Makeup and Vanity Set – Zytel Systems: System I: Horror

Way back in September of 2017, electronic artist Makeup and Vanity Set released a series of daily tunes inspired by various horror movies. The 31-track compilation of these tracks has been avalable to his Bandcamp subscribers for some time but only recently made more widely available. Despite these songs now being four years old, they are the perfect soundtrack to creating an ominous soundtrack vibe for the month of October.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with the works of MAVS will pick up on the fact that horror movies have served as an inspiration since the very beginning. Works like his Charles Park series, the 88:88 soundtrack or the more recent Monster podcast scores are seeping in foreboding tones. A series of songs inspired by classic and cult horror films isn’t a stretch by any means but it’s a riveting listen to have the curtain pulled back and know that what you’re hearing is specifically intended to stem from a given film.

The inspiration spans a surprisingly wide gamut of works; from The Wicker Man to Train to Busan to The Omen to Hellraiser you’ve got everything from folk horror to modern zombies to occult thriller to body horror classics covered in full fashion. The selections themselves aren’t entirely surprising but the interpretation of the films are fascinating. MAVS manages to evoke the films cited but without simply taking the existing themes and running them through his synth setup.

It’s rare to hear an artist pay homage to their sources of inspiration with original works. Many artists may provide their interpretation of a cover (which is great, don’t get me wrong) but it’s a damn treat to get to hear new works that tie back to the music that inspired them to start making their own in the first place. These songs are a compelling execution of tunes that just so happen to be the absolutely perfect soundtrack for the month. In the words of MAVS himself, “Hopefully these tracks will provide a soundtrack to some night driving, street wandering, Halloween creeps.”

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