I don't know about you, but I'm still pretty bummed out that Claudio Simonetti's live-scoring "Dawn of the Dead" got canceled back in July. Not only did it promise to be a unique way to see the keyboard wizard—one part Terry Riley, one part Rick Wakeman—at it again, scoring George Romero's 1978 comic book-style gorefest/capitalist critique, but it seemed like a way to pull back a little bit and gather some thoughts on what it is exactly about '70s and '80s horror soundtracks that've grabbed music obsessives' ears lately. There are the niche labels Death Waltz Recordings and Waxwork, reissuing long-out-of-print soundtracks to movies including Lucio Fulchi's "Zombi" and "Chopping Mall," and locally, Chris Day, recording under the name Vlonde, released "Hemagoblin Hollow," a kind of John Carpenter movie soundtrack homage, earlier this year.
Another local horror-soundtrack aficionado is Terence Hannum, of Locrian and as a solo artist, who creates plenty of excellent Eno-meets-doom-metal solo work and is also a professor at Stevenson University. Just in time for Halloween, Hannum uploaded "Dead Air," an hour-long mix of his favorite cuts from the soundtracks to movies like "Tenebre," "Nightmare on Elm Street," "The Beyond," "The Fog," "Slumber Party Massacre," and more. For those who aren't typically interested in this sort of thing, I'd still encourage you to check it out. These are not typically "spooky" sounds, but dynamic compositions that should be of interest to anybody who cares about electronic music, noise, modern classical, or drone, especially the coked-up disco sleaze of Goblin's theme song from "Tenebre" or the prog opera Spaghetti Western weirdness of Fabio Frizzi's theme to "The Beyond." You can stream or download Terence Hannum's "Dead Air" over at the Stevenson University website.