk groove ebb and flow before a grand finale. On the flip "Pic Nic" is the sort of cosmic jam that will have the Sunday afternoon bar selectors licking their lips whilst the blissful final track "Vento Dominante" could easily be teased into a Gigi Masin track.