Alessandro Alessandroni ‘Lost and Found’ (Four Flies) 4/5

It is a year almost to the day since the passing of Italian soundtrack great Alessandro Alessandroni. We listen to Four Flies Records’ January reissue of Lost & Found, and imagine films the tracks could accompany.

Track 1 – Sea Breeze

We’re in a smoky, 1920’s, glitz and glam dancehall. On stage, wearing a sparkly leotard and headdress made entirely of jewels, Francesca is distracted by a lady in the audience wearing an even more extravagant headdress. She forgets the words to the song, but puts on a brave face, powering through the envy.

Track 2 – Sweet Emotions

Hank has finished early at the saloon. He throws open the swinging doors and steps into Arizonan sunshine. It’s the beginning of a four day weekend; he can finally shoot those cans off his neighbour’s fence. Seeing a spittoon, he takes aim, releases a big one, and lands a three pointer. He jumps up in the air with elation and clicks his spurs together.

Track 3 – Underground Disco

All the Freaks and Geeks of the city dwelling animals come out of their cracks and crevices. Tonight? Well, tonight it’s party night. The mood’s just right. It doesn’t matter if you’re an alley cat or scrawny rat; funk’s the only thing on the menu and they’re all gonna get some.

Track 5 – After Crime

Little Tony Jnr. is on the run; it won’t be long until Big Papa Tony is out on the hunt. Where should he go? The play pen? No, too obvious, it’s the first place Big Papa will look. Perhaps the sandbox and wait to out-run him? Bad idea, he’d be caught within two strides. Bed is the only answer; pretend to be asleep, there’s no way Big Papa would wake him. What a shame his face is covered in chocolate. He should never have raided the cookie jar.

Track 7 – Flirt no.2

Two lonely steam locomotives pass each other on the tracks with immediate attraction. The crossing begins to happen regularly, but they never get an opportunity to stop and talk. Time only allows for a brief, sad blast of their horns to let the other know they still care. They are excited by the prospect of meeting everyday, until one Wednesday Giorno fails to show. Firebox broken, Sofia’s life goes off the rails.

Track 9 – Saltiness

Ahhh, the tranquillity of cooking. There’s nothing better than whipping up a good dish of revenge. Frustrated by her husband’s infidelity, Bernedetta happily bakes a spaghetti alla puttanesca laced with arsenic. Getting caught up with the enjoyment of being behind the stove, she has a little taste of the sauce in a momentary lapse of memory. Antonio comes home and discovers his wife curled up on the sofa, the smell of a delicious dinner wafting to his nostrils.

Track 13 – Obstinate Pop

A TV screen flickers to life to reveal an advert for the hottest new hair salon in town – ‘Fo’ locales.’ People with big hair and big attitudes grace the screen. All colour, all sheen. Most people’s worst nightmare in affronting reality.

Track 15 – Synthetic Rendezvous

Rejoice! The humans are dead, time to boogie down robo’ style.

A closing note:

Alessandro Alessandroni was a force of Italian background music between the 1960’s and 70’s, enjoying a varied career spanning funk, electronica, and jazz. This album came to fruition after many conversations between Alessandroni and Lost & Found Director Pierpaolo De Sanctis. During these meetings, they would talk in great detail about projects and browse through his lengthy archive. It was on one such occasion that De Sanctis discovered a vast amount of unreleased material which became the very album which we listen to today.

Sam Turnell