De Sade 70? La Isla De La Muerte? Decameron Francese? Wildkatzen? Philosophy In The Boudoir? Les Inassouvies? Eugenie And The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion?… De Sade, De Sade.. The film so odd they named it fifteen times!
Represented here on this special commemorative format you will find some of the finest fruits from an infamous fertile creative relationship between two of the most dedicated and productive bastions of the 1960/70s Eurotica genre – Spanish born director Jess Franco (Vampyros Lesbos) and Bruno Nicolai (The Good The Bad And The Ugly/All The Colours Of The Dark). Thrown into a long-running partnership following a rare/lost 1969 Italian/Spanish co-production with the emblematic title Sex Charade (which also marked the debut collaboration between Franco and actress Soledad Miranda), the unison of shocking image and rocking sound provided an inspirational exchange of new experimental and uninhabited avenues for both of these workaholic European artists. In the late 60s, as the rise of Italian horror directors, such as a young Dario Argento, test- ed the boundaries of censorship and common decency, the Giallo comic book adaptation movies had began to open new channels for established symphonic composers such as Ennio Morricone, who was able to exercise his off-menu interests in the free jazz (exemplified by his non-soundtrack work with Gruppo di improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza) as budget restrictions were exchanged for creative freedom thus creating an important niche in European cinema which came to typify the burgeoning movement. The boom in the Horrotica/exploitation industry that rapidly sprawled across central Europe to Germany and Spain virtually overnight made extensive work for a long line of established Italian composers such as Alessandroni, Sorgini, Piccioni, Nicolai, and Cipriani – all of whom spread their spaghetti western roots (often under multiple pseudonyms) and took tight hold of the sonic aesthetic of European thriller cinema. While working in the organised ranks of production houses and library labels Like Deneb, CAM, Octopus, Beat and Liuto, the syndication of Italian music in Spanish horror cinema became synonymous.
When Jess Franco began to work on Italian co-productions he forged a consistent relationship with conductor and arranger Bruno Nicolai, who had already worked very closely with Morricone on some of his greatest feature films while remaining tightly committed to arthouse cinema such as Pasolini’s Theorem and Pontecorvo’s The Battle Of Algiers. As a one-time professional jazz musician himself, Franco always had a good ear for emotive music, an integral facet that has ulti- mately given wider wings to his films and longevity for future generations of film/music enthusiasts. Where many directors would employ musical supervisors or license library recordings, Franco would often synchronise his own compositions alongside tracks from LPs that he sourced in record shops on his travels, as typified by the economic use of the German Sexadelic and Vampire Sound Incorporated LPs by Sigi Scwhab and Manfred Huber (which became the soundtrack for a film trilogy starting with Vampyros Lesbos in 1970) or the Blue Phantom LP as used on his film Sinner in 1975.
What originally began as a one-off relationship of convenience for the production company became a fruitful and habitual unison of choice and Nicolai would spend much of the early 70s balancing his time as a conductor for Morricone with repeat commissions for two notable horror directors – Sergio Martino in Italy and Franco in Spain. Forming a faithful relationship similar to that of Argento/Goblin and Fellini/Rota, the Franco/Nicolai partnership is arguably best illustrated on the soundtrack to this version of De Sade, presented here for the first time with a sharper focus on the free avant garde elements and the previously unpressed heavier psychedelic music that was prevalent and integral to Franco’s tastes. Including titles such as Drug Party, this set of full-length instrumental songs (as opposed to short cues) benefit from the extra collaborative energies of Italian studio luminaries Edda Dell’Orso (breathy onomatopoeic vocals) and Alessandro Allesandroni (sitar), striking comparisons with the aforementioned work under The Pawnshop moniker or the music from the Sergio Martino film All The Colours Of The Dark which enhance the displaced hallucinogenic and inebriated subtext of the film’s exploitative and counter cultural tenuous source of inspiration.