Let’s take a walk through the world of library music, shall we?
You can call them libraries, too, if you fancy. We’re talking about an obscure universe made of the rarest and finest grooves (and hyper-expensive impossibly rare first pressing records, on top of the flood of reissues you can easily track on the market now), usually composed by great arrangers for orchestras or small outfits.
These recordings were mostly a European phenomenon, coming mainly from Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, but not only, from the late Sixties to the late Eighties of the past century.
Music for various use, but way more than just “background sounds”.
The music was composed and intended primarily for the exclusive use of radio, cinema and television. The so-called sound commentaries were intended as being nothing more than background music, accompaniment or setting, to give colour to narrative environments on tv, cinema, and radio broadcasting, and sometimes also to physical spaces.
But things went a little differently, as we all know. The protagonists of this productive flourishing were often great (or very great) classical or jazz musicians, tout court, who tried their hand at very refined musical solutions, in line with the trends of their time, mixing their influence to what the sound commentary or the plot or the atmosphere and the theme required.
Enter “L’Archivista”, a libraries mixtape by L.A. Ponto, yup.
Some of the results of such an organic effort from European maestros can be heard and freely downloaded in “L’Archivista”, a StrettoBlaster exclusive mixtape by our friend L.A. Ponto.
A truly passionate person for blues and jazz, she has the touch for digging in the crates, focusing precisely on second-hand original pressings of sonorizations, soundtracks and library records. Those same records are the ones that make the diggers and the beat-maker/producers worldwide drool. With mind-boggling prices, very often.
These imaginary soundtracks (the actual records were generally produced in small print runs to which, after the period of restricted circulation among work addicts, no one really gave a penny, back in the days), are often at the top of the wish lists of more or less every enthusiastic and expert digger alike all around the world. Mostly thanks to the rediscovery that the generation of the Ninety’s and 2K’s hip-hoppers and producers made of them for sampling purposes.
The overabundance of drum breaks, solid grooves, and crazy loops that have made so much the joy of your favourite beat-makers, like ours as listeners, was the main reason for appreciation and rediscovery, at the beginning.
Other than a way to move and sample rather obscure bits with relative freedom regarding the copyright infringements. But, more trivially, it is simply great music, an ocean of records and labels, an irresistible underworld. Ask Madlib and Jay Dee, just to name two of the most famous advocates of the genre.
Or, alternatively, enjoy this free 45 minutes mix of lovingly recommended and selected library music, as brought to us from our friend L.A. The whole mixtape is strictly compiled from original vinyl to the delight of all lovers of tough stuff.
Still there? Press play, come on!