Thursday, November 7, 2013


 Peter Cushing: A Centenary Celebration » The Cinema Museum, London

Both a theme for the club, and a shameless bit of promotion for the horror and cult movie festival Liam's bringing to Wellington later in the year (Monster Fest - 'like' the community on Facebook please:, the theme is horror, fear, macabre, tension....

So music and albums that make you feel a bit nervous or fearfully awkward, or have been written with the intention of eliciting a feeling of fear. Obvious examples can be found in movie soundtracks.


For my two tracks I stuck with the one band and album, Estel's The Bones Of Something. Estel are a prolific alternative rock group from Dublin, Ireland, who's career spans almost 15 years and 4 albums. Despite their longevity they've shunned the limelight and held close to their underground, anti-corporate-sell-out, alternative, independent, and cheap-and-cheerless ideals. Oh and generally the titles of their tracks and albums are super-interesting!

The two tracks I've chosen from their fourth album display their epic, heavily layered, frenetic, improvised and horror movie soundtrack style. [Liam even had to load the tunes onto Youtube - setting the MC Obscurity Index to a new level].

The first, Journey to the Centre of John's Ma, always reminds me of the Halloween movies, imagining Michael Myers slowly chasing me around a house while I run frantically up and down stairs, through hanging sheets, and hiding in wardrobes. That hasn't actually happened to me, but the frenetic climaxes make me feel like it has.

The second, You Racka Diciprine (see what I mean about these names?!?), is a psychological meltdown that I feel takes you to the edge of sanity, and then calmly tosses you over.


With a mother load of heavy metal with scary titles and horrific hair do's, it would have been too easy to go for something bleeding obvious. Thankfully, there are equally deranged music producers that use Qbase. This was also the first session where the hi-fi equipment actually became as much of a character in proceedings as the song selection.

Excavation Part I from Haxan Cloak is hot off the press this year. Crafted by an evil force in a dank studio located near the brimstone and fire of the earth's core. Such an oppressive weight of gravity is the only way one can explain the deep marauding bass that overpowers each song (in a good way). Did I say there was a fricken lot of bass in the mix? Combined with atmospheric, moody, creepy melodies, this is the potential soundtrack to a grim noir of epic proportions. And, this is where the sub-woofer took the tune into another dimension; rattling innards and activating some innate part of the nervous system that made the foreboding bass truly visceral.

Masked Illusion is from the pleasantly named, Velvet Acid Christ. This happy chap also programs on his tod, which must happen between multiple re-runs of SAW, Hostel, Wolf Creek and anything apocalyptic in content on Discovery or the History channel. It's probably best listened to while bathing your eyesballs in LSD and wearing a tight PVC onesie with a gas mask while chained to your cellar wall. The song contains sinister pleas of mercy from a lone female voice, a driving beat, a decent nod to the industrial aesthetic with plenty of bile ridden processed, anxious and angry lyrics over the top. Yikes!


Assistant's Cry, from Yello's first album, Solid Pleasure.

Weird, I mean weird even for moustached prog-pop duo Yello! A slow moody number with scream like synth sounds and desperate sounding narration which grows more broken, manic and wild. But all in all its a good build up for Bostich, the next mega track on the album.

Stalakdrama, Yello, album Desire.

Perhaps Yello's finest album. Placed in the middle of this album is this blade runner soundtrack sound-a-like /horror theme mash up. It sets a good sci-fi mood apart from the occasional scream heard off in the distance. The crescendo is reached with the aid of an organ and thrown in are a few more screams for effect. Does this song fit the album, not really, but is it different and unusual, yes. Yello: 30 years of great moustaches, 10 albums and some of the most interesting and imaginative Swiss music.


First up, I need to congratulate Liam on a great theme, was slightly dubious initially, but had great fun honing in on some dark, maniacal tracks.

So my first selection is Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I actually first heard this track whilst watching Scream in 1996, it’s used to great effect in the film. At the time I was going through an intense British Indie and Grunge phase so Mr. Cave tragically wasn’t really on my radar, that was rapidly remedied soon after hearing this song.

Red Right Hand fills me with an impeding sense of doom; the organ, the tubular bells, the steady percussion. I love the intense instrumental turning point in the middle with the big bell, and what is that high-pitched noise that sounds like wind -is it a synth or a saw?

The lyrical content is profoundly dark and twisted and contains some of my favourite lyrics of all time, including …

“You’re just one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan, designed and directed by his red right hand” and “ He’ll rekindle all your dreams it took a lifetime to destroy”.

Second selection is Down By The Water by the uniquely talented PJ Harvey.
The song opens with a heavy synthesized organ, it would appear heavy organs create a sense of unease and discord within me, and many others I am sure.

The song reminds me of a twisted Grimm fairytale. The lyrics tell the story of a fanatically religious mother killing her daughter. The track reaches its peak of discomfort for me in the last 30 seconds as Harvey whispers the repetitive closing lyrics with a manic string accompaniment …gives me shivers every time. 


Carmina Burana - O Fortuna

This is such a bloated cliché of pseudo religious portent that it is easy
to overlook that it is such a great bit of fun. It was perfect for the
'70's movies such as The Omen that were equally bloated with religious
portent. All manner of pre Dan Brown Catholic skull duggery and mysticism
the centres on the exceedingly creepy Damien. Is it any wonder my manager
of the same name gives me the willies?! Some analysis of these movies
suggests it is all part of an overwhelming wave of cynicism and mistrust of
our institutions that followed Watergate and a series of other revelations
of high level government betrayal of the people. The idea of a hidden
sickness in our society and a kind of 'end of days' fatalism is everywhere
in the Omen series and others of it ilk.

I chose this video because who better to take this already bloated (but
fun) etc piece to new level of kitch than The Kitch Meister himself Andre


The Exorcist Theme (from Mike Oldfield's '70's epic Tubular Bells)

Unlike The Omen, The Exorcist was a truly scary and unsettling piece of
theatre that completely warrants its status in the pantheon of Horror
Movies. Just watch the trailer for it below and I guarantee you will keep
the light on tonight.

The Mike Oldfield's concept piece Tubular Bells was a huge commercial hit
and well worth checking our as a master work of prog rock / electronic rock
uber noodling. The theme extracted for use in The Exorcist movie was a tiny
fragment but it was such as distinctive..... [the suspense is killing us]