Just laid our hands on this little nugget, issued by Finders Keepers a label prized in their unearthing of the strange, the obscure and the curious, which is just as well as they don’t come any stranger, obscurer or indeed as curious as Lamartine’s ‘reportage’. One of those truly near lost and forever forgotten soundtracks that until this particular pressing remained previously unreleased and largely unknown. The back story as to its coming to be is as strangely wired and almost fantastical as the sounds gouged within on the grooves. Extensive liner notes penned by Andy Votel to the rear of the sleeve navigate their way through tales of misfiled boxes of recordings, it’s accidental near destruction and puzzled discovery not to mention confusion over the author’s nationality and even identity. Alas we’ve not had a chance to play the blighter straight through just yet, our copy coming annoyingly light on the promised download code within, so while we fire up the gramophonic beast we’ve dashed over to the Finders Keepers web page to sample sound clips in order to determine exactly what strange thing we’ve actually purchased. In truth a welcome addition to the labels seeming obsession with all things Italian electronics, Lamartine is to put not too fine a point on matters, absolutely wigged out and fried with ‘Fame e orgoglio’ proving to be impishly skedaddled and coming on like ‘shroomed seaside styled music hall recital headed up by a psychedelic Phantom of the Opera clearly under the influence and gone. That said we must admit to being a tad fond of the kookily snake charming bizarre that is ‘Sceicchi a congresso’ which to these ears sounds not unlike Radiophonic Workshops’ Malcolm Clarke tootling around on the latest piece of EMS gadgetry to arrive at the Vale and seeing fit to re-score the soundtrack to ‘Dr Phibes rises again’. Fear not this won’t be the last time this collection visits these pages, kinda warms the cockles of your heart to know, don’t you think.

 FKR080 Lamartine Reportage

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