Tusques, Francois – “La Reine Des Vampires 1967” – [Finders Keepers Records]
Out-takes to a further out French film
Possibly the first French vampire film (or was it supposed
to be like Dark Shadows, a running melodrama).
The music certainly has a haunted feel, the sax of Barney Wilen
gives an edgy “Angel Heart” flavor, with bouts of sweetness in
whirlwinds of suspicion. The skeetering violin of Eddie Gaumont
is what cranks up the tension, often flying at angles to Wilen’s
sax, or pizzicato plucked like that spider-alien in Carpenter’s
“The Thing” remake. Echo is slapped all over both of those gents
(and at times overdubs too, notably nice and nightmarish on
the “Rejected Theme 1.”Interesting that Gaumont is a drummer
too, as his approach to the violin was certainly percussive on this.
The B-side has some incidental discussion perhaps between
musicians and friends, or maybe the Queen of the vampires turned
up herself. Let in through an open window, and kept mostly in the
shadows. Many tracks stop brusquely. On the A-side, I really
feel Tusque took his piano composition and drove the players
off the score (and possibly mixed them at angles?). The piano
does show up at the end, on the last must be first take. Tusques
intentionally removing himself, as he writes in the liners. By the
way he’s still releasing music as of this year. so possible vampire
himself!?! Killer artwork (as can be expected from Finders-Keepers)
Filing it under jazz though it has its soundtrack place.