News of an in-progress zombie apocalypse from a couple of DJs might ring suspicious. Especially when you consider the source: Evil Nine are a couple of full-on horror geeks whose musical influences include obscure, often Italian, composers of gore film scores. There’s Goblin, the prog-rock quartet that scored the original Dawn of the Dead and Dario Argento’s Tenebrae. “We are feeling the Goblin plenty,” says Beaufoy, rhapsodizing about the band’s mixture of analog synths and traditional instruments, and how they “juxtapose the sinister with the quirky and drag it into the horror disco.” That, he says, “is very appealing to us. We like to juxtapose!”n
Juxtaposition, naturally, is the name of the DJ game, and the duo’s second album They Live (Marine Parade) is an aural mélange where their spaghetti-splatter inspirations meet and breed with the usual suspects: hip-hop, dancehall, dub, breakbeat and rock & roll in all flavors: a little cock rock, some mod/power-pop, new wave and what have you. “Dead Man Coming” samples E9 favorite Fabio Frizzi, composer of scores for the Lucio Fulci films The Beyond, Zombi 2 (better known in the States as Zombie), and City of the Living Dead, to form an ominous dread beat over which Toastie Taylor toasts. “How Do We Stop the Normals?” uses (not literally) a Revolution-era Prince party groove reminiscent of “Baby, I’m a Star” with a dirty punk bass line and more disconcerting mood music that may or may not be culled from extant horror scores.n
The whole of They Live could be an updated version of what Goblin and Frizzi were doing, which is a nice, original twist in the DJ genre, where ideas are clearly in short supply if “artists” are resorting to cheap gimmicks, like DJ-AM and his Phil Collins shtick. Then again, Evil Nine doesn’t just play horror-inspired music; they go all out with full zombie costumes and makeup for every show. It’d be gooey if not shticky, were E9 not imaginative and skilled enough to draw comparisons to Daft Punk and the Beastie Boys, artists who may feed off of other artists’ work, but merely pick at it, instead of feasting like undead, untalented gluttons.
“Just as being a zombie begins with a bite, so, too, we were bitten with the desire to make kick-ass tunes,” says Beaufoy. “As a zombie, you don’t really overthink things. Brains are what you want, and brains are what you get—so, too, with our music production. We just stumble around in the dark until we find what we were lookin’ for—which, in general, is super-awesome beats, [or] brains.”n
Evil Nine does hunger for more, eventually. As the bite’s infection shambles through their systems, they felt compelled to create more of what they consume, thus providing their own sustenance. “To be the modern Goblin, Goblin 2012, could be the way that we are going,” says Beaufoy. “We’d love to get involved with making soundtracks for movies and, now that we’ve formed our live offshoot, we’re starting to get together the live instrumentalists we need to pull off the super-horror-soundtrack-group in a Goblin style.”n
The zombies are coming. You’ve been warned.
nIn the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, Sunday Feb. 8, 9 p.m.