Label Spotlight – Death Waltz Recording Co.

In the spirit of Halloween, this week we’re shining our spotlight on horror-heavy-weights, Death Waltz. Founded by Spencer Hickman, former manager of Rough Trade East and avid horror film nut, Death Waltz Recording Company focuses its energy on producing high-end collectable vinyl reissues of classic creepy soundtracks featuring extensive liner notes from composers and directors and exclusive artwork specially tailored for each release. Usually pressed on limited edition (and very creative) colored wax, these records are fun to collect and even more fun to spin. With great titles like Prince Of Darkness, Donnie Darko,  Let The Right One In, Halloween II & III, and so much more, Death Waltz is a label after our own bleeding hearts.

Tell us about Death Waltz Recording Co. What inspired you to start it?

My love of film scores and art are what inspired me and the fact that I knew we could release beautiful vinyl versions that collectors would cherish.

How do the projects come about? Are you tracking down artists for permission or going straight to publishers etc?

Each one is different so there is no hard and fast rule. I love working with the composers and directors because that’s how we get sleeve notes for our releases, I guess I am working more and more with labels and publishers as the label grows, it’s a steep learning curve but one I am relishing.

Tell us about the graphic design of the label. Who does it? Each release has a similar look and layout. It’s a nice touch and lends itself to easy identification in record shops. Plus, the color vinyl is really amazing. The splatter blood pattern on the Zombi 2 LP is sick!

So each cover art is done by someone different , someone that I feel fits the style of the film or soundtrack, but the design of the sleeves and layout is done by a really great friend Tim Fowler from April Design  he is super easy to work with and just gets the vibe of what we are trying to achieve with DW. Colour vinyl is just a nice touch and now you can do really amazing things like mixing colours and having different effects on the wax.

Obviously these releases you’re doing are from fairly well known cult films and the scores are by legendary composers (and the film’s directors in some cases) but what do they think of the reissues? Are they surprised that people are interested?

Some are Fabio Frizzi (who is one of my all time favourite composers) was amazed at the response and absolutely loves Zombi 2, I’m really excited to be working with him on some future releases. Alan Howarth has been an absolute star too. It’s completely humbling for me to be in touch with these folks and work with them because they influenced me so much when I was growing up.

Got any upcoming releases on the horizon you can spill the beans on yet?

Working on some crazy stuff for RSD13 (top secret) but we have just inked a deal with Hammer Films which will see a fully remastered vinyl collection of their back catalogue being released, we have Sette Note In Nero coming out (famously used in Kill Bill) we are doing a super ltd release of the Fog on glow green vinyl, we have some Cronenberg on the horizon too. Exciting times.

Check out for more spooky titles from Death Waltz and stay tuned! Lot of exciting releases coming from these guys in the future!