The Grindhouse Sounds of Isaac Williams

Nearly every afternoon last week, my wife came home to me blasting music out of my laptop while I read on the living room couch. Despite a stack of half a dozen vinyl LPs awaiting review, I couldn’t stop listening to Isaac Williams’ Soundcloud mixtapes. Going back four years, Williams’ mixes all cull their sounds from cult and exploitation film scores and trailers, but the shapes they sonically take are astonishingly diverse.

The latest is entitled Trailer Trash Vol. 1, and is over an hour of perfectly-mixed movie trailers. That might be some varsity level stuff for mixtape lovers, but given the variety available, you don’t have to go far to find something a little more musical. The most-recent mix prior to Trailer Trash is an hour and a quarter of terrifying space jams from John Carpenter, Daft Punk, Sinoia Caves, and more.

The two SpookyGhoulish EPs collect a ton of horror-themed rockabilly and novelty tunes, and definitely break the movie music theme which dominates the majority of the mixes on Williams’ Soundcloud. If you were ever a Dr. Demento fan, or have dug into the likes of oddball Crypt Records compilations, this is absolutely your jam.

There’s rather more danceable cuts from years past, as well — Heavy Traffic definitely takes its cues from the Ralph Bakshi film of the same name, and gets down rather solidly, as does Sex/Death DayDreams in a Disco Nightmare, an insanely-wonderful giallo disco compilation, Counter-balance this with the likes of the various metal mixes, and there’s something to suit every taste. The only connecting thread is the absolute care and quality with which Williams has put this all together. Factor in his original compositions, as well, and the hours of material on his Soundcloud ought to be your soundtrack for the next week, just as mine was.

Recommended starting points include everything previously mentioned, but also the very first two mixes Williams ever posted, Drivein Party DeLux parts 1 and 2. They both weave trailers, music, and dialogue into seamless collections of fun that need to live in your ears as often as possible. The two combined are nearly two and a half hours of absolute fun, and if you don’t like these, you’re definitely not going to be ready for the rest.

Movie fan or music fan (and you’re reading Cinepunx, so we assume both, yeah?), Williams’ mixtapes ought to be your new jam. Pull up the page on your laptop or phone, and get to digging.

Nick Spacek

Nick Spacek

Nick Spacek writes about films scores in his monthly OST column for Starburst Magazine (http://www.starburstmagazine.com), and can be found talking about movie soundtracks via the From & Inspired By podcast (http:///www.fromandinspiredby.com). He was once a punk, but realized you can't be hardcore and use the word "adorable" as often as he does.
Nick Spacek
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