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Maurizio Guarini, “CREATURES FROM A DRAWER” (CD Review)

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The name Goblin should mean something to each and every serious (hell, even casual) student of European horror. The band formerly known as Oliver, then Cherry Five, who were mentored by Dario Argento to be the house band for his 1975 giallo* landmark DEEP RED; they, of the throbbing basslines and progressive Emerson Lake and Palmer-meets-Mike Oldfield groove. Goblin went on to become horror’s only real “supergroup” and represented the proto-rock video aesthetic that made the Italian terrors of the period such sexy, slick and visceral treats.

And though the core Goblin lineup consisted of Massimo Morante, Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli, and Agostino Marangalo,, keyboard freak Maurizio Guarini was often their secret sauce, bringing much swooshing, ambient eletcro soundscapes to the table and playing on many of their iconic scores, including the unforgettable SUSPIRIA and later, CONTAMINATION. Guarini also worked with Fabio Frizzi on pictures like ZOMBI 2 and CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD. His credits are myriad and distinguished…

Somewhere along the line of his lifespan, Guarini moved to Toronto, Canada and there, found a kind of career renaissance. The first step was befriending the staff of Canadian horror magazine Rue Morgue who paired him with other seasoned local musicians and DEMONS 2 star Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni for an unforgettable live show at their Festival of Fear, and later with the same session players as the prog-rock outfit Orco Muto. Last year saw Guarini pair up with his old Goblin pal Claudio Simonetti for an even more epic performance at London, Ontario’s Shock Stock convention as Goblin Keys. If you were there, you shan’t soon forget it.

Long journey tritely condensed, Guarini has found some late career fame up here (and around the world after he joined forces with Goblin for both a new album and tour) and because of that, decided that it was a better than fine time to share some of his own personal work with the public. The resulting album is the gorgeous CREATURES FROM A DRAWER, a 10-track collection of new material, live cuts and, like the title suggests, misfit beasts leftover and long since stashed.

The album opens with the sweeping “Dialogue”, a majestic and experimental synth-based track that sets the tone. The gorgeous “Solar Channel” is just as cosmic as its title suggests, while the sneaky “Black Dog” employs treated vocals for a creepy, bizarre ode to the family pet and the climatic “Lost My Camera” feels like a playful Goblin tune.

In fact, this disc wears its history on its sleeve. It sounds like vintage Goblin, and yet it does not live in the past. It does not try to be retro and it isn’t. It all sounds fresh; a familiar skeleton with bold new flesh. It is music as art, timeless and trendless. In short, it’s a major work of electronic music from a man who has spent his life making it; one laced with humor and humanity.

To order Guarini’s CREATURES FROM A DRAWER go to his distribution label’s HQ where you can also pick up tons of classic Goblin albums, some with Guarini some without.

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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