We asked our good friend Ethan Hull, a San Diego based vinyl and movie collector, to select some LP’s that are currently causing a stir in the Hull household. Known for having an incredibly eclectic taste ranging from Punk Rock to Disco, Ethan never disappoints with his far reaching DJ sets that always manage to join the dots between the seemingly impossible.
Giuliano Sorgini “The Living Dead At the Manchester Morgue”
Italian composer Giuliano Sorgini’s run from 1973 to 1974 is staggering. In 1974 his releases were both soundtracks. The first being the now grail status, and rightly so, “Zoo Folle” which is still a funky fresh masterpiece that has emptied many a collector’s bank account when it dares to leave it’s cage. But Sorgini shifts gears to compose, arrange, and conduct the soundtrack to Jorge Grau’s undead and highly original opus “The Living Dead At the Manchester Morgue”. The opener on this record “John Dalton Street” has become a complete classic amongst soundtrack collectors, horror aficionados, and B-Boys alike for it’s incredibly dark organ beat heavy funk. Sorgini reprises this theme many times but keeps it interesting by altering the rhythm or increasing the tension on the strings to cover the overall brooding atmosphere of the film. It also features the chilling sounds that the living dead make once they return to life which is something to listen to in a dark room if you dare! Director Jorge Grau insisted that Sorgini use this strange breathing noise in his music when he witnessed his grandmother pass and heard her last gasp of air. Pretty chilling stuff right? This is a dead tie for greatest horror soundtrack ever next to Goblin’s score to “Suspiria”.
The Flesh Eaters “A Minute To Pray A Second To Die”
Los Angeles had one of the most diverse and interesting punk scenes ever in the late 70’s and 80’s. Picking a single record from this era is an incredibly tough thing to do but a record that I constantly come back to over and over again is this one. The Flesheater’s second album released in 1981 is like a who’s who of the most prolific players in the Hollywood wasteland. The album is steeped in backwoods voodoo lore all while playing private dick to a sleazy Hollywoodland murder. Chris D’s signature snarling delivery is full force here as he howls out those demons with serious conviction. Blaring sax compliments (yes compliments) the rhythms and adds a nice punch to the songs delivery. It’s an interesting gumbo that is not an easy one to make. We often hear of white musicians being influenced by the blues but few can actually pull off the soul being sold off to the devil at the crossroads lore like the Flesh Eaters.
Donna McGhee “Make It Last Forever”
My love for disco is deep. When I first started down the disco path I followed the one that many do which is to “know your producers”. Good producers can keep you very busy for a while. When studying New York disco one undoubtedly will stumble across Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael. Greg Carmichael founded Red Greg records in the 70’s and it served as an outlet for his various projects that would continue for many years. Patrick Adams, who is something of a genius, would collaborate with Carmichael many times and when they shared songwriting and arrangement duties on Donna McGhee’s only full length it is pure disco magic. “Make It Last Forever” is not exactly throbbing club ready disco, instead you get something that is firmly rooted in soul, funk, and the erotic bliss of the 70’s. McGhee’s voice soars over the songs and you get that now classic Carmichael production sound. This is a record that always sounds good to me not matter what time of the day or night for that matter. A beautiful steppers disco delight from a group of artists at the top of their game.
(Dolch) “I & II”
This record was a blind buy for me a few years ago that paid off greatly. (Dolch) is a German duo that released a couple of demo tapes in 2014 and 2015. This LP collects those two releases. Both are absolutely crucial. Side one, which features the first demo, is full of low buzzed out dark music that brings to mind goths invading a doom metal show. The production is cavernous and reverb soaked. Demo II on the B-side sees a band that is learning to build the craft of dark songwriting. The songs build out of the darkness and explode into gloom psychedelic plod that is all consuming. Strictly for those who walk the left hand path.
Algarnas Tradgard “Framtiden Ar Ett Svavande Skeppe, Forankrat I Forntiden”
In a recent conversation someone asked me if I had ever heard of Swedish Neo-Psych heavy hitters Dungen. While I enjoy Dungen’s music when I do hear it I have always been concerned with the roots of modern music or the history of the sound. I spent many years obsessing over psychedelic music. Arguably, it is the music that brought me to start going big on records. Psychedelia is a quite a broad genre but when exploring it one often has there favorite regions too. Swedish psych of the 60’s and 70’s became absolutely one of my favorite regional studies. The amount of not just good, but great records is staggering. Algarnas Tradgard (Garden of the Elks in English) started off like many Swedish bands as a group looking to experiment with sound. Their live shows featured more traditional “rock group” aspects but they fleshed it out with violins, cello, sitar, and zither to name a few. When the band recorded their lone album in 1972 they used the studio to create an absolutely unique album that is beautiful, stark, and experimental all at once. This album is perfect for Fall or those long Winter nights.
The Vampires’ Sound Incorporation “Psychedelic Dance Party”
This album kick started my library and obscure soundtrack obsession. It would take many years to track down an original, more than decade in fact, but good things are worth waiting for and this album is well worth the wait. Soundtrack composer Manfred Hubler enlists Sigi Schawab and together they go full on lounge freak-out funk. An album that could easily appease the mods, the acid heads, and the swingers alike. Most of the music here is featured in Jess Franco’s erotic vampire masterpiece Vampyros Lesbos which only helps to solidify this as a must have in the collection of those who lust for the sexadelic goddess Soledad Miranda.
Bixio, Frizzi And Tempera “Magnetic Systems”
Finders Keepers records hardly needs any real introduction at this point. They have enlightened the world to many obscurities turning them into the creme de la creme of many a collector’s crate. They continued to do the world a giant favor by compiling nearly all of the Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, and Vince Tempera works all on one LP. Grabbing this compilation will save you the task of cataloging some otherwise pricey singles that deserve to be heard by all. The infamous “Magnetic System” 45 is comped here and both sides of that 45 alone are the stuff dreams (and nightmares) are made of. “Godzilla” is a hard nosed driving beast that doesn’t let up until the city and it’s surroundings are in ruins. “Escape” will sound familiar to those that worship on the unhallowed ground of Fulci zombie flicks. It is an early version of the Zombie 2 main theme that has cosmic synths floating around every corner and bad vibes bubbling from underneath. Truly an incredible early Italian electronic masterpiece. This entire collection showcases this powerhouse trio at their absolute prime and how they masterfully weave in and out of styles with class and ease.