When I plug my nose and dive feet first into the murky waters of “darkwave”, “giallo” or “horror synth”, this is what I’m looking for, this is my pearl. Crypt Vapor‘s ‘Erotik Maniac‘ EP appeared on Heavy Chains Records bandcamp page from out of nowhere. I know nothing about this project, who made it or where it comes from. If I had to guess I’d say Australia because that’s where the cassette specialty label is based (Tasmania).
What I do know is that ‘Erotik Maniac’ is a 7 song, 24 minute collection of Carpenter drones and 80’s horror film atmospheres. Crypt Vapor is an apt name for the sounds and mental imagery those sounds create. BPMs never reach an obnoxious level, at best the music is at rock n roll tempo, the beat provides a pulse, creating tension. The 7 tracks are split up into 4 main songs with brief, droning interludes between. All parts are equally listenable.
The album title suggests that the music was created with an imaginary slasher film in mind. Though it’s always open to listener interpretation, and I make no illusions about deciphering the true intent of the artist, but it isn’t hard to imagine the storyline. A shifty eyed or charming pervert (take your pick based on mood), meets, stalks, maims, etc. the object of his desire or (and here’s a better vision) attempts to, but the intended victim escapes in the exciting “Red Chase Sequence“. What’s great about it is that without even having read the track title I heard the music and said, “that is unquestionably some chase music”. To me it sounds specifically like subway station chase music which spills out onto crowded, but unsympathetic downtown streets. This is what I love about this genre of horror music, it tells a story, but that story becomes a collaboration between artist and listener.
An added bonus to the bandcamp download is a full 25-minute “tape mix” which puts all seven songs onto one seamless track. Even the cover artwork is an inspiring thing of beauty. Once more, this is perfect horror music, not entirely unlike Slasher Dave, Voyag3r, Videogram or even Zombi when they focus more on thick atmospheric horror textures.
If you’re like me and you like your 80’s horror film music, and you want to dive in to the next generation of synth composers who have followed in the footsteps of John Carpenter but can’t stomach dance music, you could do much worse than starting with Crypt Vapor.