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The Paranormal

(Mothership; US: 10 Jun 2009; UK: 7 Jun 2009)

A glance at the cover should give you a good clue as to what expect from your experience with The Paranormal. There is something amiss in a dusky woodland trail scene, as a figure reminiscent of the possessed Ash from Evil Dead II is seen wandering onto the path ahead. He is slinking out of the darkness toward you, coming to run his greasy hand up your spine, swallow your soul, and make you move in uncouth ways. The debut album from Tanner Ross and KiloWatts’ new project, Voodeux captures this level of unease with an eerie grace. Listen to it at high volume after dark and alone, and you will hear it all. The Paranormal is a creepy, creepy record.

To be fair, Tanner Ross and James “Kilo” Watts are not exactly reinventing the wheel with this record. At its root, The Paranormal is a straightforward techno long-player, ignoring the slippery downtempo intro “The End” and loping yet sickly beautiful oddball breaks anomaly “3rd Floor”. What makes Voodeux work and puts them over the top is their attention to detailed, pure sound. While their song structures are often typical for the genre, the sounds they find and create to ornament them are extremely well chosen and composed to create a palpable sense of ominous dread.

Listening to The Paranormal is like watching a new Alfred Hitchcock film inside your own head. I can still see flashes… and the smells, Jim! They’d melt your face… burning flesh… buckets of puss and bile… pickled appendages… eyeballs on skewers… pestilent, boiling tubs of rendering human fat… it’s like a demon shawarma plate. So… um… let’s just say The Paranormal should not be messed with unless you’re prepared to become uncomfortable and love every second of it. Expect the nasty business.


Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


Voodeux - Bones (Live at Mothership Party)
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