Various Artists

Stroboscopica, Vol. 2: 70's Psychofunk Jazzy Beats for Erotic Thrilling Fiction

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After carving out their own little niche in the world of Italian lounge compilations with the first volume of Stroboscopica, Plastic Records returned the next year with a second volume. Like its predecessor, Stroboscopica, Vol. 2 compiles a series of tracks from the vaults of the Italian music library label Cometa. All of these tracks have the echoes of jazz and soul that distinguish the Italian lounge sound: "Running to the Airport" is a Franco Micalizzi track that layers horn arrangements that build to a jazzy frenzy over a funky, rumbling beat from the rhythm section and Ennio Morricone's "Rincorsa Prima" tosses in frantic bursts of brass and an ominous choral wails over a frantic drum solo worthy of Gene Krupa. There are also more pop-oriented tracks with a psychedelic rock feel to them: Stefano Torossi's "Sixth Dimension" is a guitar showcase that uses a strong bass groove to underpin its wah-wah guitar flights of fancy while I Marc 4's "Piccadilly Circus" pits percolating organ and fuzz guitar against a pulsating beat nudged along by hard-hitting drum breaks. Although it occasionally suffers from the same abrupt shifts in tone that bedeviled its first volume, Stroboscopica Vol. 2 rises above this minor problem thanks to a collection of material that is more consistently melodic than Stroboscopica. This disc also earns high marks for the generosity of its track selection, which makes it about 50 percent lengthier than the first volume. The end result is a sequel compilation that improves on its predecessor and offers solid value for money to boot. In short, Stroboscopica, Vol. 2 is a worthwhile pick for anyone looking to explore the Italian lounge sound.

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