Good Music We Can Know

Monday, April 12, 2010

From the Library Library: Piero Umiliani- Continente Nero (1975)

Umiliani is one of those Library guys that has a million records, often under different names.  I think he's one of the more reliably good figures of that scene, and Continente Nero is my favorite of his works.  Full of urgent, tension-building strings, Umiliani-typical percussive aspects, and the rush of adventure and discovery; this is a documentary in your head, Jacques Cousteau-style, where nature is perceived as an unfathomably precious beauty and a mystical void of peril that will destroy man even as he works so obliviously destroys it.  Highly evocative, and a little less corny/funky/upbeat than a lot of similar docu-soundtrack library stuff.  Very thin and serious stuff.  If you like Sven Libaek (he'll show up here soon), this will scratch a different aspect of that itch.
*I just realized that "Continente Nero" translated from Italian is "Black Continent."  Awesome&Problematic, just like all the best old stuff.
36 15 Moog has tons more Umiliani on his blog, so check him out, but this one is the best.
embark on a rigorous journey, fraught with wonder and peril


L. said...

Your blog is excellent. Just about halfway through this one and it sounds great. Thanks a lot for allowing this stuff to be heard! - R.L.

Zer0_II said...

I just wanted to second the recommendation for this album. Actually, for the uninitiated, if you see Piero Umiliani, go ahead and do yourself a favor and download it. Chances are you'll be glad you did. As Flash Strap mentioned, he released records under countless aliases. Moggi, Johnny Moggi Quintet, Herbana, M. Zalla, Zalla, Rovi, and Famiglia are the primary aliases he used, although there are more. He released most of the library LPs using these aliases on his own label, Omicron.

He also composed a slew of soundtracks for numerous Italian films. He was prolific on a scale that few composers could compare to in the 20th century, rivaling the output of the legendary Ennio Morricone. It is amazing that he was able to release so many albums, and yet still manage to stay original and fresh. Sure, there are a few weak selections in his catalog, but the same goes for any prolific composer. 9 times out of 10 though you can rest assured that you will be blown away by Piero Umiliani.

You can find more Piero Umiliani albums on my own blog, Digital Meltd0wn @

Thank you for running such a great blog here Flash Strap. I only recently discovered it, but you have an amazing selection of albums here, and our taste in music overlaps quite a bit. Take care.


holo said...

what a discovery, Umiliani is tremendous...fantastic stuff, thank you muchly. Really great blog, the Ashik Kerib soundtrack was well appreciated too, absolutely agree about the brilliance of Parajanov also!!