Earlier this year, we made the exciting announcement that we teamed up with UK boutique record label Burning Witches Records to do limited vinyl releases of DREAD soundtracks. The first film coming up is System Syn‘s score for Dry Blood and the next title that will get their beautiful treatment is Natasha Kermani’s mind-bending sci-fi film Imitation Girl. There will be more announcements coming in the near future but now is not the time. Rather, today is all about giving Burning Witches Records owners Darren Page and Gary Dimes the podium!
We asked Dimes and Page to put together their Top 10 Modern Horror Soundtracks and damn did they deliver! There are titles on here that everyone knows and loves but there are also soundtracks for films that slipped past a lot of radars. If you’re looking for some new tunes to haunt your ear canals, who better to trust than curators of the highest caliber?
Suspiria 2018 – Darren Page
Thom Yorke had big boots to fill, following up Goblin’s iconic original score, but he created something new, unique but undeniably very Yorke. It’s skeletal, cinematic and achingly beautiful. Also creepy as hell and relentlessly unsettled with a real atmosphere. Check out “Suspirium”.
Mandy – Gary Dimes
Absolutely incredible score from Johan Johannsson. The droning soundtrack fits perfectly with the atmosphere of Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic-horror. A highlight of this album is the guitar work of Stephen O’Malley from Sunn O))).
The use of drone, in particular, helps the soundtrack achieve incredible suspense, which is great on its own but absolutely phenomenal in context of the film. Every track on here, even upon face value is dynamic and ranges from terrifying to blissful on a whim.
What Keeps You Alive – Darren Page
Brittany Allen performs double duty as leading actress and composer, for a 2018 festival favourite. The score exudes the character of the film with delicate piano lines distorted and digitally bit crushed into submission for maximum tension
Possum – Gary Dimes
The Radiophonic Workshop stunning soundtrack to Matthew Holness’s Possum mixes pastoral flute with dread synth tones and bowed percussion to eerie effect.
Astonishingly considering their 50 year career scoring for radio and television, this is the first time The Radiophonic Workshop have ever scored a feature film .
The VVitch – Gary Dimes
Mark Korven created a one-of-a-kind spine-chilling score by employing obscure instrumentation from hurdy gurdys to nyckelharpas. The result is a discordant, spectral affair that draws the listener into the misty world of the family’s farm as horror permeates throughout.
Chilling and haunting music. A masterpiece. Absolutely recommended!
The Lodgers – Darren Page
Who better to score a film than the writer themself David Turpin. Along with Kevin Murphy and Stephen Shannon, the trio create an atmospheric, brooding and, at times, understated score that superbly matches the Irish gothic film in tone.
It Follows – Gary Dimes
Dark, beautiful and horrific. Disasterpeace has made a score which fits It Follows perfectly, but also works as a stand-alone album too. It Follows is absolutely terrifying but has a pulsating, electronic verve that takes it far beyond dread-filled atmospherics, into a much more interesting place.
The Girl With All The Gifts – Darren Page
Cristobal Tapia de Veer – Ethereal and strange, at times alien but always beautiful. I listen to this one a lot. The off-kilter synthesised chanting sounds in tracks like “Gifted” are mesmerising. This deserves far more love.
Halloween 2018 – Gary Dimes
John Carpenter is truly the master when it comes to the simplistic and eerie horror score of the original Halloween. I was initially worried if he would feel pressured to modernise the sound for this movie, but John, Cody, and Daniel absolutely knocked it out of the park! Modern horror has relied so much on sound manipulation using screech tones and bass drones for all the moments you will get scared. This goes back to the basics and works even better than ever.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe – Darren Page
The score by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans is a real creeper that slowly pulls you in deeper building tension. Death Waltz did a first class job of bringing it to vinyl, with some of the best packaging you will ever see.