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November 8th, 2010

Blakula – Permanent Midnight

(Bear Funk)
 
Written by Tristan Hanks
 
‘Blacula’ was a Blaxploitation horror film made in 1972. Blakula is an imaginary soundtrack for the adventures of a similar fanged character that got sucked into the sleazy celebrity lifestyle of the late seventies. The press release claims amongst other things that he hung around with Warhol, wrote poetry with Burroughs and partied at Studio 54. From the opening bars of ‘Witches Crew’ this odd set up start to make complete sense.
 
This album is the brainchild of Simon Maccari and Andrea Bellentani otherwise known as The Diaphanoids and while it is a mash of well used musical genres it really does bring something different to the party. Mainly funk based this records chews up influences such as psychedelic disco, spooky jazz and experimental electronica then spits it out to create a mesmerising mix from the dark side of the soul. Highlights include the terrifically named ‘Vampire State Building’ which is all rolling bass mixed with Link Wray guitar licks and strangled horns. ‘Miss Morgue’ has an early eighties electro funk vibes with added sci-fi mellotron to boot but the standout track has to be ‘Blood Supreme’ which contains a beautifully eerie xylophone which spooks the ears as well as soothes them.
 
As title track ‘Permanent Midnight’ brings the collection of nocturnal nuggets to a close it is hard to resist the temptation to replay this cold blooded funk all over again. This is really is a charmingly strange record rooted in old record shop rarities with modern avant-garde flourishes. If only all instrumental producers would put this much thought and affection into their work then all the freaks would be dancing in the dark hailing this album as the gothic masterpiece is surely is.


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