Thursday, February 23, 2006

Boo! ... Scary Music?

Calum Marsh

Sometimes music can scare the hell out of you. The Horror genre isn't exactly something musical, of course, but that's not really the point: the genre's conventions are based in mediums with visual or literary narratives, so by definition Horror remains exclusive to Film, Literature, and Video Games. But what is Horror, if you strip away the conventions? The very core of the matter is simple - scaring the hell out of you (which, as noted, music is prone to occasionally doing).

Lyrically, music can be chilling. The story of a sexually abusive relationship (romantic or otherwise) in the title track of Xiu Xiu's Fabulous Muscles is deeply disturbing, for example - Jamie Stewart's vocals sound too weak to go on, and that frailty is terrifying. The early Bright Eyes song If Winter Ends is full of dark and painful sincerity, too, and the effect is similarly hard to bear.

Perhaps the scariest music, though, is that which doesn't rely on lyrical strength. Creating imagery through metaphor or frightening with starkly literal lyrics can work well, as it has with Xiu Xiu and Bright Eyes, but music can scare with sound alone. Sound can be used to establish mood or atmosphere (which, when done correctly, can be much more haunting than Horror film murders), and most importantly it can be used to evoke. Scary images are one thing, but evoking those images through sound alone is a much more impressive (and effective) accomplishment. The rich and undeniably bizarre soundscapes of Sunn-0))), for instance, are deceptively simple but undeniably affecting; let's just say I don't exactly feel comfortable listening to 2005's Black One loudly in the dark.

The most infamous scaremonger of them all is electro-god Richard D. James, whose stretched out grin is forever ingrained in the mind of anyone who's seen an Aphex Twin video. His music, for the most part, is not all that scary, but his most infamous work (especially to the mainstream crowd) is that of Windowlicker and Come To Daddy, which are two of the creepiest, most disturbing tracks ever recorded. The latter is particularly terrifying - mostly because of the psycho-children, TV-monster music video association, but the song itself, with an "I will eat your soul" refrain, isn't exactly calming.

So is this "Horror Music"? Kind of. The conventions that make up Horror Film are lost when the idea is applied to music, but the basic concept remains intact. Music can scare you, and when it comes right down to it, that's what Horror is all about.

Download:
Sunn-0))) - Sin Nanna
Xiu Xiu - Tonight & Today
Xiu Xiu - Fabulous Muscles
Bright Eyes - If Winter Ends
Bright Eyes - When The Curious Girl Realizes She's Under Glass
Aphex Twin - Windowlicker
Aphex Twin - Cornish Acid

Buy:
Sunn-0))) - Black One
Xiu Xiu - Knife Play
Bright Eyes - Fevers & Mirrors
Aphex Twin - The Richard D. James Album

Comments on "Boo! ... Scary Music?"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (23/2/06 1:31 pm) : 

What about the Veronicas?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (23/2/06 3:52 pm) : 

What about Sufjan Steven's "John Wayne Gacy Jr."? Holy shit, that's a scary song.

- Mel

 

Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (23/2/06 4:47 pm) : 

For me, that song evokes more sadness than horror.

 

Anonymous CONOR said ... (24/2/06 4:32 am) : 

Please do check out my scary vid. I appreciate all the scary music, so I can make more of these movies.

Also you should check out the recordings NASA got from Saturn. Is very creepy.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/multimedia/pia07966.html

And heres my video

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9181449453213161175&q=mentally

Thanks! :)D

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/1/09 10:29 am) : 

Scary as HELL...

www.grailcode.net

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (24/3/09 6:02 am) : 

Do you know the maple mesos? It is very interesting and if you have enough mesos,you can be strong. So i often go to play the game to get more and more cheap mesos, sometimes i can get the maplestory mesos from my friends who i know in the game. However i like the game very much because of the maple story mesos, i want to play the game more often.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (26/6/10 10:27 pm) : 

If you always want the best shoes in town, you should opt for scarpe Hogan
, wearing Hogan uomo
at work will naturally feel more strength. Hogan scarpe uomo
originated in the era of Louis XIV, more and more women favorite Hogan scarpe donna
, turned into a career with the briefcase as important tools.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (26/6/10 10:27 pm) : 

If you always want the best shoes in town, you should opt for scarpe Hogan
, wearing Hogan uomo
at work will naturally feel more strength. Hogan scarpe uomo
originated in the era of Louis XIV, more and more women favorite Hogan scarpe donna
, turned into a career with the briefcase as important tools.

 

Blogger Zheng junxai5 said ... (17/6/16 12:57 am) : 

zhengjx20160617
kd 7 shoes
michael kors outlet
coach factory outlet
coach outlet
nike uk
cheap jordans
michael kors outlet
asics running shoes
nike outlet
adidas superstar trainers
montblanc pen
fitflop shoes
louis vuitton purses
louis vuitton purses
jordan retro 4
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton bags
cheap ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin outlet
timberlands
coach outlet store online
retro 11
michael kors outlet clearance
designer handbags
coach factory outlet
polo ralph lauren
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin shoes
toms wedges
ray ban sunglasses uk
hollister clothing store
michael kors handbags
toms shoes
michael kors handbags
nike air max 90
michael kors outlet clearance
kate spade outlet
timberland outlet
ralph lauren outlet

 

post a comment