Deadly Avenger & Si Begg : Yokai

Yokai: “a class of supernatural monsters, spirits, and demons in Japanese folklore. The word yōkai is made up of the kanji for “bewitching; attractive; calamity” and “spectre; apparition; mystery; suspicious.”

Yokai is also the name of the newest release from musician/producer Deadly Avenger(aka Damon Baxter) and musician/producer Si Begg courtesy of the always excellent Burning Witches Records. Baxter and Begg have been creating music for film trailers together, inspired by the work of composers like Mark Korven, Bobby Krlic, Cristobal Tapia De Veer, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to name a few. Their work can be heard in trailers for Midsommar, Hereditary, Parasite, IT, and Pet Sematary.

On Yokai, Deadly Avenger and Si Begg create these short, precise moments of aural dread. Pockets of anxiety created with both electronics and acoustic instruments. These are gateways to tiny nightmares; music designed to grab you from the moment the first note stabs your eardrum and doesn’t let go till you cave in to these Gothic musical interludes. It’s unrelenting, brooding, and the soundtrack for those things that go bump in the night.

So I never really thought much about the music played in film trailers, but really that’s what sets the tone of the film. Even if that music doesn’t show up in the feature, it’s the gateway to the world of that story. It’s that first taste. The bite that tempts us to come back for more. Deadly Avenger and Si Begg are masters of the two-minute vibe. They know how to capture the vibe of a film and the film’s composer in order to give us that most important portal. Yokai shows just what these two can do with a plethora of sonic toys, both of the circuital and organic kind, and the amount of time it takes for you to shove a couple handfuls of popcorn into your face.

Each track here are named after a unique Yokai. “Jubokko”, “Yadokai”, “Mara”, “Kumo”, and “Hososhi” are all accounted for, slithering into our brains by way of electronic stabs, screeching strings, hand percussion, and the care and precise delivery of Baxter and Begg. There’s not a moment here where we can catch our breath. It’s pulse-pounding, psyche-grating, and sweat-inducing sonic nightmares.

Each track here are named after a unique Yokai. “Jubokko”, “Yadokai”, “Mara”, “Kumo”, and “Hososhi” are all accounted for, slithering into our brains by way of electronic stabs, screeching strings, hand percussion, and the care and precise delivery of Baxter and Begg. There’s not a moment here where we can catch our breath. It’s pulse-pounding, psyche-grating, and sweat-inducing sonic nightmares.

Yokai is a sampler platter of panic. It’s raw, yet elegant. What Deadly Avenger and Si Begg have done is make a score for those strange, bizarre thoughts that cross your mind at 2am when everyone is sleeping but you. You think you hear a creak, or maybe a footstep. And you wonder if you locked the front door. The thought passes, you turn to your side, and close your eyes. Sleep nearly falls over you again till you feel the hot breath on your neck.

Welcome to Yokai. Enter at your own risk.

8.2 out of 10


Yokai is available now. Buy it here

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