30 December 2011


Dark psychological contemporary thriller, by Sally Griffiths. Really great stuff, well worth your time.
"Professional illusionist, Will Morgan, is to front a TV show in which he exposes spiritualist mediums as frauds. Hayley Taylor is the spiritualist medium who refuses to back down under Will's scrutiny - a challenge Will can't walk away from. Both are to have their belief systems sorely tested when a voice from one of their pasts refuses to keep silent. Starring Steffan Rhodri as Will and Zoë  Tapper as Hayley.


29 December 2011

The Teeth of Abbot Thomas

The second of two M.R. James pastiches by Stephen Sheridan. This time more parody than pastiche from 1987 starring Robert Bathurst and the late, great Alfred Marks.
"A quest for a set of medieval false teeth. Discover a ghastly secret in the rib-tickling, toe-curling tale of orthodontic outrage.

28 December 2011

The House at World's End

The first of two ripping M.R. James pastiches by Stephen Sheridan.
"M.R.James, Provost of King's College Cambridge explains to a Christmas gathering of friends and undergraduates how he first became interested in the supernatural. He tells the tale of an ancient cabalistic text that dooms the family and associates of a Cornish bibliophile.
What terrible secret lies hidden in the library at Cranleigh Hall, and why is old Uncle Magnus so afraid of the night?
Cranleigh Hall, earlier.

26 December 2011

M.R. James at Christmas

Derek Jacobi plays Montague Rhodes James and is our narrator for these five brief dramatized contemporary audio adaptations. Though well worth a listen in their own right, they are simply too short to capture the mood of James' prose. Ripping yarns for the time poor if you will.

Illustration by  James McBryde for 1st ed. of Ghost Stories of an Antiquary.

23 December 2011

Late Night Story with Tom Baker

Late Night Story (1978). The 4th Doctor takes time out from battling Kroll, the giant Lovecraftian god creature that lives beneath the marshes of Delta Magna, to read five tales of terror from the comfortable surroundings of TARDIS back up study #3f. Audio is ripped from video in similar fashion to the previous post and comes courtesy of the supreme being, X-Y-Z Cosmonaut.

21 December 2011

Classic Ghost Stories

Robert Powell reads the classic ghost stories - The Mezzotint,  The Ash Tree, Wailing Well, Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad and The Rose Garden - of Montague Rhodes James.  The short series was originally broadcast over the BBC 2 Yuletide schedule back in 1986. You can find them (ripped from off air VHS by the look of it) out there in torrent land, or via the youtubes below. For this post I've ripped the audio, corrected the mono balance for stereo playback and cleaned it up the hiss a little where possible. I think they work rather well as audio-books without the visuals.

The Mezzotint (Pt.1)

The Ash Tree (Pt.1)

Wailing Well (Pt.1)

Oh, Whstle and I'll Come To You My Lad (pt.1)

The Rose Garden (Pt.1)

17 December 2011

Denton & Cook - Hong Kong Beat LP

Saving the best for last, here's a fresh rip of Hong Kong Beat & Other BBC TV Themes - Richard Denton & Martin Cook which I found only recently and what's more, for a sensible price after a fair amount of searching. All the 7" singles I've posted here are repeated in the track-listing, plus the one that got away, the theme tune to The Great Egg Race. A fine body of work, a great pity that there was never any more released. 

14 December 2011

Denton & Cook - Jigsaw

Richard Denton & Martin Cook's theme tune for the Children's BBC programme Jigsaw (1979-84) was never released officially, a great pity that as it was always a favourite 'round our house. To be honest Jigsaw was one of those shows I watched because there was nothing else on the telly. The puzzle based content flew right over my tiny brain and that Mr. Noseybonk... well he was a bit disturbing.

In the spirit of make-do-and-mend I've grabbed some audio from the youtubes cleaned it up a bit, edited it looping around the dialogue as best I could and here are the results:

There are also a few Real Media files on some ancient fan sites that date back to the World Wide Web's Triassic era here and here. In addition to those, you can also hear library music featured on Jigsaw on this compilation courtesy of the excellent Retro-Teque blog.

Don't have nightmares!

6 December 2011

Stone Fox Chase

Top BBC TV Themes (1978). The usual mixed bag of tunes. Highlights naturally include Denton & Cook's The Hong Beat, also any beat hunters out there should dig Area Code 615's  The Old Grey Whistle Test (Stone Fox Chase) and Alan Parker's funky theme to Angels, I know I do.

3 December 2011

Silver Journeys

Peter Howell - Legend. This album of ethereal electronics from 1987 sees Mr Howell building on the template set by the epic opening track from his earlier album Through A Glass Darkly. It gets rather new-agey at times but the music has far more personality and variety than that label would suggest. This could easily be the soundtrack to some mid '80's family friendly fantasy movie, long since forgotten.

1 December 2011

29 November 2011

Stereo Test Record mix

This superb mix comes from 2007 (I assume) but is new to me and comes courtesy of The Horse Drawn Zeppelin. I know nothing of God's Boyfriend and Go Away Records seems to have gone away for good, but they left this sonic gem behind for us all to enjoy. I'm not going to list all the 150 odd tracks included in this mix, instead, please peruse the image below:

"STEREO TEST RECORD provides a means for the demanding listener to check audio reproduction equipment without the need for expensive and complicated instruments. The sounds on this record are the final products of years of research and development of stereophonic recording techniques by 73 artists contributing over 150 compositions. 

# Test your stereo band levels with John Carpenter
# Check the channel orientation with Giorgio Moroder and BBC Radiophonic Workshop alumni
# Perform a phasing test with Eddie Warner, Klaus Schulze and Alan Hawkshaw 
# Envelope yourself in the sound of Raymond Scott's newly designed and manufactured electronic music devices and systems

All of the tests within are inter-dependent, and it is therefore suggested that it be played through once completely before attempting to interpret the results which may be obtained from it. 

This record is sponsored by Dübreq, makers of the Stylophone, a revolution in electronic music performance, introduced here by Rolf Harris.

These DYNAMIC DIRECTIONAL STEREO recordings are capable of bringing to you the most realistic width and depth plus the altogether thrilling addition of the actual movement of musical sounds in space - DIRECTIONAL STEREO EFFECTS.

Please download responsibly.

26 November 2011

Denton & Cook - Theme From The Hong Kong Beat 7"

Richard Denton & Martin Cook - Theme From 'The Hong Kong Beat' b/w Chasing The Dragon (1978). The Denton & Cook single that sold enough copies to grace the UK Top 40, reaching #25 on 6th May, 1978 pop-pickers! Could be because The Hong Kong Beat sounds like nothing if it doesn't sound like a rejected demo from Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album, in a very, very good way you understand. More Denton and Cook goodness to come soon.

24 November 2011

Denton & Cook - Diamonds In The Sky 7"

Richard Denton & Martin Cook - Diamonds In The Sky b/w Jet Lag (1979). A suitably sophisticated soft rock instrumental incorporating a similar vocoded vocal effect used on Tomorrow's World. The b side Jet Lag sounds like funky disco strings for a cocktail party on Harold Shand's yacht.

22 November 2011

Denton & Cook - Circuit Eleven Miami 7"

Richard Denton & Martin Cook - Circuit Eleven - Miami b/w The Spangler (1979). A jaunty country bar room boogie rock styled theme tune for a  "thirteen-part documentary series on law and order in Florida, including coverage of court-room proceedings". The b-side continues in the same vein.

21 November 2011

Tomorrow's World vs Machine Muzik

Krafwerk's first appearance on UK TV in 1975

Back in effect in 1991

20 November 2011

Denton & Cook - Tomorrow's World 7"

Richard Denton & Martin Cook - Tomorrow's World b/w Inside Story (1980). The sound of your future yesterday. An early electro/space disco masterpiece. The b-side could not be more different, a lovely reflective pastoral piece for flute and acoustic guitar, akin to the music often used to introduce Programmes for Schools and Colleges around that time.

A rather tastefully done white label edit of the TW Theme:

17 November 2011

No.36 - African Images: Suspense

Africa (1993). Library tracks and stings with an African flavour, made for documentaries and nature shows from the Radiophonic Workshop in it's final decade. Composers featured include Peter Howell, Roger Limb and Malcolm Clarke.

15 November 2011

No.14 - Signature Tune: A New Beginning

Brian Hodgson with the dismembered piano that created the Tardis sound.

Dr Who: 30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop (1963-93). Essential electric goodness from Radiophonic heroes, Brian Hodgson, Delia Derbyshire, Dick Mills, Elizabeth Parker, Paddy Kingsland and Peter Howell.


10 November 2011

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

Once again we are experiencing technical difficulties and - thanks to a certain British telecommunications' helpline being designed by first reading the works of Franz Kafka and then applying them to a modern day call-centre - I expect it will be at least 7 days before I'm able to post any new stuff.

1 November 2011

Autumn Cycles

That's all the creepy sounds I have... for now. Back to posts of a more musical vein for a bit. By way of a palette cleanser, may I recommend this rather fine mixcloud courtesy of The Advisory Circle?

01. Pye Corner Audio - Transmission Four Crooked Hill 
02. Holy Other - Touch
03. 69 - Microlovr
04. Keith Mansfield - Microchip Revolution
05. Hatchback - Everything Is Neu
06. Pussy - Come Back June
07. Dana Gillespie - You Just Gotta Know My Mind
08. Darkel - Pearl
09. The Association - Funny Kind Of Song
10. Jim O’Rourke - Something Big
11. Jackie Lee - The Town I Live In
12. Matti Oiling - Baron's Beat
13. Conrad Schnitzler - Coca
14. Alden Tyrell Feat. Fred Ventura - Memories
15. Chanjarit Singh - Raga Bairagi
16. Bernard Fevre - Central Way
17. Teenage Engineering - Slow Fm 4t
18. The Resource Centre - Circle Time
19. Marion - I Go To Sleep

31 October 2011

Mother Father Son

What's on the other side of that door? It's a classic start to any horror story. Mother Father Son is a darkly comic tale starring two of Scotland's best loved actors, Ann Scott-Jones and Peter Kelly. This play won the Arches theatre award 2007 for its writer Hugo Plowden and director Rosie Kellagher. It's hands down one of the creepiest audio dramas I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. 

Goodnight, if you can.


Hallowe'en in a Suburb

30 October 2011

Lovecraft: Weird Tales

"Weird Tales: The Strange Life of H P Lovecraft (2006) examines the strange life and terrifying world of the man hailed as America's greatest horror writer since Poe. During his life Lovecraft's work was confined to lurid pulp magazines and he died in penury in 1937. Today, however, his writings are considered modern classics and published in prestigious editions. Among the writers considering his legacy are Neil Gaiman, S.T. Joshi, Kelly Link, Peter Straub and China Mieville.

Lovecraft: The Young Man of Providence

The Young Man of Providence. This dramatized documentary from 1981 delves deep into the authors tortured genius. Suitably eerie soundscapes accompany readings from various letters and classic stories from the Lovecraft canon. I found this recently on t'Internets and thought it was worth posting as a companion piece to the above post, which comes direct from the t_ape archives. The audio quality is not of the highest, but it is quite listenable and the programme itself is first rate.

"Cthulhu lies dreaming"

Lovecraft's The Tomb

The obsessive Jervas Dudley reveals how he came to be incarcerated in an asylum. H.P. Lovecraft's chilling tale is read by Ryan McCluskey.


28 October 2011

Late Night Story No.2

Tom Baker tells the twisted tale of Sredni Vashtar from that master of the short story format Hector Hugh Munro, aka Saki.

27 October 2011

Carnivorous Lunar Activities

An American Werewolf in London (1997) adapted for Big British Castle Radio Station No.1 by Dirk Maggs and what a fine job he did too.
"How does a werewolf get onto the Yorkshire Moors? Why do the citizens of a remote village allow two American backpackers to walk to their doom? What is it like to be undead? John Landis' 1981 movie remains an unforgettable cinema experience. In this expanded version some twenty minutes of new story has been added, leading up to the violent and emotional climax on the streets of London. Reprising their roles from the movie, Jenny Agutter, Brian Glover and John Woodvine are reunited in this audio movie.

 "Have you ever tried talking to a corpse? It's boring!"

Hellooo nurse!
dl link fixed!

No.27 - Staking A Vampire (3 Mallet Blows)

BBC Sound Effects No.27 - Even More Death and Horror. The son of the bride of a classic amongst sound effects records.


26 October 2011

The Strange Case Of Edgar Allan Poe

The Strange Case Of Edgar Allan Poe (1988). Detective Auguste Dupin (John Moffatt), one of Poe's (Kerry Shale) own creations, investigates the bizarre death of the writer. Not your usual by the numbers dramatic biog, Christopher Cook's play draws from Poe's own literary voice to present lurid vignettes from the author's life, linked by narration and analysis from Detective Dupin.

Portrait of Poe by Sirxlem.

25 October 2011

The Pit and the Pendulum

Three tales of mystery and imagination: The Pit and the Pendulum, The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar and The Cask of Amontillado. Each short story is expertly read by the great Bill Wallis. The music is by British jazz musician Colin Purbrook.

21 October 2011

Philip K. Dick

Two beautifully read creepy short stories with a common theme from the late, great Philip K. Dick

Of Withered Apples - As a beautiful woman picks its last withered apple, a dying ancient tree is determined to survive. Read by William Hootkins.

The Cookie Lady - Beware the plate of tasty treats. Read by Liza Ross.

20 October 2011

Creepiest. Doll. Ever.

Powered by Satan, no batteries required.

19 October 2011

"For no mere mortal can resist"

Back to the t_ape archives for spooky thrills from the old school with Vincent Price in The Night Of The Wolf, a horror story written specially for radio by Victor Pemberton and originally broadcast in 1984. Apparently the Saturday Night theatre feature was originally devised as a vehicle for James Stewart. After listening however, you'll find it hard to imagine anybody else in the role other than Price. Many more hours of Vincent Price radio are available here.


16 October 2011

No. 21 - Electronic Heartbeats

BBC Sound Effects No. 21 - More Death And Horror. The bride of a classic amongst sound effects records. I have fond memories of a school music lesson around this time of year, when our teacher played the whole record to us on a cassette, pausing the tape and introducing each cue in turn. Afterwards we drew pictures of our favourite bits. She was a really cool music teacher.


15 October 2011

DJ Format & The Simonsound - Paris DJs Mix

Another superb mix landed in my podcast feed today courtesy of Paris DJs, this time from DJ Format and Simon James of The Simonsound. Chock full of rare global psych, Moog breaks and funky electronics all mixed to perfection. Get it here and give your ears a treat.

Tracklisting :
01. The Simonsound - Intro
02. Klaus Weiss - Jumping Balls (Germany)
03. Triangle - Ponction Binaire(France)
04. Voyage - Outre Tombe(France)
05. Peter Thomas - Coordinates Meeting (Germany)
06. Kids With Guns Skit (Germany)
07. Unity - O Wa Nou Me Nou Ma (France)
08. Equipe 84 - Ladro (Spain)
09. The 31st Of February - A Nickel's Worth Of Benny's Help (USA)
10. Coley - Dirty Jo (UK)
11. Danish Bacon (Denmark)
12. A Bad Trip to the Docteur (France)
13. The Electric Piano Playground - Psychedelic Piano Playground (USA)
14. The Parasites Of The Western World - A Rare Case Of The Blues (USA)
15. Mind Blowing Skit (USA)
16. Krzysztof Klenczon - Nie Przejdziemy Do Historii (Poland)
17. Chrysalis - April Grove (USA)
18. Sam Gopal - Angry Faces (UK)
19. Linn County - Suspended (USA)
20. Phluph - Love Eyes (USA)
21. George & Beatovens - Kde Ticho Umira (Czech Republic)
22. Andre Popp - Piccolo Et Saxo A Music City (France)
23. Rebecca And The Sunny Brook Farmers - Better Dead Than Red (USA)
24. The Split Level - Looking At The Rose Through World Colored Glasses (USA)
25. The Happenings - Imagine (USA)
Total time : 58mn36s

A Warning

A Warning To The Furious. It should come as no surprise that tonight's contemporary tale of  unknown terror takes it's inspiration from M.R. James' famous ghost story A Warning To The Curious. Smartly written and performed - it is to be applauded when radio dramas record on location like this, it makes all the difference in the world - the whole thing builds to a suitably unnerving climax. 
"A feminist film-maker and her crew visit the Suffolk coast to make a documentary about ghost story writer M.R. James. They hope to discover how an outwardly respectable bachelor could produce such disturbing horrors.

A scene from A Warning To The Curious (BBC 1972)

14 October 2011

The Hex

The M.R. James story Casting The Runes has been adapted for radio, television and film quite a few times in the 100 years since its publication. The most well known, the film Night Of The Demon is widely regarded as a horror classic. The Hex a 1981 BBC production, like Night Of The Demon, is a loose adaptation of the original James tale, but remains faithful to it's spirit, not to mention a jolly good listen on a dark autumnal evening...
"Like one that on a lonesome road doth walk in fear and dread, and having once turned round walks on, and turns no more his head; because he knows a frightful fiend doth close behind him tread. 
Professor James Montague has recently published a book on witch trials and now he's suddenly an authority on the occult. Cranks queue up to interview him though the book is a work of social history. One rainy evening, while visiting his old friends Dr. John Rhodes and his wife, Laura, Montague tells them something that has been bothering him. Recently, he gave an interview on radio to what he was told would be an eminent authority in his own field. Instead, it was a five-star crackpot by the name of Dr. S. M. Gardini. 
Montague became so irritated by Gardini that he called him crazy during the broadcast. This infuriated Gardini so much that he threatened to curse him, but oddly enough, a few days after the recording Gardini came around to Montague's to apologise. Before he left, Gardini gave James a book - a book that James would later come to realise masked a strange and inexorable curse: he has been 'hexed'. 
That was a week ago. Since then, James has had trouble sleeping and having nightmares - the type of nightmares he hasn't had since he was a child. Told not to worry too much about it, Montague leaves to go home, though it's still pouring rain outside. But while walking home, James senses someone or something following him... 

Night Of The Demon aka Curse Of The Demon (US)
1957 d. Jacques Tourneur