Angelo Spencer is from the French Alps. Although it borders Italy, he has never been there. At the age of four his life took a twisted turn when he first heard the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was also at that age when he discovered a red, beat and haggard guitar in his house. The influence of Ennio Morricone has been evident in Spencer's previous recordings with L'Orchidee d'Hawai, but never so much as his debut instrumental album, Angelo Spencer et Les Hauts Sommets [KLP216]. Blanketed in the unconscious, the album invokes the archetypal images of a spaghetti western.
Similar to works by such instrumental groups as The Shadows and The Ventures, Angelo Spencer et Les Hauts Sommets illustrates the potential of the guitar; how it can be played and bent to influence accompanying instruments. Spencer is self taught, but aside from his one-man band performances, he has never played guitar in a band before. On this album his guitar creates the wavering tempo for accompanying echoplex, bass clarinet, keys, bells, bass drum, handclaps, shenhai and shakers. Arrington de Dionyso, Karl Blau and Clyde Petersen (Your Heart Breaks) were called to Olympia, Washington to contribute extra instrumentation as Les Hauts Sommets (translation: The High Summits) and set the scene. Because Sergio Leone has already passed it is a soundtrack to an unmade, never dreamed of movie. A village is burned. A nameless drifter has undetermined motives. A town celebrates his arrival. The unfolding drama happens within the mind of the listener. Les Hauts Sommets is an homage to that special moment when someone hears a soundtrack that is so wild and dissimilar to what's been heard before that it helps them create their own story and hero from the music.
"Angelo Spencer knows how to play a mean guitar." – The Stranger
- Did You Hear the Sound Of...
- Shepherd's Delight
- The Desert/The Strongest
- La Pinaille
- Le Mont Pourri
- Bo Diddley