Saturday 29 March 2014

Horror Movie Right There On Me Stereo

It's been a daily bonanza in the last few years for lovers of soundtracks with a vinyl fetish. Before that we already had the Trunk and Finders Keepers record labels releasing soundtrack esoterica for over ten years. More recently a bunch of new record labels have popped up to satiate your cult film score needs mainly in the vinyl format. Odd, obscure, cult and classic soundtracks are all getting the reissue treatment. What's incredible is how much of it is great stuff. Horror and electronic scores are getting some much deserved attention from labels such as Death Waltz, Waxwork and the new Belgian label One Way Static. These labels have definitely found a niche market for horror buffs who also love their vinyl. Bloggers (Inferno Music Vault, Digital Meltdown, Sleazy Listening, and, well the list goes on & on) are probably most responsible for the rise in interest in these sounds. Such blogs have been passionate about bringing classic and little heard, some even unreleased, horror scores into the public spotlight for many years. Of course many of these links are now dead as these new small labels are now reissuing the music. These labels are set up with a ready made audience wanting their product thanks to the enthusiasm and effort put in by the blogging fraternity. The ongoing cults of Morricone, Goblin and Carpenter have led to a trickle down effect for other lesser known but equally excellent film composers Bruno Nicolai, Giuliano Sorgini, Riz Ortolani, Nico Fidenco, Fabio Frizzi, Richard Band etc. The OSTs to Argento and Carpenter directed films have been exhaustively reissued. Its now the time for another bunch of directors films to get a look in: Fulci, Lenzi, Girolami, Ferrara, Deodato, Craven etc.

I've been searching for the Day Of The Dead (1985) soundtrack ever since I re-watched it 5 or 6 years ago. I couldn't find it in mp3 form, let alone a physical copy. Waxwork re-released it and I bloody missed out but now I think the MP3 is on sale so I guess I'll have to make do with John Harrison's classic 80s synth zombie score in diminished audio. If they get around to releasing Harrison's masterpiece Creepshow I will not be missing out on that! Waxwork were also responsible for one one of my favourite reissues of the 2013, Re-Animator by Richard Band from 1985 as well as the perennially creepy Rosemary's Baby by Krzysztof Komeda.

Death Waltz have covered the obvious ie Goblin and many titles from John Carpenter and Alan Howarth. But new or recent (read post '80's) scores aren't out of the question for their catalogue. Donnie Darko and Room 237 have been issued. Remake scores get a look in as well. Who even knew they remade Maniac or Evil Dead let alone had soundtracks worthy enough to be issued by such a quality label? A reissue of the scores to the original movies of those two wouldn't be unwelcome either. Death Waltz's three most exciting reissues for me have been House By The Cemetery by Walter Rizzati, The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue by Giuliano Sorgini and De Masi's New York Ripper. Now they are set to reissue two of my all time favourite unheralded scores. I only have a crappy mp3 of Ralph Jones' soundtrack to Slumber Party Massacre so I'm looking forward to hearing this in its original glory. This is an exceptional score of melodic pulsating synthy creepiness and minimal mayhem. The other is possibly the cultiest soundtrack item of them all Susan Justin's electronic score to Forbidden World. This has been unavailable since its original release in 1982. Never seen the film (possibly not even strictly a horror flick) but love the soundtrack. '80's new wave synth disco, space age tones, squeaks, squelches, eerie melodies and even mini slices of power electronics make this one of the most unique and best soundtracks of the '80's if not the best. Some of it sounds like it was recorded yesterday and released on Spectrum Spools.

80s Masterpiece
One Way Static have twigged my interest with the imminent release of Roberto Donati's OST to Cannibal Ferox from 1981 although this was only released less than 2 years ago in digital. This is a classic funky disco psych gem with swathes of intense horror synth. One of Italy's great soundtracks. One Way Static's other releases have been two seventies Wes Craven titles, The Last House On The Left with a soundtrack from David Alexander Hess and Don Peak's score to The Hills Have Eyes.

On the more arthouse tip was last years sublime synthesiser score from Eduard Artemiev for the 1972 Andrei Tarkovsky film Solaris, which made it into my reissues of 2013 list. This was released on Superior Viaduct not really a Soundtrack label but worth a mention as Artimiev's scores have never been released for the western market before. This year the label plan on releasing two more of Artemiev's Tarkovsky soundtracks, the scores to the 1979 Russian cult movie Stalker and The Mirror (1975) will get a release. I recall Stalker having some of the most extraordinary and haunting drones I'd ever heard on celluloid.

There is so much happening in this little sector of the music world I don't know if I can keep up. I'm assuming somewhere along the line Wayne BellTobe Hooper's experimental score to 1974's Texas Chainsaw Massacre will get a release as well as Joe Delia's bizarre soundtrack to Abel Ferarra's Driller Killer (Delia's score to Ferarra's Ms.45 was issued by Death Waltz recently). My wish list would include 3 horror soundtracks I've never been able to track down before. Madeleine-Anitomia Di Un Incubo (1974) composed by Maurizio Vandetti, Chopping Mall (1986) by Chuck Cirino and 1980's Roberto Donati score for Umberto Lenzi's Mangiati Vivi! (Eaten Alive). Oh and what about Tim Krog's fabulous Boogey Man score last issued in its year of release 1980? Finally, surely there is a bidding war going on now to see who gets the vinyl release for the (un)holy grail of Italian horror soundtracks Cannibal Holocaust. I've got that on cd though, so who cares?! What do you think I am, some kind of vinyl snob?

This was released on California's other SST label in 1980.
*Previous post here on Slumber Party Massacre and one here on The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Skrillex & Time

Had a very brief listen to the Skrillex album Recess and for all its atemporality it sounded very much 2011 to me, the best bits anyway. This had me thinking that perhaps time hasn't completely collapsed. Is there still hope that time will get back on track? Or is it just now we have different versions of the atemporal. Perhaps Skrillex just doesn't have the latest old influences. To be more now/not now (atemporal in 2014) i dunno maybe he needs a bit of disco, EBM, Gabba or_________(insert latest old trend) thrown in the mix. Then will that just date him to now though. Whichever way you look at it, it's still all dated. But it's more complicated than you think. Watch this space.....

Saturday 22 March 2014

Lamborghini Crystal's Better Than The New Stuff

After really diggin Helm's Silencer from last year I have to say Impasse their new reissue from 2008 is pretty disappointing. It just drones on in a very unoriginal manner. Where's the beats? Generic drone is happening now, well then and that was a while ago. Why? Who really cares? Clay Rendering's new 12" Waters Above The Firmament was described as recalling The Cocteau Twins, Cranes and Sonic Youth. Was this supposed to entice me or make me wanna throw up. How many more bloody bands are gonna sound like The Cocteaus or Sonic Youth? I think if I read an artist was influenced by Paul Young I'd be more likely to check that out. Hey I loved early Cranes, do I wanna hear someone rippin them off over 20 years later?

Is that JC Peavey in the corner?

I came across a couple of Lamborghini Crystal tapes I had not heard today. It's pretty easy to write off James Ferraro's work as ephemeral due to its abundance and his post Far Side Virtual slide into crapness. However there was once a time when it was very exciting to hear what his latest 5 albums were like. The releases from Lamborghini Crystal I already had 1992 Cool Runnings,  Alien Microwave, Draco Shop Bop Volume 1, Dial 747 Creepozoid and Roach Motel are all top notch. These were peaks in his ridiculous career that were the foretaste of his classic, probably greatest solo outing Night Dolls With Hairspray. Lamborghini Crystal was a duo though that also contained JC Peavey although he could very well be fictitious. Would I dig these two seven year old tapes now that his moment had passed and his reputation was dwindling? Fuck yeah because they're the biz.

Clock Tower Acid could have almost been released on GhostBox. Half of it sounds like early Belbury Poly crossed with later Advisory Circle. It's got a real Euro-library feel. Come to think of it, it might not even be him at all. It could be just some wholesale appropriation of a 70s synth artist. Anyway the other half is like a malfunctioning Ariel Pink robot attempting cartoon noise rock. To top it off it's all recorded on the world's most decrepit tape.

Smoking Out His Majesties UFO is an album that sounds like it was made by a band that only appeared on Z grade soundtracks of straight to video movies from the 80s.  This is a trip that is very not quite right, sounding like they'd dropped acid and recorded it in an amusement arcade. Side 1 is a particularly splendid slice of chopped up baby gonzoid electro space psych.

I am pleased to read on discogs there's 3 more tapes and that I'm still yet to hear. How long will it take to track these down?

Smoking Out His
Majesties UFO


Monday 10 March 2014

Ekoplekz - Unfidelity

It's always a good week when Nick Edwards aka Ekoplekz puts out a new LP or tape. This is probably Ekoplekz's most accessible record to date. His usual eerie electronic dub cluster-fuck is more restrained here, with a lot more space. His solo double LP Plezatoinz was perhaps the foretaste of this expansive direction but where those tracks were like 15 minutes long Unfidelity's are a third of the size and a lot more compact. His unpredictable clanky echoes and synth smears are mighty on this album. Melody is even lurking within some of these tracks. Atmospheres and tension are built to unprecedented soundtrack-like levels. It's still undoubtedly Ekoplekz though and his music is in no way diminished. In fact it is quite possibly more powerful. Wow you could even maybe dance to some of these tunes. Ekoplekz is still the sound of the wintry demise of capitalism, industry and time. Or is it just the sound of a man trying to manipulate his wayward machines? Analogue Twitch and the humidity of Coalpit Heath are pointing toward the day when Ekoplekz will make the perfect dystopian summer album. Unfidelity is the album of the year and it's only March.

Thursday 6 March 2014

It's Glam Party Time II....With Suzi Quatro

To be quite honest I don't recall this one from childhood. Maybe it wasn't a hit in Australia however I was only a toddler at the time. Actually it got to no. 4 here but the other 3 here were number ones. I think she was bigger in Australia than anywhere else, having hits long after this little run of gold.

To me these are the 4 classics that were released in succession. The next couple I didn't like so much (but others rate them). That's 4 classics though. The Buggles only managed one.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Mr & Mrs Z

I am so sick of having to desire Beyonce. Yeah Beyonce we know you're beautiful. Yep you've got a rockin bod there Beyonce. Very nice booty Beyonce. Yep junk, yep trunk, yep jelly. I see Beyonce's body more than I see my own wife's for Christ's sake. Maybe I won't have to desire her for much longer as her narcissism is starting to cloud my judgement of her external beauty. I pity her poor kids when they're older and they have to hear that Jay Z rap about movin Beyonce's knickers... sorry I should say panties to the side and something about her box. Come on Mr & Mrs Z your kids are gonna be in for a rough time if you keep this shit up. No matter how beautiful you are it doesn't matter you're someone's parents and hey that's gross.

Also Beyonce post Destiny's Child a little overrated? Yes.

Those Jay Z lyrics in full from Drunk In Love (Beyonce doesn't really strike me as a party girl. I can't really imagine her pissed)

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
(I'm nice right now)
Hold up
That D'USSÉ is the shit if I do say so myself
If I do say so myself, if I do say so myself
Hold up,
Stumbled all in the house time to back up all of that mouth
That you had all in the car, talking 'bout you the baddest bitch thus far
Talking 'bout you be repping that third, I wanna see all the shit that I heard
Know I sling Clint Eastwood, hope you can handle this curve
Foreplay in the foyer, fucked up my Warhol
Slip the panties right to the side
Ain't got the time to take draws off, on site
Catch a charge I might, beat the box up like Mike
In '97 I bite, I'm Ike, Turner, turn up
Baby no I don't play, now eat the cake, Anna Mae
Said, "Eat the cake, Anna Mae!"
I'm nice, for y'all to reach these heights you gonna need G3
4, 5, 6 flights, sleep tight
We sex again in the morning, your breastases is my breakfast
We going in, we be all night

*Taken from

Child Z -  "Dad what did you have for brekky?"

Jay Z -  "I had yer mum's breastases."

Child Z -  "Of course you did dad."

Its Party Time With........Gary Glitter

This was originally a B-side dub!

The sound and vision here combine for a pop art masterpiece. The cameraman and director are unusually sympathetic to Glitter's art here.

What a run of hit singles. These were all released in a row starting in 1972 through to 73. What a nut job! Did people notice this at the time or just in retrospect? What about his hair? His dancing was fabulous. He comes across as very aggressive and quite unhinged really. I dunno if Gary was a laugh or   if people were scared of him. What more do you need from pop though? Fascinating. Outfuckingrageous! Gold!

*Up yours Sting.