Published Jun 03, 2019As modern-day reissues prove time and time again, Italy's golden age of library music is brimming with greatness. And glimmering brightly among those vast and largely forgotten archives is Giuliano Sorgini's lost-and-found treasure Lavoro E Tempo Libero.
The album was originally released in 1980 by the little-known Goldfinger imprint, only to quickly fall into utter obscurity and become a thing more of legend than reality. Lavoro E Tempo Libero met this unfortunate fate, even though Sorgini masterminded such cult classic efforts as Zoo Folle, Under Pompelmo and The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue — not to mention work under the Raskovich moniker, alongside like-minded library legend Alessandro Alessandroni (aka Braen).
With not even a CD or digital reissue available some four decades later, the library historians at Sonor Music Editions have at last pulled Lavoro E Tempo Libero from the void — complete with some top-notch remastering and reimagined artwork, to boot.
Translating as "Work and Free Time," Lavoro E Tempo Libero embraces those two opposites — something that Sorgini himself explains was very much his intention, in the reissue's liner notes. As could be expected, this shapes a varied listening experience, which builds equal amounts of hard-driving musical tension and blissed-out relaxation.
Putting us to work are an array of funked-up shakers like "Produzione Intensiva" and motivational rock exercises such as "Ciclo Continuo." And considering the time period of the album, the dawn of the '80s repeatedly peeks through, with Sorgini often saluting the yuppie culture of the day with some seriously sharp'n'sleazy guitar theatrics. At times, though, this also comes via some fascinating proto hip-hop pieces, such as the beat-heavy, reverb-flooded "Ingranaggi Pesanti," making Lavoro E Tempo Libero sound years ahead of its time.
But while these harder-edged moments find Sorgini flexing some serious creative muscle, it's the record's "free time" that often steals the show. With Nino Rapicavoli providing some of the most soothing flute imaginable, Sorgini delivers some of his most breezy and lounge-appropriate musical acts of leisure, such as the laidback funk voyage "Lavoro Cerebrale" and the reggae-flirting "Curiosità" — a track that kicks off with a palm-muted guitar melody Chronic-era Dr. Dre would kill for. Whenever the album takes things too far at work, there's always calm waters right around the corner to bring it all back down again.
As a juxtaposing whole, Lavoro E Tempo Libero is a fascinating piece of work, proving Sorgini to be a true wizard of sound — both in 1980 and 2019. (Sonor Music Editions)