In a terrific recent interview with Fact, influential musician and Finders Keepers Records founder Andy Votel states that one of the main goals behind their terrific Jean Rollin soundtrack series is, "to present Rollin fans with something that they’ve deserved for a long time", and to hopefully, "open up his work to another generation of open-minded viewers." Votel isn't just spouting off typical PR bullshit here as the man is clearly a great fan of Jean Rollin, and these Finders Keepers releases are are real works of passion looking, in part, to help spread the great Rollin legacy to a whole new audience.
Finders Keepers have recently released the newest editions to their Jean Rollin soundtrack library, Pierre Raph's score for Requiem for a Vampire and Philippe D'Aram's score for Fascination, as 2 gorgeous ten-inch vinyl editions and as a single combo-CD. These discs feature the most complete versions of both scores ever released and are accompanied by informative and moving liner notes by the great Daniel Bird.
Votel likened putting together these soundtracks to, "detective work" to Fact and admits that, with especially Requiem for a Vampire that, "a lot of the original parts and tapes were missing, so the project is made up of a mixture of studio recordings and music taken from the film reels." While this is a bit unfortunate, the fact that both of these releases are so compulsively listenable and enjoyable is a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of Votel and the entire Finders Keepers team.
Of the two releases, Fascination is absolutely the most sonically pleasing. D'Aram's score sounds incredibly inviting and rich and Finders Keepers disc serves as a reminder to just how truly great D'Aram's work for Rollin was. Playful, sensual and extremely haunting, the music from Fascination stands with any of the many great soundtracks from the late seventies and this new release is a perfect way to celebrate it. Daniel Bird's notes are, not surprisingly, wonderful as well and he continues to be able to mix scholarly and personal writing, with an incredibly sharp historical perspective, like no other film writer on the planet.
The Requiem for a Vampire soundtrack sounds like it was a much more difficult project for Votel and company to put together as a number of tracks are indeed taken from the film reels Votel mentioned to Fact. Votel explained to Fact that, "Requiem was a film that was almost a no-go from the outset due to the music and dialogue channels on the original print being bounced into one then replaced with a badly dubbed version with distorted music on the music channel", and that he could have released, "this record as stand-alone music and arguably de-Rollinise it" but thankfully he hasn't done that. So as it stands, the soundtrack for Requiem for a Vampire is a wonderfully imperfect piece of bliss that offers up one of the most challenging, and forward thinking, scores of the seventies in the most complete version currently possible. Votel holds out the hope that one day the studio-tapes might surface but, until then, this is a fine release that has many pleasures, including Bird's powerful and moving notes, far outweighing any sonic imperfections.
The Requiem for a Vampire and Fascination soundtracks from Finders Keepers join their Le Frisson des Vampires, Jeunes Filles Impudiques and The B-Music of Jean Rollin releases as loving reminders to the power of Jean Rollin's artistic legacy. A big thanks to Andy Votel, Daniel Bird and the entire team at Finders Keepers Records for releasing all of these and I certainly hope more are on the way (The Iron Rose PLEASE!!!). These are really special releases that will bring a lot of joy to longtime Jean Rollin fans, as well as turning on a lot of new ones.