Mmm. Blood meat.
“This album has no connection with Andy Warhol or the German people,” read the warning on Blutbraüer’s Bandcamp page. Of course, not everyone read the fine print, so some people have been swept away by the mythology that accompanied the January 2021 release of Andy Warhol’s meat for Wolfman, the debut album from a near-mysterious entity known as Blutbraüer. Believed to be the long-lost soundtrack to an unfinished horror film by the Pop Art mogul, the music of Andy Warhol’s meat for Wolfman is actually the work of the Seattle / LA duo of Corey J. Brewer and Erik Blood (Shabazz Palaces, Pink Lotion), with Select Level’s Joel Cuplin contributing on flute and saxophone. It’s fantastic on at least two levels.
But before we dive into the music, let’s tackle the backstory of Meat for Wolfman. Initially, Blood and Brewer promulgated a fictional story on social media and various blogs. This involved the discovery of tapes that Brewer had bought in a real estate sale; they had suffered “minor fire damage” but contained extraordinary music performed by two German musicians. Although in poor condition, the tapes appeared playable, and Brewer enlisted Blood’s help in transferring their content to digital. They uploaded a few tracks to their Bandcamp and asked the page visitors to contact them if they knew Blutbraüer’s identity. All sales funds went to the artists once identified.
The ruse tricked some, including a dude who bought the tape – released as a limited edition by SFI Recordings of Seattle – and tried to sell it online for $ 450. Faced with the truth, the seller allegedly lowered the price to $ 150 and replied “LOLOLOL”. Some bloggers, including Artist Home’s Anthony Kay, have added their own elaborations to the serpentine track of lies, even as hints have surfaced that the story is a good-natured underground music farce in the vein of Ursula Bogner and Clutchy. Hopkins (Google these names; we don’t have time to explain them here).
In the Internet age, of course, these kinds of stunts are extremely difficult to achieve. That didn’t deter Blood and Brewer, however. “We were betting that people knew this was fake news,” Blood said in an email interview, “but the fact that the majority of the attention we received was from people Who were Dupe says a lot about the power of a well-played lie. Either way, we’re going to continue the stories, make up movies, suggest we’ve tagged existing movies and been fired, etc. It’s a lot more fun than “here is an album”.
Brewer says he’s “Honestly shocked that we’ve been successful to any degree.” He emphasizes the idea that people are suckers for a mystery and it was “a fun way to find our audience.” Using pictures of our fathers from the 70s as a substitute really made me happy. On the other hand, lying literally makes Brewer physically ill, so the façade isn’t just fun and playful.
A few wolf men (in fact, these are photos of their fathers). Courtesy of Blutbraüer
Blood and Brewer have been fans of horror movies since they were young. The catwalk of the first was Friday the 13th Part 2, seen when he was 5 years old; the latter constantly watched horror films in his youth, but a meeting in 1999 with Manfred Hübler and Siegfried Schwab Vampyros Lesbos the soundtrack really stepped up its appreciation of the genre, then listened to Goblin’s classic sheet music again for Suspiria solidified his thirst for macabre themes. Both are also big fans of Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai’s many crucial forays into the realms of horror / giallo. Blood also cites Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite Bernard Herrmann as inspiration, while Brewer likes Stelvio Cipriani, Piero Umiliani and Henry Mancini.
Their exceptional musical taste, uh, bleeds into their own studio magic, like Meat for Wolfman amply proves. Said album was recorded remotely by Blood in LA and Brewer in Seattle. The record had been beating, uh, for years, but the pandemic fortuitously gave the duo time to get on with it, when all of their other plans were cut short. The lockdown “seemed perfect for an imaginary group,” Brewer says. “We wrote a plot summary and started picking out scenes for each of us, then after a sketch we emailed it to the other to flesh it out.”
In addition to guitars, bass, and drums (some of which were sampled), Blutbraüer used autoharp, Theremin, violin, and what Brewer describes as “a DIY noise generator that [produces] haunted house sounds. The opening punch of “Fleisch für Wolfsmann” and “Vorbereitung auf die Jagd” set the orchestral tone with a magnificently grotesque atmospheric pressure that would impress Serge Gainsbourg arranger Jean-Claude Vannier. The astonishing “Nachteulen” offers a glamorous windswept plot, a Herbie Flowers-like bass sound to kill and a Theremin motif to sigh. Carried by a gloriously baroque melody and stalking rhythm, “Wolfsangriff” lifts the hairs on your neck, then slices them.
Corn Meat for Wolfman isn’t all scary and morbidly gloomy. The organ-heavy krautrock of “Nachtclub Gesindel” comes out as Vanilla Fudge covering Can’s “Mother Sky” while “Tanz der Dysphorie” swings an anti-hymn to the dungeon floor with a desperate flute motif dragging on a bass and a autoharp. Although the cassette version is sold out, SFI plans to release a second set of cassettes and a vinyl reissue next spring, a press test that Blood says looks “fucking delicious.” And, of course, you can download Meat for Wolfman outside of Bandcamp.
Blutbraüer is already recording werewolfthe follow-up of, titled Seven grasshoppers in golden robes. Brewer says it is “inspired by an episode of the Fragments of Fear podcast (recommended) discussing the film. Black cat crimes. The director tried to get another giallo made with a similar name and we took it and ran with it. We came up with a plot and a cast and started writing. They are targeting a release in fall 2022 on SFI Recordings.
Outside of Blutbraüer, Blood and Brewer have a lot to do. Rachael Ferguson’s Blood and Pink Lotion are about to complete a new album; he finished producing two EPs by Postcard from the Badlands (one of which is an alternative score to the film Moon) and is currently working on an LP with Seattle band Night Hikes. Brewer recently performed a new score for Velvet vampire at the Capitol Theater in Olympia; his music will be released on cassette in the spring. His band ManDate is currently finishing their second album and Old Dark House — with Andrew Crawshaw — plans to start writing a new album soon.
Return to Meat for Wolfman, I rank it as high as the work of some of Europe’s most enthusiastic film composers and library-music ringers. Does Blood and Brewer see Blutbraüer’s releases as a way to gain attention and ultimately commissions from horror filmmakers?
Blood responds, “No, we just make music and it was a fun way for us to make music together.” “Even if that wasn’t the original goal, I would love it,” Brewer says. “WE ARE AVAILABLE.”