Cadabra Records have in a few years emerged as specialists in covering a niche segment of the spoken words department of entertainment, focusing on horror stories being read in a more or less theatrical manner, played out just as much as merely read at times. The stories are backed by sounds and melodies to enhances the theatrical aspect, and the label have chosen to release these as vinyl only productions. The most recent of these creations is Thomas Ligotti’s “The Bungalow House”, which is due for release on May 11th 2018. Jon Padgett is the reader on this occasion, while the sounds, effects and music comes courtesy of Chris Bozzone.
I will not reveal all that much about the plot and story of this one, as this is a production I feel is best experienced without having too much knowledge about the subject matter – and those aware of this story will not need to be presented this one in greater detail either obviously.
We are taken on a trip into unreality here, initially a tad exotic and esoteric, and then gradually we are transported into a steadier more murky and unreal existence, where we doubt the reality of what is going on and why it is going on in a manner that few other authors are able to accomplish these days. The shadows of Lovecraft and Poe linger over this tale to some extent, without being a trip into the universes of either, as the story and the words have a more Earthen and reality based tinge to them, which so splendidly contrasts the break down of reality as we become immersed in this story. Obsession is a facet of this story that is explored very well indeed, but other themes have perhaps a stronger role to play.
Padgett does a most excellent job as the reader here, possibly making this particular story a more stirring one in this shape than as a story one can read in a book. Combined with the sounds of Bozzone they manage to twist reality and create that troubling, otherworldly feeling that is oh so effective in horror stories. That the conclusion also can be experienced as being somewhat open-ended and can be interpreted in a few different manners is a most satisfying small detail here, and even if regarded in a strict realistic manner the conclusion is just about as satisfying as if it isn’t. Those who have read up on a good number of horror stories may guess at the conclusion not too long in, but even so the manner in which everything is, possibly, resolved at the end is still done in a manner most satisfactory indeed.
If you enjoy well made horror stories presented and performed in a theatrical manner, complete with effects and music backdrops, this is a production that warrants an inspection. To the point of getting hold of an old fashioned record player to be able to listen to this production, as it is a vinyl only production. If you have a record player, pre-orders are available. If you don’t have a record player, check if someone you know has one. 500 copies will be made of this production, and at least in my opinion all of them deserves to be heard and treasured like the brilliant gem this production is.
My rating: 100/100
Thomas Ligotti’s “The Bungalow House”