A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Composer: Yves Malone
Released: bandcamp, 2012
Here is an interesting anomaly, for this week’s edition of HORRORSCORES: a synthesized soundtrack for a film that never was. Although some say it does?
Originally credited to a lost composer of film scores, Yves Malone, who worked for a straight-to-video production company, starting in 1981. These futurist nasties sat in a shoebox, decaying like William Basinski‘s erotic fantasies, until the internet opened the channels for the composer to revive his work. He has released 3 soundtracks, so far; Abysscotheque, Zenith City, and The Echo People. We’ll take a listen to all of them, over time, but i only have time for one, for today.
All of this biographical data was taken from an interview for The Kort, from Nov. of last year. By the time of this next interview, for OH MY BLOG, the bio is starting to swim a little bit, the composer seems a little less sure of himself. Apart from some random tweets, and a shout-out on 20 Jazz Funk Greats, this is about all the information that exists, so far. Not much has been written. Looking into the production company Silk Knights reveals nothing except for curiosity why Sir Galahad gave the maiden a silk girdle, and we are left picking through the gravel, doomed to haunt flea markets and closing mom and pop video stores, seeking that next elusive lost classic.
So thrilling is it, to find a real mystery, that it seems a shame to shed some torchlight in this spidery crypt, but these days i seem to be playing at an investigative journalist, and it’s what y’all expect of me. To get to the truth, the bottom of the matter. The truth is, or a version of it, is that Yves Malone is another persona of the enigmatic electronic musician Adderall Canyonly, who is also a resident of Portland’s olive gray gloom. What at first seems like an almost disappointing reveal, akin to debunking a stage magician’s act, or a seance, in turn just raises more questions. In some interviews, Yves Malone talks about being musically active in the ’80s, and i have no idea how old Adderall is, but i’d lay silver that YM/AC is younger than that, part of the newer generation of ’80s idolators.
And all of that is an aside, really, because I’m not here to talk about the back story. It is irrelevant. If Abysscoteque existed, it probably wouldn’t be worth watching, anyway. Film music does not need to go along with the images they were created for. It should be able to stand on it’s own, evocative but not representative.
What we are interested in, with the HORRORSCORE series, or the Deconstructing Horror series that i’ve been writing, at Amazing Stories, is looking at a general theory of aesthetics, looking at every genre or sub-genre we can find, ripping it to shreds, like a good qabbalist.
Yves Malone is firmly in the newage camp, modern synth worshippers that would be Vangelis or Klaus Schulze, if only they had the funding or the room in their apartment for all that modular kit. File next to Dylan Ettinger, Oneohtrix Point Never, Xander Harris…. pull this one out, next time yr combing through back alleys at sunrise, looking for yr missing friends, wearing sunglasses.
This is not a criticism. It matters not if this were made in 1981 or 2011. The fact remains that Abysscoteque was made with authentic gear, or a very realistic simulation, and sounds fucking great. Plodding basslines, much akin to Malone’s revered idol John Carpenter, patron saint of newage HORRORSCORES, along with some electric harpsichord, standing at an intersection between gothic Hammer Horror decadence and Giallo grit, this music will conjure grainy kodachrome screens in yr mind (although in all fairness, perhaps it should be filed under suspensescore. It sounds more like Trauma than Suspiria).
Yves Malone has a strong sense of melody and tone; this abstract incidental music will get stuck in yr head for days! Mostly disembodied, handmade synth melodies, occasionally supplemented by some proto-industrial beat machines (‘Through The Glass’). Everything is lovingly mixed, and there is nothing to dispel the anachronism. The narrative seems to follow the familiar, ‘If we make it through the night’ theme of much early ’80s film, like Night Of The Demons or John Carpenter’s Prince Of Darkness. Hope seems returned, with ‘When The Sun Rises On The City’. Perhaps the library has opened again, and (at least one) of the protagonists is able to find the buried secret, the hidden incantation, that will end all this madness.
With the merit of hindsight, we are able to pick out all the elements that we liked, out of whatever era you fancy. It’s looking at the past through rosy-tinted lens, to be sure, call it retrofetishism, if you like. Let’s call it hyper-historical. Let’s face it, a lot of people alive and thriving, in the present, are doing the ’80s better than most, when it was happening. We know what we like, and are unapologetic in going after it.
I like Abysscoteque, along with YM’s two other metascores. They are fun and easy to listen to, sound great on headphones, make for a fine cinematic bus commute. It puts a little futuristic noir thrill and glamour in yr daily life. And that’s mostly what we aim to accomplish, shedding light on horror movie music (and films); let you live and breathe, inside the gloom. Color yr days and nights with neon and polished chrome, speckled with blood and rust.
Abysscoteque is available as a download, or to listen, on bandcamp:
Show some support, for all the horror arts!
This concludes this week’s Horrorscores. I hope you’ve enjoyed, i hope you have bad dreams, and are unable to sleep in the night. Let us know, if there’s any horror-derived music that deserves recognition and exposition!