Blair Witch Mix

The Blair Witch Project - Josh's Blair Witch Mix
(Chapter III Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)

By Tony Bonyata

Just in time for the holiday comes a frightful collection of modern day dirges, requiems and musical terrors that would fit as comfortably at a Halloween Ball as at a young witch's inaugural Black Mass.
By now, through media over-hype, most of know the story of The Blair Witch Project, a raw horror film / faux documentary shot on a shoestring. For those who have spent the last few months in a cave here's the lowdown; three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary on the myths and legends surrounding an alleged witch who has been killing children for centuries. Although the films students were never heard from again, a year later their footage was found.
The whole propaganda behind the movie was brilliantly executed, from a web site devoted to the history of the witch and the story of the three filmmakers (all very deceptive fiction) to televised specials perpetrating the myth and extensive media hype in major publications, T.V. and radio.
The soundtrack for the film is not actually a soundtrack at all, since none of the music on it is featured in the movie, but rather another small piece of evidence in the disappearance of the three film students. Entitled Josh's Blair Witch Mix it is being passed off as Joshua Leonard's, one of the missing filmmakers, own mix of music on a cassette found in his car in the woods after their disappearance.
From Josh's taste in music it's no wonder that these kids became so frightened so soon into the movie. Ranging from post punk, goth rock, menacing techno and thrashing industrial music Josh's Blair Witch Mix slowly pulls its listeners deep into a downward spiral
Although briefly interspersed with dialog from the movie it's the creepy music that's enough to give anyone the willies. The album opens with poet, musician and underground dominatrix Lydia Lunch solemnly whispering her will to join her deceased lover on her suicide note number "Gloomy Sunday." Her sad, detached vocals sit blankly over a morose piano and caterwauling saxophone expressing her wish to no longer carry on alone. Goth-fathers Bauhaus, long known for their ghoulish nocturnal music, are featured with their 1983 number "Kingdom's Coming", a song which, with it's bright acoustic guitar and almost cheerful piano, would seem out of place if not for singer Peter Murphy's deep, sinister vocals. The haunting notes from a dusty harpsichord tip-toe through a mist of ambient wind as Siouxsie Sioux, from Siouxsie and The Banshees, eeks out her lyrics in deadpan form on The Creatures "Don't Go To Sleep Without Me".
The mix takes on a decidedly harder and darker side with numbers from Laibach ("God Is God" filled with demonic chanting and pounding Aryan industrial beats), Type O Negative (the foreboding metal dirge "Haunted"), Skinny Puppy ("Draining Faces" an industrial piece full of ominous clanking, ghost winds, unintelligible talking and other undefinable sounds of dread) and Public Image Ltd. ("The Order Of Death" where onetime-Sex Pistol singer John Lydon drones out the redundant lyrics, "this is what you want, this is what you get" over and over amidst early 80s post punk synthesizers).
Like the film The Blair Witch Project, Josh's Blair Witch Mix gets to the core of human fear without actually ever having to see it.

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