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Art Zoyd - Nosferatu (1989)

 Patricia Dallio / pianos, keyboards
Gérard Hourbette / viola, violin, pianos, keyboards, percussion
André Mergenthaler / cello, alto sax, bass vocals
Thierry Zaboitzeff / cello, bass guitar, vocals, tapes, keyboards, percussion

This is the first of three soundtracks ART ZOYD did for those silent horror movies of the twenties. This one is for F.W. Murnau's 1922 released movie called "Nosferatu" which was based on Bram Stoker's book called "Dracula". Interesting that Stoker's widow sued Murnau for copyright infringement and won. All copies of his movie were destroyed although bootleg copies survived. The lineup on this album is the same as on the previous one "Berlin". I have to say off the top that this surpassed my expectations by a wide margin.This is incredible ! In fact i'd like to quote some of Kai Karmanheimo's thoughts because he says it so perfectly: "Dissonance is prolific, tonality itself unstable and hummability lies dead in it's coffin, but instead of chaotic and cacophonous, the music comes across as rigorously regimented and ruthlessly repetitive, with individual instrumental links subjugated and blurring together to create a singularly sinister impression". He goes on to say : "...it's the choice of timbres, the sizzle of sinister electronics, that sustain the music through minimilist episodes and obsessive repetition and makes "Nosferatu" more interesting in my ears than ART ZOYD's earlier, predominantly acoustic works that I have heard". So we get 17 tracks at almost 53 minutes and three bonus tracks from a ballet called "Vornange" they did a year earlier.Those three tracks give us over 17 minutes of excellent bonus material. Hourbette composed 8 of the tracks on "Nosferatu" with Zaboitzeff composing the other 9 songs.

"L'oef Du Serpent" opens with a dark atmosphere and percussion before this almost buzzing sound comes in. This is a powerful soundscape that will make you restless. "L'agent Renfield" is also dark and haunting before it calms right down. Strings before 2 minutes as it turns dark and creepy. Sounds like a beast is on the prowl. I don't think his name is Edward either. A calm with piano ends it as the danger has passed. "Le Voyage De Harker" is eerie with outbursts that are alarming to say the least. We start to get a rhythm that sounds like the train to hell. It's like your too afraid to move but you can't stay where you are. This is freaking scary ! Chimes on the next short track before we get to the wind blowing (it's like there's voices in the wind or is that my imagination) on "Le Chateau" with loud sounds coming and going. Then we hear the birds chirping 2 minutes in with flute, bass and strings to follow. Morning has come and the danger has again passed for now.

'Nosferatu" has these striking abrasive sounds with strings.This is all very disturbing. "L'oeuf Du Serpent II" is what i'm sure fear sounds like. "Rumeurs" opens with percussion and other unpleasant sounds, then that wind starts blowing again with those voices crying out in horror. Or is that my mind playing tricks again. "Rumeurs II" has lots of atmosphere and it's not enjoyable.

Pulsating sounds on "Anaphase" and other creepy sounds that will make your hair stand up before "Le Maitre Arrive" takes over. Cold piano lines and vocal melodies early before it changes to a fuller and richer sound. Back to the keys and vocal melodies to end it. "Rumeurs III" has these deep throaty spoken words part way through before we get a children's choir with keys then sax.

"Les Docteurs" is almost catchy with that slow rhythm. Samples of a woman talking and birds chirping on "La Peste". "Livre Des Vampires" is scary. "Anaphase II" is darker with percussion and sax. Powerful. "Le Maitre Vit Mort" is dramatic yet melancholic.

Then flurries of piano with weird vocal samples take over.

I'll be breaking this out on halloween this year. I still think "Berlin" is better but man this is impressive. (source)

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