I’ve been a fan of soundtracks since I first started listening to music, so it’s a great pleasure to me that, over the last few years, imagined film scores have become almost a genre of their own.
Gavino Morretti has been composing 80’s themed, imagined and long lost film scores since 2014’s excellent, Italian horror influenced “Assault Of The Living Dead.” An electronica soundtrack plotted around a secret military base, biological weapons, inquisitive journalists and flesh eating zombies! 2015’s follow up album “Alien Terrors” is the Sci-fi synthwave soundtrack to an extraterrestrial invasion and 2017’s wonderfully dark score “The Satanic Complex” imagines an isolated monastery and its Monk’s doing battle, with the aid of a team of parapsychologists, against the forces of Satan.
For Gavino Morretti’s fourth album, “Girl Zero,” he has teamed up with the exceptional, boutique label, Spun Out Of Control. A label that champions real and imagined soundtracks, often new artists, with cassette and Bandcamp downloads.
The best imagined scores are the ones that stick to a story arc, when a story is being told it gives a flow and a degree of structure to the album and Gavino Morretti certainly sticks to the script here. Over the 15 instrumental songs “Girl Zero” tells the tale set in a post apocalyptic world, where the survivors live in a dome and take their kicks from watching gladiatorial androids fighting to the death. One female android escapes to the wasteland and befriends an outcast, who helps to awaken her consciousness whilst all the time being hunted by a band of mercenaries, determined to decommission the rogue android.
So what of the music? If you’ve heard any of Gavino Morretti’s previous albums you won’t be in for any surprises, but you will probably be delighted that he has stuck to the same dark electronica formula. Each song is perfectly composed to sound like a score from an 80’s B-movie but with considerably more depth and complexity. All the songs sound more like a title theme or closing credits track than a device to add atmosphere to a hammily acted scene.
Its noticeable that Gavino Morretti composing skills and musicianship has steadily improved, not that there is anything wrong with his commendable hat-trick of previous albums, but on “Girl Zero” Gavino Morretti has raised the previously high bar. The atmospheres created range from reflective brooding to darkly menacing with a remarkably blustery and haunting range of grooves. From thoughtful to foot taping and occasionally, even dance floor filling. With a slight style switches and regular pace changes Gavino Morretti keeps the album and story flowing throughout.
On the whole the soundtrack sits happily in the 80’s influenced dark electronica, intelligent electro and the synthwave camp but, Gavino Morretti has added 21 st century effects and influences to make “Girl Zero” sound contemporary and excitingly fresh. If you enjoy listening to scores and soundtracks this is definitely going to make you happy. Likewise for electronic music fans and frankly just music fans in general.