Vintage Italian Sounds – Remixed
«A classic is a book – Italo Calvino said once – which with each rereading offers as much of a sense of discovery as the first reading». His words made explicit reference to books, but they are easily applicable to music as well, with some minor terminological adjustments.
In our case, if rereadings are remixes, then italian classics are the magmatic forge of the vintage italian sound which, from its beginnings to the present day, has imposed itself to the attention (and manipulation) of artists from all over the world, as distinctive of peculiar and unmistakably italian style and artisanship. A classic’s main qualities are the ability to overpass its temporal boundaries and a certain “metamorphic elasticity”. Here we submit a list that express them with crystal-clear evidence.
Let’s start from the beginning. It’s 1902 when Torna a Surriento is composed by Ernesto de Curtis. 101 years later it is still a classic in sparkling form: the sample in Pitbull’s Sexy People is its incredible medical record.
Tu vuò fa l’americano, written by Renato Carosone in 1956 is the musical archetype of We no speak americano by the australian duo Yolanda Be Cool, that stood out in all the world’s charts and really needs no introduction ceremony still to this day.
Not only do the most renowned djs and remixers take advantage of the vintage italian sound’s metamorphic virtues, but also auteur film-makers do. In the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty (2013) the musical score of the most iconic scene – now fixed in the collective imaginary – is Raffaella Carrà’s A far l’amore comincia tu in the remix version by Bob Sinclar.
And Bob Sinclar and italian sound’s encounter is by any means casual: already in Groupie (2012) the king of french touch had sampled the famous tune “Birichinata”, composed by Fiorenzo Carpi for Le avventure di Pinocchio (1972).
Another recent and illustrious victim of this italian fascination are the Black Keys, who revealed in an interview to have inserted in the song Year in review (included in Turn Blue, 2017) some fragments drawn from Nico Fidenco’s spaghetti western repertoire.
And speaking of spaghetti western: not many know, but behind the success of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy (2006) are the trembling and perturbing notes of Nel Cimitero di Tucson composed by Gianfranco and Gianpiero Reverberi and featured in the musical score for the film Django, Prepare a Coffin (1968).
May these examples be valid as proof of the prolific connection between the vintage italian sound and today’s musical vanguards made by all sorts of artists. Behind the retrievals, the remixes and the samplings, vibrates the intense light of an era that has turned the made in Italy into something unique.