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Stevie Wonder - Journey through the secret life of plants

July 28th, 2012

Stevie Wonder - Secret Life Of PlantsSTEVIE WONDER

  • Journey through the secret life of plants
  • Motown
  • 1979
  • USA

Times have passed with this blog and a quite big amount of posts have been released during the few years. To celebrate the record post number 100 I’ll bring up the very first bboy related album I have ever bought. Or at least this was the first one strictly intended only for playing for bboys back in the late 1990s.

As a soundtrack score to a document about plants, Journey through the secret life of plants is exactly what you think it would be. Mostly ambient sounds mixed with occasional melodies and strange vocals, almost if it was a new age recording. It was originally made only for the documentary film, but later Motown decided to release the score as a new Stevie Wonder album. It was supposed to be kind of a sequel album to much praised Songs in the key of life. I guess fans back then were as confused as I am still about this album, it’s so different from the previous material what we used to hear from Wonder. Journey through the secret life of plants was by the way the first album where digital sampling synthesizer, Computer Music Melodian, was used.

Wonder created the film score through a complex process of collaboration. The film’s producer, Michael Braun, described each visual image in detail, while the sound engineer, Gary Olzabal, specified the length of a passage. This information was processed to a four-track tape (with the film’s sound on one of the tracks), leaving Wonder space to add his own musical accompaniment. The result is an underscore that, at times, closely mimics the visual images on the screen.
(Wikipedia)

Among the subtle ambience of the underscore tracks can however be found a true gem. The first track on side d, “A seed’s a star / tree medley”, is one of the best of these so called less known Stevie tracks. It easily moves people on dancefloors everywhere with it’s hypnotic uptempo groove. I think I’ll never get bored to this song. From the background chanting at the end you can hear repeatedly the name of another interesting track on this album, “Kesse ye lolo de ye”. It’s a track with raw drumming with several different percussions, kora melodies and chanting. Not typical Stevie at all. And that’s not all. Downtempo dramatic “Power flower” is also quite a good track and the hypnotic eight minute uptempo disco track “Race babbling” is the last one the mention. The rest of the album is that documentary score type of strange music with titles like “Earth’s creation”, “The first garden”, “Venus’ flytrap and the bug”, “Black orchid”, “Ecclesiastes” and so on. This album is quite common and really undervalued musically in general. Every home should have a copy of it…


Power flower


Kesse ye lolo de ye


Race babbling


A seed’s a star / tree medley

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under disco, drama, north america | No Comments »

Goblin - Profondo rosso

October 3rd, 2011

Goblin - Profondo RossoGOBLIN

  • Profondo rosso
  • Cinevox
  • 1975
  • Italy

Inspired by the last weekend’s Goblin gig in Helsinki, I just had to make this post. Although their heavy-prog’ish live sound, the music is really amusing with it’s weird synthesizer sounds and cinematic beats.

After several phases and bands in their early career, Claudio Simonetti and Massimo Morante formed the Goblin band in 1973. During the years they have profiled as one of the top class horror soundtrack scorers in the world. Goblin’s first release was a soundtrack in 1975 to a Dario Argento film called Profondo rosso. Or Deep red as the English title is.

A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried. (IMDB)

The music in Profondo rosso is clearly divided in two different types. There’s dramatic scoring just perfect for the suspense and horror of the movie. And then there’s jazzy and funky Italian style soundtrack tracks. “Mad puppet” with it’s weird and slightly kaotic start is a little stagnant suspence theme, but rather good one. “Wild session” starts with a long dramatic intro turning to a jazzy cinematic funk track with creeping synths and horns. The title track “Profondo rosso” also starts with some haunting synths and then turns into another cinematic funk meets dramatic soundscapes track. However, in my opinion the best track is the uptempo drum frenzy “Death dies”, although the album version is missing the percussions that appear on the movie version. Profondo rosso sold over million copies within a year and remained in the charts for 52 weeks in a row. So it’s not that hard to find. The single release from the album, “Profondo rosso” / “Death dies” hit #1 on the charts and remained there 16 weeks and that’s a record that is yet to be broken. Overall this is my favorite album from Goblin - along with another great Dario Argento soundtrack, Tenebre.


Profondo rosso


Mad puppet


Wild session


Death dies

Written by Mista Tibbz, at 18.00, filed under cinematic funk, drama, europe, jazz, soundtrack | No Comments »
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