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Vampires of Dartmoore - Dracula's Music Cabinet CD (album) cover


Vampires of Dartmoore



2.35 | 14 ratings

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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 ...)

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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