There’s certain things you can always look forward to in October. Pop up Halloween shops, candy aisles grow in multitudes at the grocery store, trick-or-treating(or handing out candy to trick-or-treaters), Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare On Elm Street marathons, and of course the annual Fright Night Club mix.
Yes, every year since 2008 the ghouls and goblins over at Fright Night Club have been curating some of the best horror-themed compilations for us to get our freak on to during the season of the witch. Every year has seen these comps get bigger, more diverse, and generally more epic. Fright Night Club Vol. 11 was the biggest yet. I even spoke to Colin Nance(Softaware and Harglow) about why he started Fright Night Club and the influences on the project last year(you can read that interview here.)
October 2019 is upon us, and with it another Fright Night Club. Fright Night Club Vol. 12 is indeed the biggest collection of artists yet, and in this writer’s opinion the best yet. Artists as diverse as Alone 1980, Antoni Maiovvi, Espectrostatic, Cemetery Gates, Ffion, Circadian Rhythm Section, Cory Kilduff, Dr. West and the Thing, Graham Reznick, and Hunter Complex are taking part in this horror soiree.
Fright Night Vol. 12 drops tomorrow, October 25th. In lieu of the release, I’ve got a few of this year’s artists describing their track and the vibe they were going for. Check them out below.
Cemetery Gates – “Cheer Up”
“Cemetery Gates ‘Cheer Up’ is a love song disguised as a death ballad. It describes the process of ego death and the beauty in letting a part of yourself die. It lulls you in with lush swelling pads but carries a darkness within.”
Hunter Complex – “The Big Fire In LA”
“I started out the track with a simple waltz, a nod to the Death Waltz label who released my last album ‘Open Sea’. But only the waltz wasn’t enough, I wanted to tell a bigger story. We don’t celebrate Halloween in The Netherlands, I only know it from the movies. So the track should sound like a movie: starting with tension, building up drama and ending with relief, but not total relief. The fire is the unpredictable main character, showing up out of nothing and leaving chaos and disorder.”
Circadian Rhythm Section – “The Devil’s Acid”
“With ‘The Devil’s Acid’ I tried to mix the pulsing bass lines of 80’s horror with swirling psychedelic arps. Something akin to The Shape on Psilocybin or visiting Crystal Lake on Ketamine.”
FFion – “Tubular Bells”
“I know that ‘Tubular Bells’ is probably unfairly associated with Halloween, but it has so much meaning in ‘The Exorcist’. I think it’s neither evil or positive, but it has this very spiritual feeling to it, almost meditative. For this cover version everything is played on an old ARP Odyssey synth (like everything Ffion related) and put through a lot of reverb. Tubular Bells is THE classic arpeggio of all time.”
Steve Greene – “Subliminal Dark Waves”
“Recorded at the Battle Chamber on October 15 & 16, 2019. Written, performed, engineered, mixed and mastered by Steve Greene. Synths used: Sequential Circuits Prophet 6, Alesis Micron & Moog MiniTaur. “Subliminal Dark Waves” is a spooky and haunted piece that encompasses the spirit of the season in which this compilation is released… Halloween.”
Skeleton Beach – “The Magician”
“The Magician” was written out of my love and inspiration I find within tarot cards, whether it be simply the imagery, or the full story behind each card. As soon as I started this track, I instantly knew exactly what it felt like, and what it was going to be titled.
The Magician tarot card represents ones talents, abilities, and opportunity within their creative field. It brings a feeling of strength, determination, and resourcefulness. However, when inverted, the card can bring on a much different meaning… as the song ebbs and flows from start to finish, we start upright and end up with our Magician inverted, meaning energy has failed, Intentions were ill-willed, and confusion has clouded and taken over all creativity.
The death of an idea.“
According to Colin Nance, “Outpost 31 Studios has 6 bands represented on this comp, including three artists who are making their debut to the world: Dr. West and The Thing, Treebones and KillKill. We also collaborated with Gus Oberg on the KillKill track, who has produced the last three Strokes records, all of Albert Hammond Jr.’s records and many others.”
So I’ve had a chance to preview Fright Night Club 12 and it is absolute fire. Some thoughts:
Antoni Maiovvi’s “Edge of the Fjord” is dread wrapped in a fever dream.
Circadian Rhythm Section’s “The Devil’s Acid” is deep space drift filled with hallucinogenic visions. Ether rags and candy corn.
Cory Kilduff just kills it with “Separation of Poquelin”. His melancholy 80s vibes connect beautifully to the maudlin and macabre.
The Arp Odyssey-created version of Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” by the enigmatic Ffion is absolute bliss. This electronic duo build universes with this one iconic synth, and what they do with this by now standard autumnal music piece is nothing short of stunning.
So happy to hear new Graham Reznick. His “Trestle Train Through Trees” has an Oldfield vibe that quickly hits the Reznick “sound” and goes full hallucinogenic as the track rolls along.
Hunter Complex makes a beautifully somber and dark piece called “The Big Fire in LA”. Meijer combines his 80s-centric sound(heard on last year’s excellent Open Sea) and adds a touch of morose melancholy. The results are a funeral procession waltz done up in 80s neon and a fireworks display of glowing embers.
KillKill’s “Season Of The Witch” reimagines Donovan’s classic had it been covered by Suicide with Lou Reed on vocals. Slinky and subtly ferocious.
Phantoms vs Fire pops up with the almost Depeche Mode-sounding “The Law”, but Depeche Mode playing through a haunted stereo that’s glitching out. Another stunner from Thiago Desant.
Skeleton Beach gives us the languid and almost new age-y “The Magician”. Gene Priest’s Ritual is still one of my favorite albums this year, so hearing another stunner from him on this comp is amazing. There’s an uplift to this track that carries you throughout its blissful six minutes.
Slasher Film Festival Strategy’s “Dance Club Scene” has the hallmark SFFS wobbly vibe, 808 grooves, and an underscoring melancholy. I can almost see the colored lights and shadowy figures moving to the grooves.
Steve Greene’s “Subliminal Dark Waves” is all neon dystopian electro dance grooves with an underlying sense of doom just under the surface.
Timothy Fife’s “Rhythm of the Pisces” combines bits of Giallo scores, Komische vibes, and Fife’s ever imaginative compositional muscle to create something wholly unique and dark.
Treebones’ “Mother’s Not Quite Right Today” is pure dread put to a Wu Tang-like breakbeat and haunted piano. Groovy and creepy as hell.
Okay, I cannot recommend Fright Night Club 12 enough. I just mentioned a portion of what you’ll discover this year. Hit up Fright Night Club’s Bandcamp tomorrow, October 25th, and get this in your hands and in your ears, kiddos.
‘Tis the season.