Album Review/Words: Monica Mazzoli

Continuing our collaboration with the leading Italian music publication Kalporz , the Monolith Cocktail shares reviews, interviews and other bits from our respective sites each month. Keep an eye out for future ‘synergy’ between our two great houses as we exchange posts during the 2021 and beyond.

This month Monica Mazzoli waxes lyrical on the chance rubbish tip find, the cult Le Mariage Collectif soundtrack.

The obscure fascination of certain music for the Cinema of the sixties and seventies seems to be endless: many film soundtracks have never been published (perhaps lost forever?) and continue to be shrouded in mystery. One thinks of the OST of Diabolik(1968) by Ennio Morricone, which seems to have been destroyed. The conditional is a must, of course.

Then, fortunately, there are also soundtracks that have been brought back to light and that often conceal stories to be believed: this is the case of the music of Les Chemins de Katmandou (1969) – one of the products of the collaboration between Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Claude Vannier – recovered by the daughter of Vannier’s copyist (Daniel Marechal) and published in 2017 by Finders Keepers.

The medal for the world’s craziest vinyl-finding story, however, goes to the person who found in a landfill in Paris the acetate record copy of the soundtrack to Le Mariage Collectif, a 1971 film. The music for the erotic-hippie film directed by Sven Olsen and Sven Holm, composed by Jean-Pierre Mirouze and never released (except for the 45 rpm of ‘Together/Sexopolis’), is remarkable. Psychedelic instrumental moments alternate with funk and jazz passages. For Mirouze, it’s a bit of a return to his roots, he can experiment as he did in the early 1960s when, before working for television, he was part of the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) of the ORTF (the French national public broadcasting service), a group dedicated to the study of sound and electroacoustic music.

To Liberation in 2012, the composer said:

“I was mainly interested in the relationship between music and image. But at a certain point I had to find something that would make me live. I looked for work in television, where I found myself doing sound dressing, theme songs and small fleeting sound events” and, again, “I regret, however, the dispersion of the sound heritage of the time, the wonderful things that have been stolen from the ORTF sound library. Le Mariage Collectif is part of this wound, but there are many other things that will never be found”.

How can you blame him, perhaps a lot of material we may never hear. A pity.

The soundtrack to Le Mariage Collectif was released in 2012 by Born Bad Records, both on CD and vinyl. (Monica Mazzoli)

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