Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Well, it seems the Cosmic Hearse has broken down in some parallel micro-galaxy but that won't stop this year's Halloween Mix Tape from taking full possession of your ears.  Light the candelabra and settle in for a cold conjuration, fiends. This 90 minute collection is slower, quieter and gentler than previous years...but no less haunted and perfectly suited for devilish meditation.  Sometimes the horror is only in your mind.  Sometimes the horror is quite real.  Scroll past the liner notes for download links.

"You have entered the nightmare of lost souls..." 
Welcome back, Brothers and Sisters.

Psychomania Front Title ~ John Cameron 
British composer John Cameron and his merry band of Frog(s) created this groovy score for Psychomania in 1972, elevating the campy proceedings to a superior dimension by metamorphosing the Super Fuzz noodling of AIP biker flick soundtracks into a slinking masterpiece from beyond the grave.

What We Are Doing Here ~ No Future
No Future is the young old-souls of Uppsala’s In Solitude hailing their lineage from the death punk end of the spectrum. There are morbid echoes of Leather Nun, Bauhaus, Nick Cave, Sex Pistols and more obscure references in the mix but regardless of influences, their Jämtländska Mord demo was one of the more inspired things I’ve heard this year. 

666 ~ Ray Torske 
Prized private pressing gospel from 1974 that actually sounds about as irritating as the cover photograph suggests. There’s a lot of painful trumpet wailing and bleating going on but the title track 'Armageddon' and of course this snappy little admonishment will have you reaching for your rattlesnakes and holy water. Pass the ammunition and...TESTIFY! 

The Devil and His Disciples ~ George Lane and The Ranchers 
I don’t have any smartass remarks for George Lane or The Ranchers. I’m just glad I stumbled upon this beautiful single because few songs from any era have possessed the utter deadpan resolve and spiritual dread of this psychedelic love song gone to hell. 

Evil ~ Cactus 
Rough ballin’ New York proto-street metal circa 1971 featuring Carmine Appice of Vanilla Fudge on drums. When straggly white dudes attempt to cover Howlin’ Wolf it’s generally a recipe for wimpy disaster but these guiltless gliders got it right. I love how Rusty Day enunciates every word like he’s scarfin’ down a bag of dirt weed while cop lights flash in the rear view mirror. This one is for my family and friends on the east coast who are still without power.  I'm warning you, brothers. 

Hell ~ Rick Wakeman 
Linda Lewis’ over the fuckin’ top Dante recitation sounds like the dude from Flower Travellin’ Band sucking helium while playing mumbley-peg with his nuts…and if that ain’t eternal torment, I don’t know what is. Excessive coked-out Rick Wakeman jam from excessive coked-out Ken Russel flick about excessive Hungarian composer Franz Liszt which features enough perverse sexual shenanigans, swastikas and penis guillotines to make even Roger Daltry’s chiseled ass seem interesting.

Intermission with Uncle Roky 

Green Manalishi ~ Fleetwood Mac 
Not obscure by any means but every time I play this beautiful song in public I’m surprised by how few people recognize the original version. Peter Green was a genuinely tortured soul and you just can’t fake the dementia and terror that he captured so eloquently in this final contribution to his band before exiting stage left in a schizoid haze. Maybe the green manalishi was simply a metaphor for filthy lucre as he later claimed but there is something undeniably horrible lurking in this haunting ballad. 

Creeper ~ Griffin 
My favorite song from my favorite Shrapnel record! This LP is almost as perfect as Omen’s Battle Cry. If that badass griffin with heavy cross medallion on the cover doesn’t impress you, just flip it over and behold the band photo. Ball-crushing denim, white kicks, unzipped leather jackets, weird bone symbols on the trees and somebody’s mystical girlfriend in the background beckon you into the lair of TRUE heavy metal! The keg should arrive in about an hour. 

The Bridge ~ Victim 
And now a little set devoted to my bucolic place of birth: Sleepy Hollow. The mustached fellows of San Diego's Victim had the good taste to write an awfully catchy ballad to Washington Irving’s ghostly rider on their debut record before switching the line-up, shaving their facial hair and writing statutory rape jams that may or may not cause gonorrhea. It is worth noting that the hastily rendered dude on the cover is chewing what appears to be his own red, white and blue guitar. Why? Because he’s POWER HUNGRY! 

The Death of the Horseman ~ Sleepy Hollow 
I‘m pretty sure this song has nothing to do with Halloween despite the horseman reference in the title but the band is called Sleepy Hollow so shut the fuck up. Do you recognize that voice? Hint: it ain’t Udo. That’s Bob Mitchell from Attacker and holy shit his pipes are even more shrill and powerful than when he battled at Helms Deep! Despite the fact that this is one of the worst looking records I’ve ever seen, nobody can deny that these are some true as steel New Jerseyites. Take that Germany! 

Headless Excrutiator ~ Villains 
Another song that probably has nothing to do with Halloween yet contains the very essence of the season. If the headless horseman was resurrected in modern day New York I’m certain he would be about as nasty as this song. I have no idea why Villains isn’t a household name by now. The only reasonable explanation I can posit is that these urban barbarians ascribe to archaic principles and don’t necessarily play nice with others. Conan did not become King of Aquilonia overnight. 

Speak of the Devil ~ Toni Fisher 
You’re probably pretty bummed about this, huh? 

Sleepy Hollow Lane ~ C.A. Quintet 
C.A. Quintet hailed from the unlikely psychedelic tundra of St. Paul, Minnesota and recorded their entire discography between 1967 and 1969. Trip Thru Hell was their sole LP and for many years it was a pricy collector oddity that stared down mockingly at skid row occultniks like me from the top shelf of the wall. After a few miserable bootlegs made the rounds, the righteous weirdos at Sundazed did these guys right with an official DLP reissue in 1996 that pretty much collected their entire body of lite pop and finally allowed me to spin this record like my proverbial ship had come in. 

The Secrets: Devil's Hymn ~ Plus 
I don’t know much about this UK prog anomaly except that former Yardbird Simon Napier-Bell is credited with arrangement/production and it seems to have washed ashore on the same wave of quasi-religious hippy records that delivered Jesus Christ Superstar and Spooky Tooth’s Ceremony. Not well regarded among dickhead collector types, which is great news for you since you might still be able to score this classy die-cut gatefold for $8 if you look carefully. 

With Witches Help ~ Vortex 
You shouldn't be afraid of growing old because if you live long enough one of your longhair pals just might commemorate the occasion by kicking down a crazy fucking Dutch record like Vortex’s Metal Bats! I can’t even begin to describe the crosshatching dilemma that is occurring on the cover or explain why one of these bangers is decked out in corpse paint in that alley on the back cover but it was probably rather risqué in 1985 and I like it. I hear they recently released their fourth LP! 

She Came Like a Bat from Hell ~ Jerusalem 
See what I did? From Metal Bats to…ugh, never mind. You’ve been jamming this one for a few years now but I couldn’t resist including it here in my witchy medley. How could a record this incredible have been lost for so long? According to the liner notes, the central riff of this jam was one of the first these blokes wrote which places it somewhere around 1966 when they first started learning their instruments. Way ahead of the heaviness curve. 

Panic ~ Christopher Komeda
The jazz freak-out version of Komeda's lief motif is one of my favorite moments on the all-around fantastic Rosemary's Baby soundtrack so I threw this snippet in as a teaser.  I recently had the pleasure of viewing a beautiful 35mm print of this film and was reminded that the book around which the plot unfolds is titled All Of Them Witches, which brings us around to... 

All Of Them Witches ~ Stark Naked 
“Serpent Jesus, snake of Christ nailed to a cross of…” Whoa! Glenn Danzig probably owes some royalties to these Long Island doobie smokers for that killer riff he swiped on Lucifuge. That’s ok. These dudes swiped the title of their song from Rosemary’s Baby. Honestly, the rest of this record doesn't even come close to the splendor of this 8 minute epic but it’s pretty solid so stop whining about how rock 'n' roll was stolen from the blues and find yourself a copy right now. 

Unexplained ~ Ataraxir 
What’s really unexplained is why the front cover credits these “electronic musical impressions of the occult” to Ataraxir when the back cover clearly reveals that it’s actually ol’ Mort Garson of Black Mass infamy. Anyway, this record is arguably better than Lucifer (which was featured on my first Halloween mix tape a few years ago) but it’s sorta tough to find in decent shape these days. “At last the world of the Occult has found voice in music…” 

Supernatural Voodoo Woman ~ The Originals 
More abject disappointment. What can I say? If you can’t get down with this soulful joint from the 1974 blaxploitation zombie flick Sugar Hill you’re probably racist. 

Horror Movie ~ Skyhooks 
Melbourne, Australia’s Skyhooks sorta looked like the Village People after being punked by Agony Bag but their real claim to fame was penning Women in Uniform which was famously (prodigiously!) covered by Iron Maiden in 1980. This weirdo glam jam was their 1975 single and it’s pretty great. 

Lady Killer ~ Killer 
From Australia we leap up to Switzerland where these young midnight highway riders applied AC/DC’s swagger to their shirtless meat market stomp and penned this titular power anthem about…um…killing ladies. Every time I play this at the bar I think somebody’s car alarm is going off. I just wish they would put their shirts back on. 

Unhinged Trailer ~ Jon Newton 
Unhinged is an agonizingly slow-paced but mercifully short 1982 slasher flick filmed entirely in Portland, Oregon that gained undue notoriety when it was pulled from video store shelves and added to Britain’s “video nasties” blacklist. What many gorehounds don’t realize, mostly because it was difficult to find before the days of Youtube, is that the score by Portland State University faculty member Jon Newton is an overlooked lo-fi synth gem!  Here's a little teaser. 

My Autumn’s Done Come ~ Lee Hazelwood 
Welcome to the very special world of Lee Hazelwood. It’s a nice place to visit but you probably don’t want to live there. Booze, broads, pills and pain. You’ll never get out of this world alive. 

Into The Night ~ Angelo Badalamenti
This mesmerizing Twin Peaks composition is immediately recognizable and somehow invokes profound nostalgia upon first listen even if you don't give a rat's ass about the supernatural television-drama-cum-cult-phenomenon. Disorienting flourishes such as Julee Cruise's almost inaudible opening whisper and that slowed-down tape effect that makes it sound like your record is warped for a split second conjure the gloomy isolation of autumn nights and lend perfect closure to this year’s mix tape. Happy Halloween!


piranha said...

Killer mix!! Thanks!

Lucio H. said...

ANOTHER great mix tape, Herr Dread! I'm about 2 weeks late to it because we had that JERK of a storm before Halloween that left us without power for around 13 days. Now to enjoy these tunes!

Dennis Dread said...

I just learned about your electricity predicament, Lucio. Consider today Halloween and consider this tape dedicated to you!

JW said...

These mixes are so perfect for this time of year. Too Old...Too Cold!