A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Horror movies soundtracks and film music in general has become some of our most prized listening, here in The Attic. First of all, we like to keep the gothic ambiance going 24/7. Second of all, as music and sound design meant to accompany visuals, it is stronger on the visionary aspect, inherently instilling dark scenarios across yr frontal lobe. Thirdly, especially with older films, this incidental music is rife for plundering from beathounds and sample architects (we are both).
For this 100th post, we bring you some original scores, as well as music inspired by, and re-interpreting, psychotropic classics, so you can keep the graveyard party going all week long, ’til next week’s Horrorscores (although we might not be able to wait that long. October is coming, and the horror is coming out in bucketloads, more so than could be contained on one day a week).
First up, we have The Giallos Flame, the product of multi-instrumentalist Ron Graham‘s love of ’70s and ’80s italian horror, suspense, and police thriller films. Like Portlander Yves Malone, Giallos Flame makes soundtracks for films that never were, using a battery of authentic sounds and instrumentation. He’s not the first to try to re-create the dusty grooves of funky ’70s ‘ploitation, but he IS damn good at it, insanely authentic and with great taste. The usual suspects are here – Carpenter, Goblin, Ennio Morricone, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze,and as we all know, those original soundtracks sound AMAZING, so even more of the same would not be a bad thing; you can never have too much exquisiteness! But i’m happy to report GF is not some big-haired tribute band, this is no Goblin-cover act. Giallo’s Flame got awesome melodies wrenched out of badass gear, with nicely nuanced and detailed programming to compliment. The details and subtlety is one advantage you have with modern Carpentercore, as the original composers, (although undoubtedly gifted black wizards and sonic alchemists bordering on genius), they also did not realize they would be composing for all time. A lot of what we love are cheap soundtracks for horrible films, cranked out on the fly with hardly a mix or a second thought. Now, we can take our time, twiddle the drums, balance the levels, get everything just so, in another example of what i call hyperpop, ie. recreationist music with the benefit of hindsight, that removes the flab and missteps of the original, and makes some mighty mutant.
In case you’ve burned out that Prince Of Darkness soundtrack, are waiting for yr next Death Waltz record to show up in the mail from England, or want something cool and different for the inevitable orange-lit Halloween decorations, here’s yr ticket (and it is good, for more than one month out of the year, if you are curious.)
I plan on writing on some of Ron Graham’s music in the near future, so for tonight i’ll leave you with a handful of mixes he’s made, stacked with classic horror ambiance, vintage library grooves, twisted funk and soul.
stay in touch:
Maniac OST – Rob
“for a film composer, a horror movie is like an exciting new playground.”
“I wanted to use textures. It is nearly 100% synthetic.”
Watched Franck Khalfoun‘s remake of the legendary Video Nasty Maniac this week. I cannot necessarily recommend the film, even though it was well made, beautifully shot and acted, (even if it did seem at times like an occasion for Elijah Wood to prove that he can be more than Frodo Baggins), the film was a legitimately disturbing headfuck that left me with trouble sleeping for days after (and i have a high trauma threshold). I can, with frothing glee, recommend this soundtrack by the composer Rob, one of the highlights of horror music we’ve heard this year. It’s glowingly authentic, made almost entirely with keyboards and drum machines from the late ’70s/early ’80s, it is gloriously dirty and gritty, like the best John Carpenter soundtracks, early proto-industrial synth nastiness, at it’s edgiest.
Rob’s a legitimate composer, with a musical ear and a penetrating mind, using classical methods paired with electronic tones and textures to evoke feelings of beauty, sadness, regret, dread, paranoia, and meltdown. I want to see more of this merging of classical with experimental soundscapes, as i think both fields would benefit from broadening their horizons and expanding their abilities.
Here’s an insightful video from Shock ‘Till You Drop, about the making of the soundtrack:
Get it @ Amazon:
L. Pierre’s Disney Mix:
There has always been something darkly psychedelic beneath Disney’s glossy surface. Hints of black magick, pagan fairy tales cleaned up and peddled to the masses, there’s is a realm of deep imagination, taking you back to a childlike state, where wonders and terrors in equal measure are possible.
L. Pierre is the tropical exotica project of Aidan Moffat, of Scotland’s bummer rock legends Arab Strap (immortalized in the Belle & Sebastien title The Boy With The Arab Strap). He’s been making imaginary soundtracks for highly enjoyable armchair travelling for the past year or two; lush, cinematic orchestral journeys across the globe, that brings to mind the kitchen sink psychedelia of Sean O’ Hagan (High Llamas) or Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips).
Here’s what Dazed Digital has to say about this mix:
Ninety years of Disney means there are many vaults worth of eerie concepts and jingles that got shelved away. “The Song of the Seeonee” by composer Terry Gilkyson was cut from The Jungle Book (1967) for being too dark, along with “Brothers All” (although many creepier songs were left in). The nature of these tunes – littered with spooky calls from damsels in distress and the sinister sorcery of an earlier magic kingdom – worm their way into former Arab Strap member Aidan Moffat’s “Neverland Transmission”, a languid, downtempo Disney nightmare featuring a spectrum of age-old classics like “Scales and Arpeggios” from The Aristocats and Peter Pan‘s “Second Star to the Right“. It’s a dreamy journey turned nightmare-ish nirvana, a complete u-turn from L. Pierre’s (aka Aidan Moffat) earlier work in the Scottish indie rock duo. Burning with a slow fuse, this molten mix rebuffs the pristine Disney veneer for a pleasurable cruise to Neverland’s magical shores.
This is right on time, and really hitting the spot, as we’ve been perusing a lot of classic Disney films and animation, of late, intermingled with heavy doses of Cosmic Horror, making a potent jambalaya of magickal dread.
Slackk – Laura Palmer
Twin Peak’s dark menace with stripped down grime beats. Brought to our attention from 20jfg.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane OST:
We conclude our nightly derive through the darkside with the soundtrack from this wonderful thriller from 1976. It stars a very young Jodie Foster as an independent young Englishwoman who moves to a small town where no one knows how to mind their own business. She is living on her own, after being abandoned by both of her parents. Her father taught her to be wary of the System, that would try and make her just like everybody else, grinding down her brilliant corners. A young Martin Sheen plays the creepiest, pedophiliac role i have ever seen openly in a mainstream movie, and it’s almost a wonder it ever got made at all.
The music was handled by Christian Gaubert, a musician renowned for the quality of his arrangements. The soundtrack ranges from gorgeous neoclassicism (in the style of Chopin, whose Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No.1 in E minor was used extensively throughout the film), to Moog odysseys to dusty Library disco grooves. This one’s a samplehunter’s delight, so take heed, and listen deep (and watch the film!).
this soundtrack was just re-released Disques Cinemusique
And in case you missed it, here’s our B-Movie Mix (In Support Of Living Dead Magazine)
that’s it for now. should hold you over, ’til we bring you more dark and twisted jams.
thanks to all the original uploaders, the composers, and thank all of you for reading! Here’s to the next 2 years, and the next 200 posts! -fp