Dungeon disco, poltergeist punk, and ghoulish garage make Deadboy's essential Halloween choices.
For the past five odd years, Deadboy has been celebrating Halloween by putting out special DJ mixes spanning dungeon disco, ghoulish garage, and frightening funk. Despite this - and despite the fact that his artist name is literally "Deadboy" - he's somehow managed to go this whole time without ever actually being booked to play a show on Halloween.
That's set to change this week, when he DJs for Wild Life at The Queen of Hoxton in London. Before that date, he's put together a guide to some of the finest and freakiest tracks you can dig out on the night. Filled with strange, gothick chants and plenty of vintage synth scores from zombie films, these selections are all treats, no tricks.
Deadboy: "I discovered Goblin through the Dawn of the Dead soundtrack when I was a kid. It genuinely shaped my musical path profoundly - those dramatic Italian arpeggios, and that dread bass funk. All their music is good. I got to see Goblin’s Claudio Simonetti, an awesome Italo disco producer in his own right, do the live soundtrack to Dawn of the Dead at the Union Chapel just recently, and it was so much fun."
Deadboy: "Can’t do a Halloween tracks thing without Gravediggaz, and this is my favourite one off of '6 Feet Deep'."
Deadboy: "James Chance is a fucking boss, and what a great band - raw new wave post-punk funk."
Deadboy: "The theme tune to Zombi 2 aka Zombie Flesh Eaters. The ultimate Italian dread horror tune, yet to be surpassed. The kickdrum is Fabio hitting a mic with his hand. I got to see him at Union Chapel as well last Halloween and it was incredible - one of the best live shows I’ve seen, and such a humble dude."
Deadboy: "Really wanted the instrumental of this, but I can’t find it on Youtube - but it's Mark One, who made some fucking brilliant proto-dubstep and grime tracks back in the day. He had a bunch of great tunes - I dunno what he’s up to now though. I think this samples the theme to The Omen."
Deadboy: "Italo disco from 1983. I don’t know what it is about Italians and creepy synth arpeggios, but they nail it. Beautiful, ethereal vocal on this number as well."
Deadboy: "A strange almost-cover of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Proper funky number, and a pretty slept-on Halloween party banger."
Deadboy: "Got to have some fackin' garage, right? This is kind of silly and fun, but you can’t argue with that bass and those snares."
Deadboy: "The first time I heard 'Black One' by Sunn O))), I had never heard anything like it in my life. It was so deep and evocative - where most metal was kind of too abrasive or goofy for me, this was like being enveloped in thick black oily darkness. They famously locked the vocalist (who was claustrophobic) in a coffin to record this. I once saw Sunn O))) in a really hot tent at Dour Festival shortly after finding a full eighth of skunk on the floor. Needless to say, it was a transcendental experience."
Deadboy: "I found this Aghast CD in a second-hand record shop in Soho after hearing it online in a weird internet vortex, somehow. It's two girls from Norway, I think. Proper witchy creep out music, but there’s something very real about it. I think it's the way that it sounds, the recording - it's like you've stumbled upon a muffled recording of some ritual taking place in a catacomb somewhere."
Deadboy plays Wild Life presents: FREAK LAB at The Queen of Hoxton, London on October 31st 2014 (more information and tickets).