"Hi Spooks - DOM KREEP here with a look at some really out there and freaky horror sounds to get your fangs into.
Many top horror soundtrack lists often feature scores for such classics as Goblins' contributions to Dawn of The Dead and Suspiria, Paul Giovanni's haunting Wicker Man score and Wendy Carlos' marrow chilling compositions for Kubrick's The Shining - but may I present to you a set of equally ingenious, and perhaps a little more leftfield, choices that may have escaped your attention."
1. PSYCHOMANIA - John Cameron and Frog.
The score to a fairly hammy, but excellent nonetheless, early 70's Brit-Horror about a biker gang called "The Living Dead" who discover a frog related way to return to life. The gang all commit suicide, then come back from the dead to cause zombie biker havoc in nearby British villages.
The soundtrack is funky, weird, rocky and psychey all played and performed by the top British jazz and library artists of 1973. Imagine the Sweeney mixed with a bit of witchcraft and you'll get the musical picture.
This record was released for the first ever time in 2003 and was a huge musical influence on Kreeps sound.
2. LES FRISSON DE VAMPIRES (SHIVER OF THE VAMPIRES) - Acanthus
Jean Rollin's 1972 film Le Frisson De Vampires still stands up as one of the most original European, erotic horror films after almost 40 years since it's cosmic inauguration.
Originally rumoured to be played by a disbanded group of teenagers and lost in the edit suite, the unabridged soundtrack of improvised Psyche-rock and acid folk could have easily been recorded by an early line-up of Gong or Ame Son.
The title track alone is akin to early Pink Floyd outings such as Interstellar Overdrive. This score was also only released in full within the last few years. Essential!
3. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST - Riz Ortolani
Much has been made of the shock value of this 80's Italian gut-churner, but Ortolani's score has been a much sought after gem for some time.
The soundtrack offers a whole range of styles from beautiful string led instrumental balladry to subtle use of synths, some upbeat funky stuff and a great lounge track!
Some of the music is actually really at odds with what is seen on screen, but somehow the juxtaposition of the sometimes whimsical tracks set against scenes of violent imagery only serve to make the whole package more unsettling.
Oh, it has some great electro toms too.
4. VAMPYROS LESBOS: SEXADELIC DANCE PARTY - The Vampires Inc.
For diehard fans of low-budget cult cinema, Jess Franco is among the great directors - his style somewhere between European versions of Roger Corman's Mondo sexploitation and Andy Warhol's hardcore improv.
His films Vampyros Lesbos, The Devil Came from Akasava, and Mrs. Hyde, She Kills in Ecstasy - all made in 1970 and starring Franco's doomed Spanish seductress Soledad Miranda - perfected "horrotica," Franco's melange of B-grade horror and twisted erotica.
Featuring a host of German musicians, mainly the legendary Manfred Hubler and Sigfried Schwab, who also sessioned with the Dave Pike Set in the 60s & 70s, The Vampire Inc. play a veritable feast of instruments ranging from twanging psyched out sitars, hammond organs, blasting horns, funky drums and fuzz guitars on this psyched out soundscape.
I heard somewhere that Jess Franco chose the soundtrack for his film simply based on the cover sleeve of the Vampires' pre-existing "Sexadelic Dance Party" record, which featured a looming female vampire. That choice saved this record from sure fire complete obscurity. Thanks Jess!
5. ERASERHEAD - David Lynch and Alan R. Splet
The soundtrack to David Lynch’s experimental film Eraserhead is simply one of the most immersive and downright unsettling atmospheric pieces I’ve ever experienced.
Mainly comprised of ambient industrial sounds from the environment the film’s protagonist finds himself in, along with 1920’s organ pieces by Fats Waller and the odd short bit of dialogue, the two part soundscape of hissing steam, faint melodies heard from other rooms and the echoing wails of deformed babies paint a bleaker picture than most industrial or black metal artists could ever hope to achieve.
Essential uneasy listening.
6. DRACULA'S MUSIC CABINET - The Vampires of Dartmoore
Dracula’s Music Cabinet was part of a wave of horror-themed novelty albums released in Germany during the late 60s and early 70s, all of which were seemingly inspired by the very type of horror films that Europe was producing at the time.
This is actually a collection of library tracks by German composer Heribert Thusek and radio comedian Horst Ackerman under the name The Vampires of Dartmoore.
Thusek and Ackerman originally intended Dracula's Music Cabinet to be an 'imaginary movie soundtrack', but of course like so many other records of its era and ilk, it later became lost in the deep dark vaults of some Central European record shop or other.
In recent years the album re-surfaced as a rare collector's prize, and again, was re-issued recently.
The tunes range from psychedelic lounge hop grooves to deadly swing beats with some excellent interlude pieces in between. Check out "Hallo Mr.Hitchcock" in which an unknown stalker consistently rings the famous director and insists that as the track draws closer to the end he'll "...well, be DEAD!"
ABOUT DOM KREEPS
Dom Kreep is a writer, artist, DJ, remixer and musician. As reclusive Kingpin behind Gothabilly experimentalists Kreeps, he spends much time hidden from daylight, sporadically surfacing to host Radio Kreeps on cult internet station Samurai FM.
Kreeps made a special guest appearance in Rockstar Games’ “Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare”, providing three specially written pieces to soundtrack their western zombie apocalypse.
Their albums “Dead Sounds” (4/5 - Bizarre Magazine) and “Belly Full Of Razor Blades” are available from www.kreepsmusic.com
Catch a brand new Kreeps track for free on Rue Morgue Magazines “Hymns From The House Of Horror” compilation, and a download only track “Monster King Theme” both available this May.