Monday, June 16, 2014

Fusions Of Fright: Synth In Horror Is Alive And Well!

~by Marie Robinson

Do you ever miss those delightful synth-fueled soundtracks that used to accompany slashers? Charles Bernstein’s score for A Nightmare on Elm Street is a favorite example that comes to mind, and, of course, the film score work of Goblin.

If you are a fan like I am, then have no fear! Because this genre—dubbed horror-wave—is not dead, and talented artists are still making fresh tracks. Rather than highlight a single band, I would like to introduce you to Giallo Disco, a Berlin-based record company that puts out records with that classic pulsing synth.

I have listened to every album put out by Giallo Disco and I can assure that each one is gold. They spin like actual soundtracks to lost films, and as you listen you can nearly see the movies playing out in your head. What is even more fun is that the artists seem to treat their albums as I’ve just described them, and often provide a synopsis to go with their record.

Alessandro Parisi does a near-perfect job of capturing the sound and essence of a giallo film, and as an Italian, himself, it only makes sense that he should. In the first track off of his album La Porta Ermetica, “Athanor”, you can almost picture a frightened teenage girl running down a foggy, shadowed alleyway, pressing herself against the wall while her eyes search wildly for the fiend that pursues her. The entire album oozes with it’s own life, and I find it best to listen to while driving through an urban setting at night, where the steam rises from the sewer grates in colored fog, and an ominous silhouette is peering down from every window.
Bay of Blood EP is another exceptional record from Greek artist Vercetti Technicolor that, complete with awesome throwback cover art, immerses you in its created setting. Imagine a tropical island, overrun with a primitive and savage race of people. You’ve found yourself trapped there and now you must escape, or at least survive, with only your wits and a machete.

There are several other artists on the label, and each record is sure to provide you a fun, inspirational listen. While I encourage you to purchase any albums you end up enjoying, you may conveniently stream all of the music for free via their Bandcamp (

For your first taste, here is a biting track from La Porta Ermetica, “Azot Et Ignis”.


James Gracey said...

I love Giallo Disco records! Thanks for highlighting their work. There are a couple of indie labels around at the moment doing similar stuff, which is great for horror fans. All these throwbacks to pulsing synth horror scores are incredibly atmospheric. You can really hear the influence of John Carpenter, too. He never gets as much credit as he should when it comes to his influence on stuff like this and other Italo-disco artists.


Anonymous said...

could you recommend a few bands as well?