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- La Reine Des Vampires 1967 by Francois Tusques
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Finders Keepers offshoot Cacophonic have something highly rare and unusual for us this week; an unreleased session from '60s France which was part of a collaboration between two of the era's counter-culture mavericks, free jazzer Francois Tusques and avant-garde horror director Jean Rollin.
On the first side, we have the music for Rollin's 'La Reine Des Vampires' in its original recorded state, before it was ruthlessly edited into its filmic form. Amusingly I have learned from the press release that Rollin also used Tusques's source material again without his consent for the sequel, the cheeky beggar, so this is music which can actually be heard in two films. On the second side are some demos rejected by Rollin but still worth listening to.
In terms of the music itself, then, it's a mournful, unsettling free jazz which mostly relies on strings, with a booming double bass and squeaking violins, but also some reedy sax tones too. The moods range from creeping dread to sultry sleaze to panicked freak-outs, it's very well done. Soundtrack collectors may be perturbed by its lack of synths and orchestras and obvious melodies, but if you're interested in the French avant-garde of the '60s then this is a fascinating artifact and also highly listenable.
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