Posted by: daaavid | October 29, 2008

The Great Halloween Mix Part III

Descent into Madness

So, here is the third and final piece of the story that is my ridiculous Halloween mixtape. I’ll spare the lengthy details for now, as this mix will play better the less you know about the track information. All you need to know is that this final chapter is where the mystical trance-like spells of evil completely engulf the atmosphere and drive you straight home to the deep, dark infintesmal depths of madness! The mix begins with one of the songs that inspired the entire ordeal, “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The man’s entire act/bit/shtick was a spooky maniacal stage presence, long before Alice Cooper, The Misfits, or Kiss came around and took it to absurd theatrical levels. In fact, Screamin’ Jay is probably the first to employ frightening and deathly (but hokey) imagery into his stage act – often seen with a skull as a prop or his use of a coffin in live stage shows. This song is not the original recording, but still carries all the character and thrills that came with the first. It was rumoured that during the early studio recordings, the band and especially Hawkins were having trouble get into a proper groove, perhaps it was all too stiff on uncomfortable to be performing in this controlled studio envrionment. Well, someone had informed the producer that the song would never properly be accomplished unless they had the right spirits in them and got rip-roaring drunk. So, as the legend goes, someone brought in a whole case of whiskey, and they began their new recording session. Hawkins claimed afterwards to have completely blacked-out during the final takes of the song, not remembering any of the final take, in which he is mumbling, groaning, screaming, crying, bubbling and wailing his persona of voice to the far ends of voodoo heartache and loving misery. On a similar level, I decided to follow this song with a few more tracks concerning possession, manipulation, trances, warped perspectives and altered states of connsciousness. The following song is called “Obeah, Obeah” and is performed by a man who was once described to me as a prolific voodoo witch doctor of sorts, musically known as Exuma, which is then, followed by “Manipulation” by The Black Angels, and the lengthy, but mysteriously light and electrical meditational atmosphere of Acid Mother’s Temple’s “Reverse of the Universe II” – this marks the point in the mix where you plunge deep into the rabbit hole, so to speak. I’d rather not reveal what comes after this point, but I will say it’s not going to be the most easily digestible of sound experiences, for those ears not accustomed to frantic,  streaming abstract compositions of kraut-rock, sound collage, minimal ambience of Eno, Afx or the machine-like compositions of Kraftwerk and Boards of Canada. However, if you do manage to buy the ticket, take the ride, and make it all in one long journey (without skipping) to the end of the mix, you will be greatly rewarded with the closing statement, and final number, as you lie resting in a drooling-stupid, but unimaginably comfortable state of mind-numbing insanity. If the second mix was “just okay, had cool songs” as far as you were concerned, I am in agreement with you, however, this last chapter is supremely collected, strange, mystical and really, really fun.

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