The very controversial legacy of French filmmaker Jean Rollin is the subject of one of the latest compilations on the B-Music and Finders Keepers imprints with the release of The B-Music of Jean Rollin. As a specialist of the fantastique genre (science fiction, horror and fantasy), Jean Rollin’s controversial and influential low budget works have stood the test of time and are important examples into the flourishing history of underground cinema. B-Music and Finders Keepers have entered the deep soundtrack vaults to Jean Rollin’s best films between the late 60’s and late 70’s for a thirty-one track comprehensive collection on the music that was so vital in making Jean Rollin’s music stand out the way it did. Jean Rollin’s films were given some of the most diverse music to accompany, hitting on jazz, folk, psychedelia, soundscape, funk, pop, the Middle East, experimentalism, it all had a place in Rollin’s films.
The collection The B-Music of Jean Rollin covers a variety of soundtrack pieces of film that spans one of the most startling times for underground cinema. All of the music is sequenced to create an album within itself. Starting with Rollin’s debut Le Viol du Vampire, there is four tracks from this 1968 film feature spread across the disc. It couldn’t have been more controversial and is the best opener for this compilation with the very short piece ‘Blind Songbird’. I can’t help but hear the unmistakable guitar riff that sounds like Pink Floyd’s Overstellar Interdrive in the Acanthus piece ‘Le Frisson Des Vampires’.
Almost all of the tracks have the voice over and special effect inclusions left intact, reflecting the horror eroticism and mysticism that dwells in the movies they accompany. Jean Rollin was just as surreal as he was anything else and that aspect of the films intentions comes out in the music the most. The composers music selected stretches every corner of the globe, even having a track dedicated entirely to percussion. Spaghetti western battles, occult ceremonies, sci-fi based UFO encounters, slaughterhouses and zombie apocalypses are just a few of the things that come to mind when I listen to all of the deviated from the norm and exotic music that comprises The B-Music of Jean Rollin.
Collecting material from 1969’s La Vampire Nue, 1970’s Le Frisson des Vampires, 1971’s Requiem pour un Vampire, 1973’s Jeunes filles impudiques and 1979’s Fascination, The B-Music of Jean Rollin is one of the best compilation soundtracks I have ever heard and is another crowning achievement in the B-Music and Finders Keepers legacy. The cover of The B-Music of Jean Rollin comes from the Jean Rollin poster print for his 1979 film Fascination. ---- Erik Otis