What’s the spookiest night of the year without a playlist full of bangers that’ll make you simultaneously turn up and shit your pants? Here’s UTM’s homage to the tracks that go bump in the
oOoOO – 3:51 AM
If you’re gonna make spooky bangers, you need an appropriately spooky name – this guy nailed it. The track is not the nail-biting, poo-your-pants scary but the legitimately scary feeling of everything being wonky and you’re not in control of what’s happening – and the sad acceptance of such a life.
‘3:51 AM’ is the audio representation of Labyrinthitis – it’s like walking around on marshmallows, slowly bouncing and waving around without the ability to correct the world spinning around you. There’s nothing more legitimately scary than feeling out of control.
Footsie – Spookfest (ft. JME, D Double E, Jammer, P Money & Chronik)
Produced by Footsie, ‘Spookfest’ quite comfortably sits in this list of essential spooky bangers. One of its defining features is the instrumental, which has an eerie, chilly sorta feel. I said chilly, but the beat is just plain cold af, making it an instant grime classic.
Footsie starts off with his introductory verse, and there’s no messing around. Whilst at first it’s quite catchy and hook-like, the verse evolves into something more troublesome. JME then follows with “I’m sick/I used to be on foot on the strip, but that’s not the lick so man copped a whip… Now feds wanna search my shit/Like 99 problems…”. All of his wisdom literally rolls of the tongue, and he’s unsurprisingly right. Ain’t nothing spookier than feds all up in your shit, however JME maintains composure, showing he’s far too cunning to be afraid of being caught (albeit for nothing, might I add).
Jammer, D Double E, P Money and Chronik all feature on this track, making it a great posse cut (ICYMI this track features on the list of best posse tracks). P Money delivers another memorable line, rapping “How you gonna come against a team full of winners/With a flow that’s way more amateur, they’re beginners/I never use the “n word”, but you know what, today I really ain’t fucking around with these N-words *Redacted* ‘Nigels’”. He delivered this in typical P fashion, and was able to confuse me in the process. What a guy!
Not forgetting to mention another from Chronik, “Run up in the yard 3D man’s wife/DDT man’s child”. Probably the most quotable reference from this song and it has me in stitches still.
The Hives – A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors
The Hives haven’t been relevant for many years now, but their Black & White Album sticks in my head still to this day, the sole reason being this track. Around the usual Hivey-screamy-tick-boom-HAH! of the album was this creepy gem – ‘A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors’.
It’s a lo-fi organ track that plods along, wailing with an ethereal restraint as it goes, like a stranded spirit trying to pierce the veil. I actually managed to catch them on the Black & White Album tour, and they played this before they walked on stage. It was all downhill from there.
(Bonus spook: the fucking creepy Chinese oil paintings someone used to accompany this track, wtf?!)
Dizzee Rascal – Couple Of Stacks
Where to start with this one? On 31st October 2014, Dizzee Rascal reminded everyone – especially me – just how legendary he is by dropping a Halloween special in the form of ‘Couple of Stacks’. Footsie again was on hand to produce another spooky instrumental, more explicitly so than what we had for ‘Spookfest’.
The video is so disgustingly gruesome and sadistic that YouTube requires viewers to sign in to verify they are over 18. It makes for quite uncomfortable viewing, seeing Dizzee slash and decapitate his victims in a myriad of creative ways; and props to him as he’s still better at it than Jigsaw. What’s more fascinating is that he just never seems to stop rapping, and better still it doesn’t get boring. He starts off with a hook, “Couple of stacks’ll put the boys on your back/couple of stacks’ll make the ratch go click-clack”. Then quite bluntly there’s, “I’ll kill you/I’ll kill everything you stand for/Cause you’re a bitch and a manwhore”.
Whilst this gory persona was only adopted for Halloween, it was intriguing to see this side of Dizzee, after having grown accustom to the well-known likeable figure. One thing is for certain, this spooky banger made many jaws drop on a special Halloween in 2014. Special Halloween… in 2014… pop punk is back y’all.
Clams Casino – Crystals
Ya boy Clammy Clams has been about with the spooky bangers for a long time, but ‘Crystals’ has got to be one of his best. The track was an exclusive for GTA V featuring on the phenomenal FlyLo FM (fuck that guy now, tho), and it made driving around like a madman feel more like a psychological horror game than a GTA game.
I imagine this is what it sounds like inside Trevor’s head – the frenetic synths bubble to the surface as he rips off his wife-beater, swinging a machete around indiscriminately. Rockstar should’ve done a Friday 13th mode instead of fucking about with Hot Wheels, tbh.
NΣΣT – Boo
NΣΣT streamed the entire creative process of his Halloween 2015 offering ‘Boo’ on YouTube. With the VOD clocking in at 7 hours and 23 minutes, it’s a scary amount of time to be sat ogling a YouTube video – but it’s fruitful nonetheless if you’re into looking for an insight into a talented musician’s workspace. ‘Boo’ itself is a spin on the Danny Elfman classic ‘This Is Halloween’ – complete with fat bass synths, distorted riffs and a mischievous “OHHHH-HO-HO-HO-HO” sample from the panty-mask wearing heroine of the anime Shimoneta.
pnkblnkt – welcome
Something about Gregorian chanting is really fucking creepy. Maybe it’s the imagery that accompanies it – the occult, sacrifice… and old money sex parties like in Eyes Wide Shut.
pnkblnkt has somehow converted that archaic, unsettling sound and used it throughout his 2016 release Cozy, and it really shouldn’t have worked as well as it did. It goes to show how talented the guy who literally wears a pink blanket on his head really is – to take something really creepy and make a consistently amazing album with it is the sign of a great musician.
It went a long way in helping me forget about creepy old money sex parties, too.
Salem – King Night
WITCH HOUSE WAS FUCKING GREAT.
Ducky – Spooky Track
Wow, sure was nice of Ducky to pen a ‘Spooky Track’ for those of us who are totally apathetic towards the idea of Halloween and Halloween-themed music and yet still need to blend in with the societal norm of celebrating the ghoulish occasion. SPOOKY TRACK. SO SPOOKY. AM I SPOOKY YET?