Monday, October 30, 2006

phantom of the theremin...

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here's some scary music for halloween... a 7" called music for monsters, released on sounds records in glendale california (eeek.... it's almost walking distance from pasadena...). there's no date but it's pre-zipcode, so probably early 60's. picked up ages ago at the flea market for the cover design, which looks like an ad in an old comic book. i love the cut and paste design - the green overlay is incredible.

of all the halloween and horror records i've heard this one is without a doubt the scariest (scary with a little avant garde going on...). perhaps it is the loneliness and haunting quality of a theremin playing solo most of the time instead of being submerged in a bed of good vibrations... listen to this in a dark room alone and you will definitely be afraid.

of course, reality says it's just a guy waving his hand over a box with an antenna, periodically kicking a few pieces of chain, mixing in a thunderstorm from an old soundtrack LP, while some hot and bothered cats are fighting in the room next door... but there is something really eerie about the pace; and the banshee sound of the theremin (think early yoko ono) makes the recording really frightening. the way the secondary sounds move in an out at sometimes barely audible volume levels is downright spooky, almost like they are coming from the room rather than the record. it has more of a snuff film or ad hoc ed wood aesthetic than the sexy gore of jess franco or the victorian doily and cuff link horror of vincent price. the fact that the green vinyl 45 is totally covered with surface scars just adds fuel to the fire.

click here and listen.

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