Songs in the Key of Death is a strange album, but a great listen taken in small doses. It is a 23 track mixed compilation that gathers together many odd pieces of music.
The official statement about the disc is that it
ranges from Eastern European psychedelia to Krautrock to funky folk to French pop to soundtracks to dancefloor jazz to Japanese soul!
This comp is a follow-up to Andy Votel's similar Music to Watch Girls Cry from 2003. The two discs even have similar cartoons on the cover (the other CD had an orange cover).
There are 70 some odd tracks mixed into the 23 pieces offered on the disc, and many snippets of movie dialogs and ephemera. A lot of thought was put into this mix, and the result is pretty amazing. This is ideal stuff to put on a mix tape. Any of these tracks would be great on a college radio show too, but you would have to be sure the track you played didn't have any curses. Track 14 would be great to play on the air if it weren't for the gal's cursing of herself when she looks in the mirror after taking acid and seeing what she is wearing.
Track 2 has Polish 60s go-go music with female vocals and wild organ. Track 7 has a Bollywood sound. Track 8 (and several others) use 70s acid rock - complete with solos and jams - in their fabric. Track 3 includes parts of Rodriguez' Only Good For Conversation from his Cold Fast album.
Along with Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy), Andy Votel is the label manager of Manchester's Twisted Nerve Records, as well as a recording artist for XL. He has compiled other records as well, such as Now is the Winter of our Discount Tents for Twisted Nerve, and Vertigo Remixed for Family Recordings.
This is a very neat record to own, though you won't have any idea who does all the neat tracks you come to love within these 23 pieces.