A remix project over a year in the making, Tonight of the Living Dead is a collage of restructured audio taken from the 1968 George Romero film Night of the Living Dead.
With their tendency for darkish music told mostly through samples, remixing Night of the Living Dead is a solo-project ideally suited to Craig Varian, one half of 400 Lonely Things who is indebted to this movie for introducing him to the world of horror cinema through a 19" black and white TV in the early 70's. A more specific need arose to build upon a lesser-known legacy of this film: the ground-breaking precedent of plunderphonics and remixing established in the composition of the original soundtrack.
Crew and cast members Karl Hardman and Marilyn Eastman, under the editorial supervision of George Romero, took recordings by other composers from stock film music libraries - many of which had already appeared in other movies and television shows - and then "augmented them electronically" to form their own original score for Night of the Living Dead. 400 Lonely Things has extended this notion of augmentation by using mutated samples from the film itself (many with their excellent foley work intact) as the only ingredients, and woven these treatments into a subtle and creepy audio companion that should appeal as much to fans of the film as it will to listeners of dark ambient, plunderphonics and experimental music. That appeal may even extend to fans of classical music and soundtracks in general.
While the film is noted for how it straddles a line between social commentary and drive-in shlock with a kind of clunky elegance, 400 Lonely Things' Tonight of the Living Dead focuses on the more understated and haunting moments of this movie, drawing out the sense of bewildering relentlessness and hypnotic inevitability as the characters wait in an old farm-house for the world to end.
"Fascinating CD. I found the album very memory invoking. Listening to Tonight of the Living Dead was like musically leaping back in time to relive all the nuances of my character Barbra’s struggle to survive all the horrific night terrors forced on her in Night of the Living Dead... a soul searching CD."
"BARBRA" IN GEORGE ROMERO'S NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
"It's clear from the finished product that 400 Lonely Things' album is meant as a sincere tribute to the zombie masterpiece."
RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE
“400 Lonely Things has nailed a hard-to-find sub-genre of dark music on the head, that many of us in the horror community have been yearning for. ... More than just a CD for fans of the macabre.”
“Now this is cool... A genuine tribute to a deserving classic.”
“A fantastic dark atmosphere.”
“Awesome... A must have for genre-fans.”
“...A tool for horror fans to relive one of the greatest horror films ever made in a whole new way. Highly recommended."
SEND MORE COPS
“The mood evoked in Tonight of the Living Dead remains consistent throughout... a pervading, quiet terror.”
SCOTT KENEMORE, author THE ZEN OF ZOMBIE
“It’s definitely worth a listen.”
THE SLAUGHTERED LAMB CINEMA
released August 1, 2008
Craig Varian and various composers / editors / augmenters.