Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Are you familiar with the works of composer/conductor Les Baxter?
Maybe you've seen his dusty old records mildewing away in your grandparents' basement. Maybe you've run across them in that one St. Vinnie's record bin - you know, the one way back in the corner by the toasters that no one ever buys anything out of? Yeah, that Les Baxter.
Baxter might not be very "hip" (well, not since 1965 or so) or very collectible (his records, as I've already mentioned, are everyehere), but he did hit a couple homers in his heyday. Case in point: The hauntingly peppy score he put together for 1970's Lovecraftian film adaptation The Dunwich Horror. Equal parts swingin' cocktail-party jazz noodling, creepy theremin-horror compositions, and "exotic" jungle-drum jams, the Dunwich OST is distinctly a product of its times while still bearing vague subtleties of evil and genuine menace. Sure, this album can be overwhelmingly corny and dated at times, but give it a minute -- as those quote unquote Satanic polyrhythms start kicking in and the Moog starts doing its thing, you will be helpless to resist.
And dig the fact that your Granny owns a record with song titles like "Black Mass", "Devil Cult", "Cult Party", "Necronomicon", and "Sacrifice of the Virgin". Next stop: Septuagenarian King Diamond party? Hmmmm....
"Baxter offered package tours in sound, selling tickets to sedentary tourists who wanted to stroll around some taboo emotions before lunch, view a pagan ceremony, go wild in the sun or conjure a demon, all without leaving home hi-fi comforts in the white suburbs." - David Toop, Wired magazine
Baxter on Last.FM / More Dunwich Horror on IC
Dean Stockwell + Sandra Dee + Les Baxter + shitty fish-eye lens =
(My pre-emptive apologies to Mr. abdul alhazred over at From This Swamp, who I'm sure was planning on posting this album at some point. Sorry, Bro. You snooze you lose.)
Posted by Shelby Cobras at 10:00 PM