elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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This will be the last album in my dark and twisted library music series for the time being. The theme will resume again in January. For those of you who haven't been following the blog, we will be starting a project that has been in the works since October. "Digital Meltd0wn's Nightmare Before Christmas" will kick off on December 1st. I will be making a more formal announcement later this evening to reveal the names of the guest bloggers that will be participating in the event, as well as some of the items you can expect to see posted.
Roger Roger (aka Cecil Leuter, Eric Swan) is probably best known for his library music albums consisting of upbeat electronic pop and contemporary classical music. However, "Drama and Suspense" starkly contrasts with the bulk of his output, and stands as one dark and sinister piece of work in comparison. Drama and Suspense was released on the French library music label, Crea Sound, some time in the 1970s. This is another one of those albums that doesn't have a date on the front or back cover, and no one seems to know the exact year it was released. This album was originally shared on the Painted On Silence blog. Unfortunately the admin of that amazing blog decided to remove all of the download links from his posts and call it quits more than two years ago.
As the title suggests, Side A contains the dramatic themes, while Side B contains the suspense. Side A is the stronger of the two sides in my opinion. I'm reminded of some of the old science-fiction/horror soundtracks from the '50s and '60s, particularly some of Akira Ifukube's work on Godzilla and various other Japanese monster movie soundtracks he produced. The first couple of tracks have a militaristic feel to them, as if two massive armies are about to meet on the battlefield. Judging from the titles, I assume this is what Roger Roger had in mind as well. These tracks are full of pounding percussion and bursts of heavy brass. While this side represents the drama, some of these themes also have an ominous and suspenseful tone to them as well. The last two tracks, particularly "Strange Motion", deviate from this formula a bit. "Strange Motion" has more of a whimsical and dreamlike science-fiction sound to it.
Side B represents the "Suspense" in the title. It consists entirely of tracks which are darker and more mysterious in tone, which is something you don't usually hear from Roger Roger, and I for one love it! These tracks also have that early sci-fi/horror feel to them, which I have grown rather fond of over the years. I consider the first track, "Frankstenstein", along with the last track, "Weird Moment", to be the strongest on Side B. Frankenstein introduces the macabre sounds, and happens to be my favorite on Side B. It features that classic sci-fi/horror sound I have repeatedly referred to. The sinister music is punctuated with outbursts of deep brass, and accompanied by the sound of gusts of wind, which increase in intentisity as the track progresses. My only complaint about this release would be that the next few tracks are somewhat similar to one another and repetitive. "Weird Moment" closes out Side B on a strong note though. Although it is rather simple in structure, it has a genuinely creepy sound. I can't be certain, but I believe either synthesizers or keyboards are being used here to create the eerie melody heard throughout the track. It is accompanied by the faint sound of rattling chains, and occassionally interrupted by mellow, dreamlike interludes.
While this isn't the strongest album Roger Roger ever released, it is certainly a departure from the style of music he was known for, making it a unique oddity in his vast catalog. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, this will be the last library music album that I will share until January. Let Digital Meltd0wn's Nightmare Before Christmas begin...
Year of Release: 197x (Unknown) Label: Crea Sound Ltd. Catalog #: MC 8013 Genres: Library Music, Contemporary Classical File Format: MP3 Bitrate: 320kbps
Track List: A1. War of the Planets A2. The Aggressors A3. The Hobsters A4. Dark Journey A5. Invasion A6. Strange Motion A7. Alert B1. Frankenstein B2. Furtive Incident B3. Catastrophe B4. The Search B5. Anxiety and Fear B6. The Rendezvous B7. Weird Moment