Header photo by Weston Bliobenes
Halloween is the one time of the year that most of society decides it is okay to be a little strange and spooky (in public). To help get you into that Halloween mood, KVRX's DJ Dedalus has compiled a collection of ten weird and scary songs from the darker corners of the musical universe. Prepare to get spooked.
Jarboe - Kali Lamentation I
Experimental vocalist and keyboardist Jarboe has always been able to invoke a sense of dread with her deep, malleable voice. “Kali Lamentation I” displays her penchant for disturbing poetry backed by ominous piano chords and distressing samples of the sounds of torture. The track’s uneasy tension allows no room for comfort.
Wolf Eyes – Burn Your House Down
This early cut from noise rock legends Wolf Eyes brims with devilish ferocity. Roiling noise passages are paired with crashing drums and frustrated screams. This is the type of song to play at the end of the world while desperate rioters destroy the remainder of civilization.
Heather Leigh – I Abused Animal
Heather Leigh’s unnerving tale of violence plays out with a serene simplicity. Her quavering voice’s bloodcurdling effect is amplified by a subtle, angelic synth. These stripped back qualities mesmerizingly conjure a dark, quasi-religious mood.
Merzbow – I Lead You Towards Glorious Times
Merzbow’s experiments hit you like a million shards of sheet metal. “I Lead You Towards Glorious Times” is an essential piece of abrasive, overwhelming noise. Distorted vocals struggle to break through the cacophony but become consumed and enmeshed within the carnage. This is chaos distilled into its purest form.
The Conet Project – The Swedish Rhapsody
The opening track from this bizarre collection of shortwave radio station recordings is a profoundly unsettling piece. Static eerily bleeds into sharp bleeps, ice cream truck jingles, and garbled voices speaking in arcane codes. As the recording progresses, the feeling of being watched creeps up and forms into paranoia.
Current 93 – Christus Christus (The Shells Have Cracked)
David Tibet’s Current 93 is in a constant state of mining disturbing atmospheres. “Christus Christus” swirls with samples of ever-intensifying, monk-like chanting. These synthetic, fiendish sounds roll on top of each other into a hallucinatory, hypnotic spiral.
Moor Mother – Parallel Nightmares
Camae Ayewa constructs confrontational poetry within chaos as Moor Mother. Twisted, industrial beats intertwine with Ayewa’s ruminations on racial violence and political upheaval. Grim reality is potently transfused into this bleak sonic portrait.
Pharmakon – Nakedness of Need
Margaret Chardiet’s power electronics project Pharmakon is a deep-dive analysis of agony. Piercing noise permeates “Nakedness of Need” as pained screeches gradually bubble to the surface. Chardiet extracts suffering with every fiber of her being and forces the listener to empathize.
Blut Aus Nord – Chapter IV (MoRT)
French experimental metal band Blut Aus Nord are experts at creating foreboding soundscapes. Throughout the long mood piece MoRT, they execute drunken, slow riffs mixed with sickening moans and metallic synths. “Chapter IV” is exceptionally effective at invoking an atmosphere of being trapped in the lowest levels of hell.
Tanning Salon - Camelot Wanderers
The mysterious Tanning Salon creates lo-fi, minimal synth compositions that ebb and flow with shadowy grace. "Camelot Wanderers" possess an uncanny loneliness with hissing tape noise and melancholy synths. It feels like endlessly wandering a vast, open-world 8-bit video game, but all of the NPCs have disappeared.