[photogallerylink id=22057 align=left]Super producer Brian Burton, aka [lastfm]Danger Mouse[/lastfm], has spent the last five years harnessing a well-kept secret. A known workaholic and creative entrepreneur, Burton never settles for one sound for too long: the backpack hip-hop production behind Ghetto Pop Life gave way to the legendary mash-ups of [lastfm]the Beatles[/lastfm] and [lastfm]Jay-Z[/lastfm]; the refreshing humor and instrumentation of [lastfm]Gnarls Barkley[/lastfm] led to the easygoing pop collaboration with [lastfm]James Mercer[/lastfm] for [lastfm]Broken Bells[/lastfm]. His latest release, Rome, a collaboration with Italian composer [lastfm]Daniel Luppi[/lastfm], reveals still another side of this generation’s favorite producer.
Stream the entire album below:
Rome is a 1960s spaghetti western score without an accompanying movie that is in every other way faithful to the genre. It has been in the works for five years now, with news of the project leaking a few months ago. “It’s been a real labour of love,” says Burton, who funded the entire project himself, “[that has] taken up a lot of time and effort, not to mention the cost, but it’s because it had to be a certain way.” Bonding over over their mutual adoration of Italian film scores, Burton’s record collection, and Luppi’s arrangements (the latter a feature of the first Gnarls album), the two musicians embarked on a personal quest to revive the sound of [lastfm]Ennio Morricone[/lastfm], [lastfm]Ritz Ortolani[/lastfm], [lastfm]Piero Piccioni[/lastfm] and others without cutting any corners. So the pair assembled the original musicians from films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West – including the legendary Marc 4 backing band and [lastfm]Alessandro Alessandroni[/lastfm]‘s ‘I Cantori Moderni’ choir. The choir features the angelic [lastfm]Edda Dell’orso[/lastfm], whose soprano has graced many of Morricone’s scores and does wonders in Rome.
An authentic cast of support musicians in tow, Burton and Luppi opted for an equally authentic recording process, shunning quick-and-easy digital techniques for clunky analog. The duo traveled to Rome’s cavernous Forum Studios – founded in part by [lastfm]Ennio Morricone[/lastfm] – where every effort was made to replicate the studio practices of the 1960s/70s, recording live and straight to tape. A project committed to the details, Rome features vintage instruments obtained in exchange for expensive bottles of wine, an experience Luppi elaborates during his interview with Street Date.