Spencer Hickman, Head of Music
In no particular order, my Top Ten of Mondo/DW releases for 2017.
THE BLACKCOAT'S DAUGHTER by Elvis Perkins
Everything about this record is perfection. The spooky, minimal yet utterly compelling score that is equal parts terrifying, mournful, beautiful and serene, down to Jay Shaw’s incredible design, which sets the mood of the record perfectly and feels like an extension of the film. One of the year's most underrated films and score. I am so proud to have worked with both Osgood and Elvis Perkins to bring this score to life.
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by Cristobal Tapia De Veer
Another underrated film from 2017. I'm still puzzled as to why this wasn’t as big as say, 28 DAYS LATER. It’s a zombie film that manages to be both daring and pushes the boundaries of the genre. The soundtrack does the same. It's a score of many layers; ambient multi-layered voices that sound like synths bubble and weave strange melodies that fit the post-apocalyptic feel of the movie. It’s absolutely stunning. Again, Jay Shaw weaved his magic to create the package of our best releases of the year.
MASTER OF NONE - Various
What a compilation! Needle drop after needle drop, this LP is as much of a joy as the series was. Includes killer cuts from Soft Cell, Will Powers, Ryan Paris, Bobby Charles and many more. It’s the kind of record you put on, play both sides, then just carry on flipping until you have passed away a few hours. Once again, Jay Shaw oversaw the direction of the package and did a killer job.
HOT FUZZ by David Arnold
What a joy it was to work with both Edgar Wright and David Arnold to release the soundtrack to HOT FUZZ for the first time ever. Arnold delivers an exceptional score here that could easily soundtrack JAMES BOND. Full of killer '60s licks and pulsing breaks alongside some more traditional orchestral suite offerings. Jock did the art to compliment our SHAUN OF THE DEAD release and absolutely slayed it.
Timothy Fife, Black Carbon
Stunning electronic epic that recalls Tangerine Dream at their dreamiest, but with an edge that I can only describe as like walking 42nd Street in its heyday. It’s ambient yet dark and brooding, and oh boy the melodies he weaves in these pieces are exceptional. A major talent to watch for sure.
Deadly Avenger, Everyday is Kill
Oh man, this is so epic. Call it synthwave if you'd like, but every single track here is a total banger. The production is incredible and the whole thing is so well crafted that I'm not sure if there has been a better synth record in this style in 2017. Put your driving gloves on, get in your car, and cruise around like you have somewhere to go whilst you pretend to be Ryan Gosling.
HELLRAISER by Christopher Young
It blows my mind that we got to release HELLRAISER (in conjunction with Lakeshore Records). For my money, it is easily one of the best scores of the '80s, forgoing cheap synths and using a full orchestra. The music is sweeping, epic, majestic and as iconic as the film, helping elevate the story's lofty ideas on its minuscule budget. Matt Ryan Tobin did such a great job on the art, too. Managing to mix new and existing imagery is no easy feat, but he 100% nails it here.
Box of Souls - A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET Collection
What's better than one Freddy Krueger? How about seven of him! The complete collection on vinyl for the very first time, all lovingly re-masterd for us by James Plotkin with absolutely jaw dropping art from Mike Saputo. This is hands down absolutely my favourite thing we released in 2017. The music, the art, the liners all come together to create the best box set of the year.
RAW by Jim Williams
Jim William’s score to the incredible coming-of-age film RAW is nothing short of inspirational. Following on from the successes of scoring for Ben Wheatley, he crafts a score here that is absolutely riveting, mixing classical, chamber folk and experimental music to a stunning degree. Reminding me somewhat of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE meeting an updated BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW. Candice Tripp provided the cover to deliver a grotesque yet sensual image of bodies intertwined in a constant circle. It’s stunning, and no wonder as she is hands downs one of my favourite artist working today.
THE CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TAIL by Bruno Nicolai
A perfect companion to RAW actually. Nicolai’s classic Giallo score gets its first-ever vinyl release, and I couldn’t be more proud have released it. It’s all creeping dread, pulsing bass, and psyched-out guitars. It’s hypnotic, otherworldly, and complete captivating. It’s retro yet feels like it could have been plucked out of an alternate future. Its production is polished and odd. One of my favourite Giallo scores of all time!