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Alfi Kabiljo – Sex, crime & politics: cinematic disco, jazz & electronica from Yugoslavia 1974 - 1984

At the time of the release of this record famous Croatian composer Alfi Kabiljo will be celebrating his 84th birthday. One might think that this can be an occasion to slow down and reflect on the past, as many of his colleagues would do, but this certainly does not apply to versatile and busy musician. He is still working, writing music, conducting, arranging and above all enjoying his craft and life. 

His opus involves music for over 50 films, 100 TV episodes, numerous commercials, theatre productions and easy listening pop music. His nickname in Yugoslavia, now in Croatia, is still The King Of Musical with Jalta, Jalta (1971) being the record breaking success all over the world. Helping the careers of pop stars like Radojka Sverko, Tereza Kesovija, Ana Stefok and Vice Vukov, Alfi travelled, conducted and performed his music in Asia, Europe and Americas. They all granted him a warm welcome.

For Sex, Crime & Politics: Cinematic Disco, Jazz & Electronica from Yugoslavia 1974-1984 release, Fox & His Friends Records owners Leri Ahel & Zeljko Luketic, spent over a year browsing through Kabiljo’s sound archives, selecting and restoring his recordings for uniquely themed compilation of film music. This carefully programmed musical journey is focused on his love of classic disco beat, combined with funk, jazz and lush orchestrations, typical for the shady Zagreb nights, populated with detectives and unsolved crimes, worked up journalists and ladies of the ‘oldest trade’. One of the films, Honeymoon (1983), labelled first soft-porn in Yugoslavia, caused scandal and critical backlash, but Kabiljo never seemed to bother with provincial morals. The score for Deps (1974), starring Bekim Fehmiu and Milena Dravic is also included, adding funk groove to the overall beat, while critically acclaimed The Journalist (1979) starring Rade Serbedzija and Milena Zupancic launched it into faster, danceable disco gear. The sum of six different films compiled here override its parts and make the continuous flow of one completely new and imaginary film called Sex, Crime & Politics. One might call it a socialist version of Bernard Herrmann’s Taxi Driver.

Alfi Kabiljo (born 1935 in Zagreb) is one of the few composers from ex Yugoslavia to work in Hollywood and to score films starring A-list actresses like Sharon Stone (Scissors, 1991). His early adoption of various musical styles and instruments led him to pioneering work with synthesizers and electronica, making him a first musician in the region to play with expensive Fairlight CMI machine in the 1980s. He conducted The National Philharmonic Orchestra in London for recording sessions for Sky Bandits score, 1986. Varèse Sarabande released it and included Alfi Kabiljo in its 25th Anniversary Celebration CD Box next to David Newman, Bill Conti, Alan Silvestri, Elmer Bernstein, Basil Poledouris, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Danny Elfman and Howard Shore.

All tracks on the Sex, Crime & Politics: Cinematic Disco, Jazz & Electronica from Yugoslavia 1974-1984 release are transferred from the original master tapes. Research, selection and track programming was done by Fox & His Friends owners Ahel and Luketic, who continue to discover unreleased musical jewels and help to re-contextualise forgotten and neglected history of East European music. This collection comes right after the critical success of Socialist Disco - Dancing Behind Yugoslavia's Velvet Curtain 1977-1987 double LP for which Alfi Kabiljo also contributed one track.

Sex, Crime & Politics: Cinematic Disco, Jazz & Electronica from Yugoslavia 1974-1984 features the music from the following films: Deps (Deps, 1974) directed by Antun Vrdoljak and starring Bekim Fehmiu, Milena Dravic, Fabijan Sovagovic & Relja Basic; Novinar (The Journalist, 1979) directed by Fadil Hadzic and starring Rade Serbedzija, Fabijan Sovagovic, Stevo Zigon & Milena Zupancic; Usporeno kretanje (Slow Motion, 1979) directed by Vanca Kljakovic and starring Relja Basic, Boris Buzancic, Lela Margitic & Mia Oremovic; Zlocin u skoli (School Crime, 1982) directed by Branko Ivanda and starring Zlatko Vitez, Miodrag Krivokapic, Zdenka Hersak & Zarko Potocnjak; Medeni mjesec (Honeymoon, 1983) directed by Nikola Babic and starring Slobodan Milovanovic, Biserka Ipsa, Nada Abrus & Ksenija Prohaska; Ambasador (The Ambassador, 1984) directed by Fadil Hadzic and starring Miodrag Radovanovic, Elizabeta Kukic, Voja Brajovic & Inge Appelt. 

All additional information (and pre-order of the record) can be found on this link

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