Lamartine; ReportageFinders Keepers
FKR 080 LP
Long Playing Record
The name Lamartine was a true mystery of library history. In keeping with the habitual culture of library music, the mononymous Lamartine was thought to be one of many creative nom de plumes designed to disguise the true identities of the artists. Having faded from the memories of the ex-employees of the defunct production music departments at CAM and RCA, the truth behind this uncelebrated electronic pioneer had remained a mystery for decades. It wasn't until the 2000s, when the Italian independent production music label Flipper -- the parent company responsible for the imprints Union, Octopus, Flirt, and Deneb, among others -- decided to digitize its catalog, that a gleam of hope appeared via a sealed, misfiled master tape.
The archiving team at Flipper found the name "Lamartine" written on a single tape box with the name "Reportage" and corresponding legal papers pertaining to a little-known Italian conductor and composer for stage and popular song named Mr. Radicchi. Fabio di Bari at Flipper recounts that, throughout the extensive paperwork at Flipper, the music of Radicchi or Lamartine was never licensed out for synchronization and doesn't appear on any of the associated labels' discographies. "The music was never even pressed on to vinyl and the master tape remained in our store room for all these years," he told Finders Keepers in 2013. After cross-referencing track-times and titles, di Bari could also reveal the full name of the artist to beOdoardo (aka Eduardo) Radicchi -- a senior member of the Italian music scene from the same generation as Nino Rota, Giorgio Gaslini, and Gian Piero Reverberi.
Rendered in the hinterland between Italian cinema's penchant for psychedelic rock and the onset of the synthesizer music and Italo disco movements later in the 1970s, Lamartine'sReportage, recorded in 1974, is part of a community of laboratory projects that researched the capacity of electronic music before it swept the nation's media. Lamartine -- once an anonymous, dubious genius in the library micro-genre -- can now be named and recognized as a unique artist with a distinctive sound, adding new colors to the vibrant palette of Italian studio artists and painting a wider sonic picture of the evolution of Italian pop and film music. The Italian library liberation front keeps growing; it's the genre that keeps on giving. It's time for artists like Lamartine to name and claim their places in electronic music history.