£12.00 – £50.00
Cult jazz soundtrack to supernatural Soho strangler epic by Swiss electronic pioneer held captive since 1966.
There’s a devious religious sect underneath the Tower Of London which consists of some of the most greedy and powerful men and women in the world! The plot of this obscure Soho-based German thriller perhaps feels more believable during today’s political climate than it did when it was released back in 1966, taking die hard fans of Edgar Wallace paperback adaptations on a slightly more macabre and mystical journey than they had come to expect. What is perhaps less believable is the almost “criminal” fact that this films unheard spooked-out jazz score by one of the most innovative European players and composers has spent almost fifty-five years locked away, shrouded by mystery, not unlike the stolen Parvati Emerald that lies at the centre of the storyline of Der Würger vom Tower. For those who thought soundtracks and conceptual cinematic records like Mad Monster Party and The Vampires Of Dartmoore were unrivalled in there phantasmagorical micro-genres, well the time has come for the original “jazz électronicien” Bruno Spoerri and the Finders Keepers archivists to unleash thick plodding bass lines, mind-bending percussion effects, wayward electric organs and breakneck European jazz to the loneliest part of your record library. Encapsulated in the unbroken chains of baritonal chants by mystical mad monks during cloaked underground ceremonies while the life-blood of some of the most important and coveted players of the Swiss, French and German jazz scenes perform outlandish musical exchanges under Dr. Spoerri’s watchful eye Der Würger vom Tower delivers on a rare conceptual brief marking a truly unique moment in their combined careers.
Having finally been liberated from Bruno Spoerri’s meticulous master tape vault this music takes us to the furthest reaches spanning right back to his first-ever feature-length soundtrack commission in order to find its place alongside other recently resuscitated oblique jazz scores by the likes of Basil Kirchin, Krzysztof Komeda (Cul-De-Sac), Angelo Michajlov (Saxana/In The Night Kitchen), Roger Webb and Jonny Scott. For an established jazz composer like Spoerri, who would quickly gravitate towards the rise of electronic music to become one of its biggest champions and pioneers, it is easy to identify within this score the early murmurs of minimal electronic sound design and bizarre jarring keyboard motifs which wouldn’t sound out of place in recordings by Sun Ra if you can imagine an unlikely recording session with the John Barry Seven. Heinz Pfenninger’s thick plodding bass notes (complete with double tracking and spring reverbs) embody the classic Bert Kaempfert and Tony Fisher wet bass sound (that will instantly appeal to fans of Dave Richmond and Serge Gainsbourg), successfully pinning down the sodden plot against the damp underground canals of Sixties London in conjunction with legendary Swiss jazz drummer Rolf Bänninger as the rhythm sections unwittingly channels McCallum and Axelrod in the dark shadows.
Translated as The Strangler In The Tower this lesser-known thriller possibly stretched the imaginations of cinematic crime buffs beyond the genre’s parameters before disappearing into obscurity. Opening up with Sixties shots of Big Ben and Oxford Circus before a cat and mouse chase through Soho (and a quick stop at Paul Raymond’s Revuebar strip club) this film, under the direction of established TV programme maker Hans Mehringer, sees a cast of bizarre red cloaked occultists called the To The Brothers Of Compensatory Righteousness gather in the deepest chambers of England’s capital to worship their “holy root” and retrieve the scared jewel that binds them. Following a varied cast, including renowned burlesque dancers and confusing twin brothers, this ambitious seventy minute whodunnit (replete with the obligatory tangental plot) might pay the right kind of niche aficionado in rich dividends. It is the soundtrack, however, that is the real sacred jewel in Bruno Spoerri’s crown as the leader and pioneer of Switzerland’s electronic underground (not to mention sample source amongst rap royalty) and a mysterious monarchial figure in European jazz and music technology. A cult soundtrack in every sense of the word.
Bound in secrecy. Bound in mystery. Now bound in faux leather and tough cotton. Yes, it’s another Finders Keepers special edition, annointing another holy grail discovery to its highest macabre and monarchical status… with an interactive twist. The hooded cult of crooked politicians, royal ne’er-do-wells and general corruptors of power and privilege provide the underlying narrative of this 1966 witchy crime Euro sleaze which demanded a unique soundtrack by a great experimental mind. Up steps Swiss medical scholar an electronic jazz pioneer Bruno Spoerri for his big screen debut and the rest is history, or better still, phantom funk folklore! A would-be doppelgänger to the likes of Dracula’s Music Cabinet and Mad Monster Party including an added burst of plundering Sun Ra synth and am-dram Don Cherry Druidic drones, this obscure soundtrack album is finally excavated from the Spoerri vault and packaged in fine robes like the hooded cult at the centre of the plot. Disguised In red mottled pleather with bespoke eye holes this limited edition include a custom printed insert with moving eye feature to reveal with actress or composer before you delve into a written interview (exclusive to this format) and rare images and trivia from the original film. Clearly one of the labels finest special editions thus far, this edition represents a sacred jewel in Bruno’s discography, not unlike the stolen emeralds which green light the murderous motives of the strangler in the tower.