Sunday, June 8, 2008
Horrific Child, L'ETRANGE MONSIEUR WHINSTER
Eurodisc, 1976; out of print
3 tracks, 33:28
Look at that cover. Just look at it. Doesn't it just scream "incredible"? A brainchild of Jean-Pierre Massiera (also behind the equally amazing Les Maledictus Sound), Horrific Child was a complete anomaly. The "music" contained herein is three tracks of pure aural innovation. Massiera mostly assembled WHINSTER from previously recorded bits of tape, but it's all done very seamlessly. "H.I.A.", which occupied the entire B-side, has a bombastic orchestral introduction with heartbeat sound effects. It then goes into Goblin turf: all atmospheric wind sounds, footsteps, and echoing voices. After a while, some psychedelic drumming comes in, which leads right to operatic voices. This is followed by more drumming, more atmosphere, and eventually strange croaking male vocals. They're definitely cheesy, but like a good old horror film. This track features many more twists and turns during its seventeen minutes, ending on a rather sedate note. The A-side is no less impressive! "Frayeur" still features the "creepy" vocals, but this time they're accompanied by African-style drumming and chanting! Finally, "Angoisse." is all eerie synth, random percussion, and those campy-but-creepy male vocals. Apparently the lyrics are taken from Baudelaire and Lautréamont, but I don't speak good enough French to confirm this. The whole album stands up surprisingly well.; it also gains points for being incredibly unique. On the reissue of Les Maledictus Sound's sole album, there is a nine-minute excerpt from WHINSTER. Hopefully someone will have the good sense to give this a proper reissue.
UPDATE 2011: Finders Keepers had the good sense to reissue this with two bonus tracks! GET IT!