Friday, January 4, 2013

Death Waltz Recording Company

In the last few years, I’ve become a reluctant vinyl enthusiast—reluctant because the last thing I need is another thing to obsessively collect. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who knows me, seeing as how I have pretty retro leanings on a lot of stuff, but once I got a record player I had to agree with the general consensus of audiophiles everywhere—music just sounds better on vinyl. In a fairly short amount of time, I’ve amassed a decent pile of records from various sources new and used, with a heavy emphasis on soundtrack albums. Any horror vinyl I can find is particularly prized, but usually pretty hard to come by (a recent Christmas gift of the soundtrack to The Exorcist, a gift from my screenwriter pal Mark Palermo, holds a special place in my collection). So when a company like Death Waltz Recording Company comes along, offering reissues of classic horror scores on vinyl, how could they not become my new favourite label?
Based out of the UK, Death Waltz offers a catalogue of cool soundtracks—with, so far, a heavy emphasis on the John Carpenter collaborations of Alan Howarth—packaged with eye-catching new artwork by notable graphic designers (these are included as mini-posters inside the record sleeves as well!). Their releases so far include Zombi, Halloween II and III, Escape From New York, Donnie Darko, Prince Of Darkness, The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue, and Let The Right One In, with more presumably on the way. They offer limited edition coloured vinyl releases on a few titles, and a flexidisc version of Howarth’s Halloween III score. Each release also includes liner notes by both the composer and the cover artist. There’s also a nerdy touch that I really appreciate—the spines don’t tell you the name of the movie or the composer, instead offering a choice quote from the film in question.
So far I’ve only gotten my hands on Halloween II and Prince Of Darkness, both given to me as Christmas gifts from in-the-know pals this past year, but I’m looking forward to expanding my collection. It’s a real treat to hear the eerie synthesizer stylings of Alan Howarth bouncing around my living room in that rich, warm sound that only vinyl is capable of delivering. Locally (in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that is), you can pick up Death Waltz titles at Obsolete Records, and if you’re elsewhere visit the official Death Waltz site for mail-order info. Your straining record shelves may protest, but your ears will thank you.

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