Boards of Canada – Geogaddi
The Scottish duo’s 2002 album keeps much of the nostalgic sentiment that made their first album a cult classic, but turns those childhood feelings in a darker direction.
The duo’s fascination with the occult, coupled with unsettling instrumentals, creates an otherworldly version of childhood. Take “1969,” where a downtempo beat is paired with a digitally manipulated vocal sample. It focuses on David Koresh of the Branch Davidians, who were besieged by the FBI in 1993 and ended with 79 dead, including Koresh. This coupling creates feelings of anxiety that run through much of the album.
Overall, this album is just plain creepy. There is the runtime too, which is 66:06 — perhaps a joke or a sign? Also, the web series Salad Fingers took its theme from this album.
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Vol. II
While anything with “ambient” in its title may not cause immediate scares, this is an album that becomes more unnerving the more you listen.
The 1994 sequel to the classic Selected Ambient Works 85–92 consists mostly of rhythmless soundscapes, but not for relaxing while falling asleep. Instead, it evokes feelings of being lost in the woods, or stuck in an abandoned power station. Nevertheless, this isn’t just a soundtrack to a nightmare, as some tracks are beautiful. The third track is a nice break from the claustrophobia in much of the album.
Most songs are untitled, which causes the album to blend together after long periods of listening. With a runtime of over two and a half hours, this album is a slow burner, but will catch you off guard with its eerie soundscapes.
Current 93 – Dogs Blood Rising
This experimental group is known for its wide variety of releases, ranging from occult-influenced industrial to folk songs that sound straight from the medieval era.
Dogs Blood Rising, from 1984, is from the band’s industrial iteration. Aside from that, this album cannot be simply explained, and borders on disturbing. No one track is stranger than the others, as all focus on some aspect of the occult and the devil. The instrumentals are filled with sections of white noise, feedback, and droning. The vocals are truly otherworldly, as the wailing and moaning sound like a possessed soul.
This album is truly a soundtrack for hell.
Farrah Abraham – My Teenage Dream Ended
Some horror movies are great because of how awful they are. Take Birdemic, a 21st century ripoff of Hitchcock’s The Birds, and one of the best-worst movies ever. Farrah Abraham’s 2012 release My Teenage Dream Ended does not fit into the category of “so-bad-it’s-good” — it’s horrifyingly bad. See what I did there?
Anyways, this is the worst album I have ever heard. At 27 minutes, it’s excruciating; even seconds in it’s unbearable. Most tracks consist of generic dance instrumentals with the reality star’s autotuned vocals. Also, her lyrics are delivered in a rushed manner, as if she wrote too much for the album. These confessional lyrics detail raising a kid on the show Teen Mom, and then deciding to film a “sex tape” that was “accidentally leaked.”
If this piques your interest, there’s a book companion for the album. When it comes to Farrah Abraham, though, I’ll stay far away from either.