It’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, it’s all together ooky... Okay, apologies to Vic Mizzy (writer of the Addams Family theme song), but Music for the Zombie Apocalypse, a new 20 track digital album from the fertile mind of Naxos’s Collin J. Rae is everything Mizzy mentions in the song and then some. It’s also brilliantly offbeat, eerie and, at times, simply gorgeous. If zombies are this year’s vampires (horror trends are fickle), then this is the ideal soundtrack for stepping out with the walking dead.
The album is marvelously eclectic. It opens with a brilliant musical around the horn as the Introit of the Fauré Requiem leads into a passage from the Schütz Seven Last Words of Christ and then to Penderecki’s Polymorphia. Styles, tonalities and atonalities constantly crash, collide and blend, but ultimately it all hangs together. If it was a little odd hearing the slow movement of the Schubert Piano Trio No. 2, it was because Stanley Kubrick used it so effectively in a very different context in his film Barry Lyndon. But Kubrick was also a master of taking classical music and using it to evoke fear and anxiety and ultimately calm, just as the album does (fans of the The Shining will surely remember the Adagio from Bartok’s Music for strings, percussion and celesta being used to accompany the scene where Jack Nicholson stares vacantly into space from his hotel bed).
Music for the Zombie Apocalypse works as a terrific soundtrack for your darkest thoughts, but also as a sampler of some superb music spanning the Middle Ages to the present day. I can only imagine what Rae has on tap next, Music for the 2012 Presidential Election? Now, that’s spooky.