Release Date: Oct 27, 2017
Record label: Columbia
His last project, 2011's album Rome - made with producer Danger Mouse and featuring Jack White and Norah Jones - was a love letter to Ennio Morricone and other Italian producers like Luis Bacalov, Pierro Picconi and Riz Ortolani, as well as 60s and 70s movie soundtracks and spaghetti westerns. This time round, Luppi draws his inspiration from another city that's played an important part in his life; the achingly cool buzz of high-fashion 80s Milan. MILANO combines the yin and yang of slacker punks Parquet Courts and brash energy of Karen O.
While working on a batch of songs about the alternative lifestyle scene of Milan in the 1980s, where and when he came of age, Italian composer and arranger Daniele Luppi decided he needed a working band to play his compositions and help write the words. He landed on Parquet Courts, thinking that they embodied the seedy glamour and arty angles of the era. It proved to be an inspired choice, as the band does a fine job bringing the writer's songs and vision to life on Milano.
"There was a sensation that everything was possible," the fashion journalist Renata Molho has written of Milan in the 1980s. Money flowed, parties raged, and the streets were filled with glamorous foreigners. "It was a very superficial atmosphere, but it was vibrant," Molho writes. That description goes to to the heart of the Italian composer Daniele Luppi's MILANO.
If Daniele Luppi's previous collaborative efforts are anything to go on, Milano was always going to be an extremely interesting project. The renowned Italian composer's last project saw him team up with producer Danger Mouse, along with unlikely duo Jack White and Norah Jones, to produce arguably one of the most interesting releases of 2011, Rome. Following a similar format, but with drastically different results, Milano was created in collaboration with American band Parquet Courts.
Six years after his pitch-perfect, high-concept collaboration with Danger Mouse and Jack White on Rome, Italian composer/ producer Daniele Luppi has fashioned a less-than-equal sequel from an imbalance of collaborative charisma. An art-pop reflection on the fashion capital of the 80s, Milano hits its high-style aspirations whenever guest Karen O is on hand, only to run patchy when Brooklyn art-punks Parquet Courts shoulder the load. First impressions are alluring on Soul And Cigarette, where Courts' Andrew Savage drawls about seduction and style like Bill Callahan channelling Lou Reed.
This latest full-length from Italian producer Daniele Luppi is being released through Danger Mouse's label, 30th Century Recordings, and according to the man himself is supposed to serve as a spiritual successor to 'Rome’, the 2010 record that he and the Broken Bells knob-twiddler previously collaborated on. That album was intended as a panoramic tribute to Italian film scores and, accordingly, it's difficult to envision that the ideal bedfellows this time out would be Brooklyn upstarts Parquet Courts. Sure enough, 'Milano' is a decidedly ramshackle affair sonically; it's worth noting that Karen O features on four of its nine tracks, and that 'Talisa' and 'The Golden Ones' cast her vocals against some of the scratchiest punk instrumentation they've been surrounded by since Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 'Show Your Bones' - or maybe even 'Fever to Tell'.