Everything creative, especially music has a lifespan where it’s popular and the trend then slowly fizzles out to where only the diehards continue to push forward to where others have switched their sounds to fit a new trend. We’ve seen quite a few times over the last 10, 15, 20 years where the early 2000’s was funk (and soul) 45 heavy with bands doing their best renditions of what would’ve been the norm during the 1970’s being released on small regional labels by funk bands. That sound gave way to what was considered the new funk movement which gave us some of the most amazing funk and soul bands and singers that still get plenty of DJ spins today. Over the years we’ve seen the rise of bands recreating the sweet soul movement or as some call it “lowrider soul”, modern soul and even pulling inspiration from the 80’s with new Boogie and funk scenes and parties popping up all over globe. Heavy at one point in the UK and Japan were the jazz scenes where DJ’s would spin the most amazing records for dancers which was very similar in vibe to what you would find in the deep funk era where it was all about the music and the dancers shared deep connection of culture. Those scenes felt more cultural than just time passing trends and if you were in to it, then you were IN TO IT!
At the moment, there seems to be a shift in soundscapes into a cinematic world that explores library’esque sounds reminiscent that pulls inspiration from the 1960’s and 1970’s film and TV world. Let’s take it back for a second to the 1990’s sample / record digging era when library records became the hot ticket amongst that community. Although it hadn’t become a fully blown trend in creating that style of music, by the 2000’s bands like Italy’s Calibro 35 was leading the way with their cinematic style of Poliziotteschi inspired songs to cement them as the gold standard. Fast forward to 2017 and bands were already in full swing of making that style of music which I captured on my New Library Sounds cassette which was released via Record Breakin’ Music. I must note that one of my favorite 7″ labels of present time is Jerusalem based Delights45 who has been steadily building up a discography of releases by artists that have been releasing cinematic psych, bikesploitation and cinematic funk sounds consistently.
As we move in the present day, we’re finding more bands are labeling their current or upcoming releases as “cinematic” or “cinematic soul” and pulling inspiration of some of the great labels like KPM, Bruton, DeWolfe, MP 2000, L’ Illustration Musicale, NFL Films and others, I figured why not give you an entry point into a few newer releases to get your whistles wet and ears open. So grab your snacks from the concession stand, pull up a seat and dive in.
Cinephonic – Visions (Marlow Records)
Cinephonic’s sophomore release “Visions” is a baroque funk tour-de-force – an intriguing concept album made up of ancient medieval and baroque themes, refracted through a modern prism of soul, jazz and psychedelia, all performed by a massive fourteen-piece ensemble, and meticulously captured to analogue reel-to-reel tape.
Drawing inspiration from classic film and library music, Cinephonic expands on the sound with elements of cinematic soul, psychedelic rock, and spiritual jazz, creating a rich, evocative, and complex soundscape that juxtaposes intricate compositions with dark funk backbeats – a kind of epic soundtrack for a film that never existed.
Glenn Fallows and Mark Treffel – The Globeflower Masters Vol.1 (Mr. Bongo)
With 2 volumes under their belt, The Globeflower Masters Vol. 1 takes its inspiration from classic soundtrack and cinematic composers such as Axelrod, Morricone, Gainsbourg, Jean-Claude Vannier and Piero Umiliani. Created during Summer 2020, this album is the product of a fruitful collaboration between Brighton-based musicians Glenn Fallows (The Impellers / Andres y Xavi) and Mark Treffel (Blue States / The Soul Steppers). These seasoned performing and recording artists have put their abundance of experience and skilful musicianship into effect with aplomb on this album.
With volume 2 from the Brighton-based duo, they wanted to lean a little further into their European film soundtrack influences, with particular inspiration mined from the works of Stefano Torossi, David Shire, and Roger Webb.
Ribelle Di Mare, Eraserhood Sound – Ribelle Di Mare (Eraserhood Sound)
Ribelle Di Mare and Philly’s Eraserhood Sound really went the extra mile with this release by “discovering” the score to the long-lost, never completed 1974 Italian film Riblle Di Mare.It was not long before they realized they had discovered an opus, written by legendary film composer Sandro Galileo in what was supposed to be his final soundtrack. Cruelly, the film was abandoned before it could be completed, and the ashes of Galileo’s final work were swept aside and forgotten.
Produced and performed by Eraserhood Sound house band Fantasy 15 in their signature “Synth & Soul” sound. Featuring nine stunning tracks that range in style from dramatic Philly Soul balladry, Spaghetti Western r&b, and Italian library funk.”
Whatitdo Archive Group – Forbidden Cove (Record Kicks)
After The Black Stone Affair enthralled record collectors by traversing the cinematic landscape of an imagined 1970s Spaghetti Western, Palace Of A Thousand Sounds finds Whatitdo Archive Group entrenched deeper in the worlds of mid-century exotica and library music—from the Tropicalia-steeped Amazon to the minor key tonalities of the far-out Near East. When the dust finally settled from their debut album, composer and tireless sound scientist Alexander Korostinsky set out to discover the band’s new direction, with the ultimate goal to breathe new life into the mid-century era sound with the compass of modernity as his guide.
The Ironsides – Changing Light (Colemine Records)
Changing Light is the first full-length effort from this masterful collective of Bay Area musicians. It melds classic psych-soul sounds with sweeping orchestral arrangements – reminiscent of a cinematic soundtrack from a 60s European film. Inspired by the soundtracks and library music of European composers during the 60’s and 70’s, the Ironsides set out to create a collection of lush songs that evoke a diverse range of feelings, emotions, and memories.