Aphex Twin - "Matchsticks"

When I first discovered the dark ambient music genre and its subsequent use in my home haunt display, it was—of all places—in my wife's CD collection.

Buried in with all of her other CDs that I never thought too highly of, was an obscure double-CD by some band that I had never heard of called Aphex Twin.

And I hate to admit it, but she was the one who first told me to listen to it, saying it had a creepy sound that would tie-in to the Halloween season.

So I popped the Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 2 CD into the player and pushed "play."

The audio that came through those speakers ABSOLUTELY floored me. I immediately fell in love with the hauntingly dark atmospheric sounds unlike anything I had really heard before. I listened to that CD for the rest of the night, amazed at what I was hearing...

And then it hit me. These tracks would make the perfect audio backdrop for my haunt display! No traditionally-structured songs, no immediately recognizable instruments and no vocals. The music would sit "behind" the display, serving only to add an incredible element of tension and creepiness to the visual elements.

I ended up using 6 different tracks from that Aphex Twin release for my display that year, and those tracks were used again for the following 3 or 4 years. It was the first time that I had really focused on the audio aspect of my haunt and what a truly good soundtrack could do to enhance the overall haunt experience.

Every Halloween season, I still go back and listen to that original 6-song playlist. And every time I do, I hear the first note of the first song and I get an incredibly warm, nostalgic feel. The track Matchsticks was the first track used and it is still one of my favorite dark ambient tracks of all time.

So take a walk down the Highbury Cemetery memory lane and enjoy Matchsticks by Aphex Twin.


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