Daniele Luppi is a well-known film composer as well as an arranger and producer of dance and pop music, and is a recording artist in his own right. Born and raised in Rome, Luppi was classically trained on piano and also learned to play jazz organ, becoming a master of the Hammond B-3. He was obsessed from an early age with the classic Italian film scores of Ennio Morricone, Alessandro Alessandroni, Gianni Marchetti, Piero Piccioni, Nico Fidenco, Franco Micalizzi, Piero Umiliani, and Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, among others. He immigrated to the United States, became a session musician on soundtracks, and eventually found his way into arranging and then scoring indie films in Hollywood, including The Woman Chaser, Red Silk, and Showboy. Luppi also found an inroad to television and contributed music to the HBO comedy Sex & the City, as well as films including Under the Tuscan Sun and the documentary Inside Deep Throat.
While writing film scores, Luppi began working on a project that was essentially an aural love letter to the Italian cinema music and sonic effects that inspired him. The end result was his debut album, An Italian Story, issued by Rhino in 2004 to near universal critical acclaim. The set has had many of its tracks remixed by well-known DJs. During this period, he also began doing pop arrangements, the first of which was for John Legend's Get Lifted album. Luppi also contributed his arrangements to Rob Marshall's cinematic hit musical Nine, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, and Penelope Cruz.
One of An Italian Story's many fans was Danger Mouse; he approached Luppi to do arrangements for Gnarls Barkley's chart-topping smash debut, St. Elsewhere, as well as its follow-up, The Odd Couple. Luppi also played piano on both recordings. Danger Mouse and Luppi continued their collaboration with Worm's Head, the debut full-length by psych-folk outfit Joker's Daughter; on Dark Night of the Soul, the mysterious album by Danger Mouse, the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and David Lynch; and on Broken Bells, the eponymous album from a group formed by Danger Mouse and James Mercer of the Shins. Luppi also produced Grand Animals, the sophomore effort by New York's Robbers on High Street.
Luppi scored the award-winning film Malos Hábitos (Bad Habits), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and the movie's soundtrack/score album was released under his name on Ipecac in 2010. In addition, he collaborated with Danger Mouse on the 2011 album Rome, which was inspired by the prolific number of Italian film soundtracks of the 1960s and '70s. Jack White and Norah Jones also contributed vocals to the project. He went on to compose the scores for two television shows, 2012's Magic City and 2014's Marco Polo, and the soundtrack for the 2015 film Feriado, while also providing string arrangements on albums by Broken Bells, Dave Gahan & the Soulsavers, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
His next collaborative project was the mini-album Milano, a semi-nostalgic look back at the underground culture of 1980s Milan, where Luppi came of age. The record featured music and vocals by Parquet Courts and three vocal appearances by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O. The record was released on Danger Mouse's 30th Century label in late 2017. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi