A true enigma in French exploitation cinema and a key exponent in JeanRollin’s expansive family of forward thinking French creatives, Pierre Raph delivered four soundtrack commissions to the ABC film company between 1971 and 1974 commencing with Requiem Pour Un Vampire and ending with the bizarre Les Démoniaques. The lost score for the film Le Rose De Fer from 1972 presented a new challenge for both director and composer marking Rollin’s departure from his vampire movie comfort zone to this surreal melodramatic ghost sex story and resulting in perhaps the duo’s most unique collaboration. Combining bizarre vocalisations, stripped down minimal piano and subtle Parisian funk themes (echoing the likes of Alain Goraguer’s La Planete Sauvage and Karl Heinz Schäfer’s Les Gants Blancs Du Diable) Le Rose De Fer arguably hears Raph at his most accomplished, adhering to a solid consistent theme tune and using a varied range of disciplines to convey it via the films precarious schizoid screenplay. For fans of Rollin regulars Acanthus, Philippe d’Aram and Francois Tusques this release is essential, but as a stand alone piece Le Rose De Fer is totally unique and, like the film itself, succeeds as the tortoise champion taking first place on many long-term Rollinades lists while his trademark vamps dodge the sunlight.
Originally commissioned as incidental cues for a short film by Helsinki based designer Paola Suhonen, Intiaani Kesä (Indian Summer) by multi-instrumentalist Jane Weaver has since grown into a fully formed project lending itself to a number of further cinematic productions and creative applications . Appearing alongside Demdike Stare and Brigitte Fontaine in the vampire film Kiss Of The Damned by Xan (daughter of John) Cassevetes and recut and performed as an alternative rescore to Eiichi Yamamoto’s Belladonna Of Sadness for various live performances, this set of well-crafted themes takes it’s brazen influences of Nicolai, Dell’Orso, Alessandroni and Daniella Casa back to their purest analog recording origins with startling effect. Recorded in an old vicarage near the Peak District, housing a unique analogue experimental studio, Intiaani Kesä hears Weaver deploy a wide range of instruments including tubular bells, bowed guitars, vintage Goblinised Roland string synths, detuned pianos, church bells, Roland guitar synths, harpsichords and ex-Radiophonic Workshop custom equipment as accompaniment to wordless and onomatopoeic chorale vocals recorded on valve microphones with space echo, sonic room reverbs and bespoke experimental tape delays. Made in a disciplined and unforgiving environment without modern technological shortcuts these self-initiated creative research prototypes were not initially intended for commercial release but are thankfully gathered here as songs in there own right independent of context.
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