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German jazz musicians Horst Ackermann & Heribert Thusek made a foray into the mixture of early psychedelic rock and krautrock with humorous approach to the horror genre, evident in the ambient and cinematic sounds of the record.

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2.35 | 14 ratings
Dracula's Music Cabinet

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Dracula's Music Cabinet by VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.35 | 14 ratings

Dracula's Music Cabinet
Vampires of Dartmoore Krautrock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic

1 stars Now here's a real kitschy obscurity that was excavated from someone's cellar and resurrected into the modern era. This bizarre idea was the result of the rise of B-movies in the mid-1960s that were increasingly mixing tawdry sexploitation with horror themes which became dubbed horrotica and THE VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE were but one of many Germans to put out horrotica-themed albums such as DRACULA'S MUSIC CABINET in the 60s and 70s. The approach to this album is like many of the Euro-horror films of the day which contains a kitschy blend of psychedelia and lounge jazz and despite its best efforts absolutely fails to evoke any kind of horror at all. The whole idea was intended to be a soundtrack to a movie that never existed, which was a novel idea for the time.

Although the CABINET'S OF DRACULA is pretty much an instrumental lounge jazz affair musically, it is stuffed to the gill with different sound effects. This project was the idea of Heribert Thusek, who was a session player and library music composer and radio comedian Horst Ackerman. They together are THE VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE. While the concept is supposed to be about VAMPIRES and horrotica, the actual content is a bit unfocused and at times just stupid. The first track "The Torture Chamer Of Dr. Sex" pretty much sets the tone for a lounge jazz feel embellished with moans and groans and S & M sounds. The rest of the album follows suit but instead of the expected Halloween friendly music and sound effects, we get some real lame choices with tracks like "Dance Of The Vampire" which is stuffed to the gills with "boing boing" sounds. Are they dancing to evil or jumping on pogo sticks for frack's sake?

The one track i kinda like is "Handful Of Nitro" which sounds kinda like Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" on surf guitar with cheesy psychedelic keyboards and occasional explosions. There are also little Krautrock breaks that last a few seconds before the guitar starts in again. While the theme does fit in with the name of the track, what in the world do nitro explosions have to do with VAMPIRES? Uggh! I really find this album annoying. Not because i don't think the idea was worthy though. While VAMPIRES are not my most beloved theme, i have an appreciation for good cheesy novelties done right, but on this one i find absolutely nothing scary, nothing funny and nothing interesting and not even my idea of a B-movie as even the kitschy intent is weak.

There exists a myth that recounts the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor where after 300 imprisoned sailors attempted to escape one fateful evening, they ended up shot down en masse by the guards and one of the spirits of the dead would appear as a pair of Hairy Hands that steered victims of visitors leaving the English village of Postbridge to their deaths, but this tale of horror at hand is a different breed. For the horrendousness lies in the fact of just how bad it is in achieving any kind of emotional connection to either VAMPIRES, horror flicks or erotica for that matter. The only thing that gives me that good ole VAMPIRE feel is that after 38 minutes of listening to this release is like having many pairs of fang scars on my neck where that precious time has been sucked right out of me never to return again. I seriously listened to this several times in order to give it a fair chance but i can honestly say that with this one it just gets worse. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark going to the karaoke bar singing David Hasselhoff songs sounds more appealing than this one. 1.5 stars rounded down!

 Dracula's Music Cabinet by VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.35 | 14 ratings

Dracula's Music Cabinet
Vampires of Dartmoore Krautrock

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Dracula's music cabaret is a collection of late 60's kitschy-psych rockin' songs. No much things can be said about the existence of the band. Their unique and enigmatic album could be used as soundtrack for cult B horror-nightmarish movies...such as Dracula 1972 A.D (Hammer Film Production), Brides of the Monster (...) The band hugely play the card of comedy and humour. All musical pieces can be considered as satirical sketches including tormented voices, concrete noises (chains of chambers of torture, collages of atmospheric-nocturnal-windy sounds). The rockin'instrumentation is added to the initial cinematic-theatrical trip and provides utterly trippy psych guitar tricks backed by haunted-creepy organic grooves. The opening track is a catchy and suggestive garagey psych rock piece including 60's epic Hammong organs, sensual psych guitars and sounds that could be taken from cabaret- absurd theatrical performances about the "grand guignol" or sadistic gothic-themes. A curiosity that is warmly recommended for fans of underground-vintage B movies and fans of druggy-psych pop of the sixties.
 Dracula's Music Cabinet by VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.35 | 14 ratings

Dracula's Music Cabinet
Vampires of Dartmoore Krautrock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions

3 stars What an incredible thing this is! Ahead of time for 1969 in any case - reflecting a progressive approach with some great ideas, intelligent compositions and a lot of scary effects. The songs are not crossing the three minute mark - designed like soundtracks, influenced by respectively adapted for thriller and horror movies. A whacked-out mix of plain dance music, freaky kraut-related elements plus samples with a lot of nightmare effects. You will find great fuzzy guitar and hammond organ appearance here and there! Responsible for this production are Horst Ackermann and Heribert Thusek who essentially composed Schlager and jazz music. Not digitally re-released yet the vinyl version is traded between 300 and 500 Euro today.

I don't know anything about the line-up. They must have been prolific studio musicians by all means. It is said the album is also featured by Sigfried (Sigi) Schwab, a soundtrack composer and jazz oriented guitarist who worked with Eberhard Schoener and Embryo for some time. But there are some doubts to remark. What I know is that Schwab had produced another less freaky dance album at the same time under the moniker 'Vampire's Sound Incorporation'.

The first song must be derived from the movie 'The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism' starring Lex Barker and Christopher Lee. Moans as well as screams of agony - you might detect hints about a relationship between sex and sadism. Only reduced to the excellently staged organ you will get enough horror feeling. A hypnotic bass and some fuzzed guitar contributions are also given here. Crime and Horror on the other hand is played like simple 60s dance music with a slight jazzy touch and cool saxophone input. Some funny voice samples are integrated which makes the song more attractive. A man scares a woman but she fights back soon! Both songs are typical for characterizing the whole album content.

I'd like to point out some other tunes which are reflecting the album's progressiveness. The spooky Tanz der Vampire contains elements of the upcoming Hip-Hop - this special beat, the deep pumping bass. DJ Spinna later integrated this song into his work for example. And this beat also reminds me of CAN a little bit. A weird organ and some wonderful psychedelic guitar additions are also to detect. Definitely an album highlight. The jazzy Der Henker von Dartmoore could also be presented by Wolfgang Dauner in this way (apart from those excellently placed voice samples of course). Dr. Caligari's Gruselkabinett knocks at the three minute door because of a longer superb organ solo.

A very interesting production also fitting for your Halloween party. I would say I'm listening to a proto kraut album. A lot of funny things to detect. Despite of the weird implementation many popular elements are also offered. It remembers me at the old times when the whole family met in front of the TV on Saturday evening for watching the new Durbridge thriller (huahhh ... Klaus Kinski is coming ...)

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition. and to clarke2001 for the last updates

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