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VINYL OF THE MONTH
Test Subject 011 (7-inch)
The SelectaVision debut by Videogram (aka Sweden’s Magnus Sellergren) is an open love letter to not just Stranger Things, but everything in the 80’s VHS Horror world. Pulsating synths fire off oddly-danceable, hypnotic rhythms and incongruously ominous melodic phrases hover above it all simultaneously. A-Side “Test Subject 011” sounds as if a long-lost Italian disco version of a vintage John Carpenter soundtrack was unearthed and pressed to wax somewhere in Europe.
While the artwork and track titles are obvious nods to a certain Netflix hit series, the music itself is achingly evocative of retro synth-based horror scores of the early 1980s. This is especially apparent in the B-Side, “Dr. Brenner,” which again utilizes a hypnotic, frenetic rhythm and almost-but-not-quite clichéd analog synth sounds, mixed with primitive vocal cut-samples and classic filter sweeps. Think of it this way – if Fabio Frizzi had scored The Neverending Story, you might have ended up with something strikingly similar.
For fans of old school slashers and those who miss browsing the aisles of Blockbuster for the latest horror releases on VHS, this contemporary re-imagining of a lovable niche genre is just the ticket to bring you back to those glory days.
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