Thursday, October 06, 2016

Jamaican Halloween Spooktacular 2016 - Track Four - Medusa Parts 1 & 2

When you hear today's next terrifying tune you're going to think to yourself, "what the hell is going on here?  That doesn't sound very Jamaican."  And while I can agree that it definitely has more of a funkier American vibe than most of what I feature here on the blog, it is absolutely a Jamaican production!  As you can imagine in the early to mid-70s when funk was taking the world's dance floors by storm, the enterprising Jamaican artists and producers decided that instead of just listening to whatever was produced elsewhere why not create their own.  God knows there was the talent there to pull it off!  Take for instance producer Herman Chin Loy and his Aquarius studio, who had always been blurring the line between Jamaican and other genres of music since rocksteady had morphed into reggae.  On this track "Medusa Parts 1 & 2" originally released on the Aquarius label in 1971 or so and taken from Trojan's 2005 CD compilation Soul Power - Funky Kingston 2 - Reggae Dance Floor Grooves 1968-1974, Loy's studio band The Aquarians, posing as H2O, lay down some seriously funky shit!  And while the Medusa in question on the track is not the fearful snake-haired creature from Greek mythology that can turn man to stone simply by gazing upon her hideous face, if you listen to this one and don't want to strut your stuff on the nearest available dance floor or perhaps even the nearest available flat surface, you might want to check that your feet haven't been transformed into granite.  

Now to go off on a tangent, which October lends itself to all so well... speaking of Medusa.  I can't recommend enough the 1964 Hammer film retelling of the Medusa legend called The Gorgon.  While far from being Hammer's greatest, Terence Fisher's film has all the creepy atmosphere and foreboding of some of the studio's best.  And with both Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in lead roles yet again how could you possibly go wrong?  The story takes place in the early twentieth century in a remote German village which has had its share of murders over the years in which the victims had been found gorganized or turned to stone.  As expected the authorities don't investigate too deeply and Peter Cushing playing the role of the local doctor who has every intention of keeping his mouth shut about what he knows about the monster that lives in the castle outside of town.  When a professor's Bohemian son is accused of murdering his girlfriend and then offs himself, his father comes to investigate.  But once the father meets a "petrifying" demise, the big-gun Professor Karl Meister, played by Christopher Lee, comes in to get to the bottom of the spate of crimes.  I won't give away what happens but if you happen to find this one available for viewing somewhere this October, I definitely advise you to give it a look.  Just remember to watch The Gorgon with your back to the screen and in a mirror so you too don't become petrified when you lay eyes on the hideous creature!  It's a lot of fun!

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