This is a unique album from an Italian modern day 70's crime-funk band that I've been listening to for years.
Almost no vocals, just a unique form of very atmospheric jazzy cinematic instrumentation that ranges from upbeat jams like Bandits on Mars, S. P. A. C. E, Thrust Force and Across the 111th Sun to slowed down moody creations like Universe of 10 Dimensions, 74 Days After Landing, Serenade For A Satellite, An Asteroid Called Death. These kinds of experimental moments made up of modern jazz playing and other elements are the highlight of the album for me. Clearly I find myself attracted to groups that incorporate jazz into a new sound of their own.
There's another Italian group called Anatrofobia that has songs like this but much slower paced without funk elements that sound more like classical pieces.
Track "Universe of 10 Dimensions" has got to be my favorite thing I've heard from Calibro 35's entire catalogue.
This track to alot of people I imagine sounds boring but there is something about this kind of sound that appeals to me very much the live version is great too.
If you want to know a bit more about the band, and their history, here's a brief bio from their (hard to read) website. Straight from the bocca di cavallo, if you like.
Calibro 35 is a cinematic funk band from Milan, Italy. It all started in summer 2007 when producer Tommaso Colliva (Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Phoenix, Arto Lindsay) invited Massimo Martellotta (Stewart Copeland, Eugenio Finardi, Mauro Pagani) on guitars and lapsteels, Enrico Gabrielli (PJ Harvey, John Parish, Mike Patton) on keyboards and brass, Fabio Rondanini (Afterhours, Roberto Angelini, Collettivo Angelo Mai) on drums and Luca Nano Cavina (Zeus, Transgender) on bass to be part of what was supposed to be a one-off studio project revisiting obscure Italian 60’s B-Movie Soundtracks.
What happened during those four days can be heard on Calibro 35’s first self titled album, released worldwide by Cinedelic records in 2008. The album mainly features music by Ennio Morricone, Armando Trovajoli, Franco Micalizzi and Luis Bacalov but also contains first two original songs. Single “Tutta Donna” featuring American singer Georgeanne Kalweit on vocals topped number 1 on the Italian independent music radio chart.
Enthusiastic reviews on Italian and international press (four to five stars on pretty much all reviews) led the band to start touring Italy and continental Europe and live shows were even more successful than the album itself with the band winning “Best Tour” at Italian Independent Awards PIMI/MEI 2009. In 2009 Calibro 35 made it for the first time to the US too, playing HitWeek Festival in Los Angeles and Nublu and Zebulon clubs in New York City. The band also appeared on Jason Bentley’s Morning Becomes Eclectic show on KCRW. The band will be back to the US the following year to play CMJ festival in NYC.
“Ritornano Quelli di… Calibro 35”, second album, was released in 2010 by Nublu Records (in the US) and by Ghost Records (in Europe). The album includes mostly original music written as soundtrack for American documentary “Eurocrime” but also features Calibro 35’s version of Ritz Ortolani’s “Il Consigliori”, as sampled by Jay Z on “Picasso Baby”. Another song from the LP – “Calling All Units to Broccolino” – was also used as ending title theme for Hollywood blockbuster movie RED starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirrell and John Malkovich. The album charted number 7 on yearly CMJ World Music Chart (topping number 5 for five weeks in a row) and had extremely good airplay on college radio stations including KCRW, KXLU, WRAS.
Meanwhile the band got commissioned its first soundtrack for a feature film: Italo/Spanish pulp movie “Said”, directed by Joseph Lefevre. Music was recorded and mixed at Morricone‘s studio in Rome, Forum Music Village. Roughly at the same time another song – “Appuntamento al Contessa” – was included in the the soundtrack of critically acclaimed gangster movie “Vallanzasca: Gli Angeli Del Male” with the band starring as a “70’s club band” in the movie too. On January 2011 “Rare”, a compilation of music composed for independent movies, b-sides, alternate takes was released while the band kept touring Italian and European clubs.
In October the band was asked to produce an original show for renowned Teatro Dal Verme in Milan. “Indagine sul Cinema Del Brivido” (Investigation on thrilling cinema) dealt with music composed for Italian horror movies from the ‘70s such as “Cannibal Holocaust”, “Deep Red”, “Zombie” and “Dawn of the Dead” amongst the others. The band was joined on stage by an orchestral ensemble including strings, horns and percussions and as many as six special guests. XL magazines described the show as “One of the best concert of 2011”.
“Any Resemblance to Real Persons or Actual Facts is Purely Coincidental”, third full length album by the band, was recorded in Brooklyn following band participation to SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. Album was released in early 2012 by Nublu in the US and by Tannen Records/Rough Trade in Europe. Title track has been sampled by Dr Dre on his 2015 “Compton Soundtrack”. In 2013 the band flew to Brazil for the first time to play Nublu Jazz Festival, sharing the stage with jazz funk giants The Headhunters, Robert Glasper and Roy Ayers. They also opened for English rock band Muse at Olympic stadium in Turin.
Forth album “Traditori di Tutti” was released on Record Kicks on October 2013 with the band embarking on a very intense European tour, playing all major european cities and selling out clubs in London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Milan. In summer 2014 Italian national public broadcaster RAI commissioned all jingles and library music for Radio 1 channel to the band.
I didn't used to need the internet, my wife knew everything.
Promoting the release of their first live album “Live In Space”, Calibro 35 made a quick dash for a London date between two French shows. Louder Than War’s Craig Chaligne reviews.
Calibro 35 have had a singular career path. They started in 2007 as a studio experiment assembled by producer Tommaso Colliva and has become thanks to incendiary performances and musicianship one of Europe’s best live bands. Surfing on the revival of gritty Italian 70’s movies, the band recorded their first LP “Calibro 35” in 2007 and have since released several albums and soundtracks. 2016 sees them celebrate of their first live release and what better way to promote it than criss-crossing Europe to gain new fans. First on the bill at The Jazz Cafe were Disposable Breaks for their debut as a live unit. Placed under the leadership of Glen Fallows, the band was the perfect opening act for Calibro 35, their blend of Instrumental Afro-Funk going down a storm with the audience.
Based on the fact that they sold out the 100 Club last year , you could bet that the recently refurbished Jazz Cafe was going to be pretty busy and it’s a healthy crowd that greeted Calibro 35. The core line-up of Luca Cavina – Bass Guitar, Enrico Gabrielli – Organs and Horns, Massimo Martellotta – Electric Guitar and Keyboards and Fabio Rondanini – Drums and Percussions was augmented by a two piece horn section that really added to the performance. The band is tremendously tight with a rhythm section that manages to combine funkiness and the precision needed for instrumental music. Starting with the atmospheric “Intro”, they then played mixing originals and their own interpretations of classic themes from seventies movie soundtracks. Of particular note was a superb arrangement of “Cinque Bambole Per La Luna D’Agosto” composed by Piero Umiliani for the Mario Bava giallio of the same name in 1970. The setlist also included the title track of the documentary “Eurocrime” that is a must see for every fan of 70’s cinema. All the musicians are absolutely outstanding but it is the duo of Massimo and Enrico that really push the band a notch above. Massimo switches between Guitar and keyboards, adding depth and colour to the sound while Enrico’s virtuosity (some tracks saw him playing sax and keys at the same time) is a thrill to listen and watch. Make sure if you catch them if they play in your town."
It does sound rather like theme music for TV drama in places. Bandits on Mars is a great example, the extended jam nature making me think of a funk/jazz reimagining of Space Ritual. Ungwana Bay Launch Complex is definitely a latent theme for a dark crime drama, as is Uo10D.
This is off the beaten track for me but very enjoyable. Thanks for bringing it to Album Choice. 4/5.
4/5 from me. Extremely fab, with a large portion of groovy on the side. Track 10 was Stevie Wonder in space, track 12 started out like the Munsters' theme re-imagined by the Clash, and when the album finished I had a sudden urge to watch Barbarella again. Probably not something I'd buy, but really good fun.
I didn't used to need the internet, my wife knew everything.