Sunday, 30 December 2012
For many years, it's been my festive tradition to sit down by the fire with Bob Clark's horror masterpiece 'BLACK CHRISTMAS'.
Made in 1974, this film defined the modern 'slasher' movie, and has rarely -if ever- been bettered. A thoroughly nasty tale, made all the more sinister by fabulous cinematography, and Carl Zittrer's unsettling score. 'Billy', the deranged killer, is without a doubt the most disturbing screen maniac of all time, and the mere thought of him is enough to freeze even my blood.
His series of twisted phone calls to the sorority house make for extremely distressing listening, and paint a bloody mental picture of infanticide, and the most severe psychopathic disorders imaginable. His first call is pure obscenity (be warned), but chillingly ends with the calmly delivered statement: "I'm going to kill you".
What follows is a mind-bending outburst of insanity each time the telephone is answered.
Composer Carl Zittrer had worked with director Bob Clark before, scoring the wonderfully eerie music for Clark's 1972 'DeathDream'. Another film that left me feeling uneasy for days after my first viewing.
His 'Black Christmas' soundtrack makes a perfect accompaniment to the terrors depicted on-screen, and hugely adds to the ever-present menace in the air.
"Carl Zittrer, stated in an interview that he created the film's mysterious music by tying forks, combs and knives onto the strings of the piano in order to warp the sound of the keys. Zittrer also stated that he would distort the sound further by recording its sound onto an audio tape and make the sound slower. The audio for the disturbing phone calls was performed by actor Nick Mancuso, director Bob Clark and an unknown actress. Mancuso stated in an interview that he would stand on his head during the recording sessions to make his voice sound more demented."
In making this custom soundtrack recording it was necessary to include moments of dialogue and effects that would have been impossible to remove without severely spoiling the nightmarish mood. After some deliberation, I decided to edit out John Saxon's speech towards the end, as this would have revealed a major twist in the plot for anyone who hasn't seen the film. I chose to keep the protracted sound of the ticking clock and winter wind in the final minutes, as careful listeners will pick up a variety of disturbing whispers in the background; all essential to the overall effect.
Lastly, I've included the audio from the original cinema trailer, which is a masterful piece of editing, and an effective distillation of the music and madness of this classic.
Duration 37:25. 320kbps mp3. Download from here or here
I wish it could be Black Christmas everyday!
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
The good people over at Six Ton Armor asked me to invoke an audio mix for their mind-warping 'psychcast' collection, and I was more than happy to oblige.
Persistent ghosts from my childhood, nightmare sounds from British horror cinema, and televised terror fragments, have all been allowed to inter-breed.
The sonic runes were cast by candlelight in my haunted farmhouse, and designed to achieve maximum potency for Hallowe'en. Listen in the dark if you dare !
320kbps mp3 - Duration: 1 Witching Hour
Download here or here
Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Thursday, 5 July 2012
If you worship 70's British horror (and lets face it; if you don't you really shouldn't be here), then you'll already be familiar with Norman J. Warren's 1976 masterpiece SATAN'S SLAVE.
With bewitching locations, a truly excellent cast, superb score, and an occult script by Pete Walker favourite and exploitation film legend David McGillivray , you just can't go wrong.
The soundtrack has never had an official release, so I've created a 30 minute mixture of music taken straight from the film.
Perfect for Necromantic rituals, or killing your wife by mistake.
* Dedicated to my fallen friend, J. Matias Aaltonen;
who would have loved this, but left us far too soon*
320kbps. MP3. Includes custom made artwork.
Download it here.
Monday, 25 June 2012
Monday, 7 May 2012
Firstly, I should explain that this film is a big favourite here at the cottage.
British horror has been my lifelong obsession, and The Fiend has a hugely impressive pedigree:
Patrick Magee, Tony Beckley, jaw-dropping misogyny, sinister 1970's atmosphere, and an incredible soundtrack... it really is a dream come true.
Many of the wonderfully twisted British horrors of the 1970's have had their soundtracks released; but not this gem. And so, I present a comprehensive exploration of the sounds, music and dialogue, all mixed together into 39 minutes of unsettling magic.
I make no apology for including Patrick Magee's religious rants, as I could happily listen to him read the telephone directory aloud. His speeches throughout this film are pure gold.
You can look forward to some lovely murders, and confused ramblings from the excellent Tony Beckley.
The songs are also dangerously catchy, so be prepared to have your mind invaded.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
As requested, I present the original soundtrack for The Legend Of Hell House.
Electronic music and sound effects were created by Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson (of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop) & recorded at Hodgson's Electrophon studio in London. The soundtrack is currently unavailable commercially.
MP3. 320kbps + artwork: download
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
A friend asked me to make a custom soundtrack for José María Elorrieta's 1971 film: The Feast of Satan AKA Las Amantes Del Diablo.
The original music was provided by prolific Italian composer Carlo Savina; and is a wonderful mixture of creepy pipe organ, oddball lounge moments, with a few surprises thrown in.
As usual, sections of the score were impossible for me to capture without including dialogue from the film, but I prefer it that way and so make no apology.
Be sure to look out for the evil sorcerer throwing a hex on the lead singer of a groovy bar band. A nightmarish demonstration of his Satanic powers, I'm sure you'll agree.
MP3. 320kbps + artwork: download.