“It’s pretty late, yet I still have a couple videotapes left to watch. I burned through some Argento, Fulci, Carpenter; now its time to jump into a stack of Gorgon Videos that I found tucked away in the back room of Video World. Faces of Death, A Night To Dismember, and Evil Dead Trap seem like proper late night viewing. It’s nearly 2am, but it’s Friday night(or early Saturday morning) and I’m refueling with caffeine, frozen pizza, and a 2 lb bag of Reese’s Pieces left over from my Christmas stocking. The junk food gorging seems to go hand-in-hand with the mental junk food I’ve been devouring all night. Mom and dad, long asleep upstairs, could care a less what I’m doing as long as what I’m doing is quiet. Oh man, better turn the volume down. The screaming might wake them that’s emanating from those nearly blown Zenith console speakers. They say these deaths on Faces of Death are real. I don’t know, that guy frying in the electric chair didn’t look very real to me. Suspiria seemed more real to me. Hell, so did House By The Cemetery, but that’s not saying much. Oh, the pizza is done. Maybe I’ll switch things up and throw in Phantasm after this lousy Faces of Death.”
It’s 3am? Oh well, it’s only early Saturday morning. I’ve got all day to sleep in.
When I listen to Videodrones’ excellent new record Mondo Ferox I’m instantly transported back to my youth and a scene much like the one I described above begins to form in my head. Mondo Ferox is an instrumental LP that elicits woozy, seedy, and dark nostalgia for a generation of folks that grew up watching their horror and sci fi films via videotapes and VCRs. It’s an LP of analog synth that is used to create scenes of bleeding colors, hallucinogenic disarray, and glassy-eyed indifference. A Betamax psychosis that wraps your brain in miles of seedy videotape and you emerge from it wanting more and more. Mondo Ferox is the soundtrack to a youth forged on dusty videotapes and late nights in front of the TV.
It’s no surprise that El Paraiso Records is behind this release. Jakob Skott’s Doppler and Jonas Munk’s Absorb/Fabric/Cascade are two of the best synth records released in the last few years that more people should know about. If you’re at all familiar with Doppler, then you’ll feel right at home inside Videodrones’ warm, gooey world of bubbling, hazy synth structures. Each piece is built around the idea of a scene. “Main Titles”, “Blood Brew”, and “Helena Markos” blip and beep like the score to some lost sci fi flick you found buried under an inch of dust on the back wall of some crumbling video store. “Theme From Mondo Ferox” is all sweaty menace. Something you might’ve heard on a 16mm film from Abel Ferrara you’d find hidden in a cardboard box underneath some old Fangoria mags. “Dødssmitten Fra Mars” is reminiscent of Brian Gascoigne’s underrated Phase IV score, as is the excellent “Moebius Run”. On “Moebius Run”, Videodrones seem to capture both Italian horror cinema and 8-bit video game music as well; a combination of Castlevania and Bobby Beausoleil’s Lucifer Rising score. “Stalker State” becomes a gateway to some long lost world. A world that latchkey kids would remember all too well.
Mondo Ferox is an ode to late night videos, hazy basement viewings, and the sometimes heady scores that accompanied those flicks. Videodrones have tapped into something far deeper than just nostalgia. They’ve reimagined the sickly, sleepy 3am movie binge that I know all too well. And I imagine some of you may know it as well. Put on some headphones, drop the needle, and let Mondo Ferox mess with your psyche a bit.
And remember to be kind, please rewind.
8.6 out of 10