Daily Dead is proud to debut the music video for “Ratimis,” the title track from the full-length album by electronic artist Brahm, available beginning today from Swedish Columbia Records. Directed by cult filmmaker Damon Packard, a lifelong independent director known for movies like Reflections of Evil and Foxfur, the “Ratimis” video is comprised of clips from a number of horror films all set to the pulsing electronic score of Brahm's music.

Brahm (aka Chaz Barber), a lifelong fan of horror, exploitation, and genre films, incorporates his passion for cinema into his songs in ways that are both understated and overt, but always unique. “Whenever I work on music, there is always a film, TV show, scene, score from a film, or even some simple bit of TV nostalgia that I remember seeing as a kid,” Barber says. “I always attempt to create some kind of visual through my songs and try to pack in as much as possible within a ‘pop’ format (3–4 minutes) to keep the momentum building, which can be challenging with instrumental music.”

Ratimis, Brahm’s fourth full-length release, is an ambitious concept album about a future city devoid of media, save for one last broadcasting station. Civilization has been devastated after the A.I. unit R.A.T.I. (Reactive Arbitrating Terminal Intelligence) became so sentient that it decided shutting itself down was best. Now, the few survivors of the great collapse gather around the decomposing cables, wires, and TVs, waiting for the next mysterious broadcast.

Asked about how his love of horror movies has played a part in shaping the album, Barber explains, “Not only horror, but all film has a huge influence on my music. I've always felt that my pieces are like mini soundtracks to films that don't exist. I wouldn't say there are specific films as a whole that influenced Ratimis, but more bits of multiple films, shows, etc., that provoke a response to create a piece.”

“‘Test Patient Pattern’ begins with a vocal sample from Messiah of Evil, and I made that piece immediately after watching it, so that's another obvious one in which I was completely struck by the tone of that movie and I attempted to translate my feeling into song. ‘Creature’ is my tribute and my own take on Italian horror film scores. That piece was the most challenging to make and went through about four iterations before the magic happened. I probably owe a lot of my earlier inspiration to [David] Lynch. He's my favorite director and his tone and experimentation really influences a lot of the moodiness of my stuff.”

Even the name of Brahm’s latest record is an obscure reference to cult movies. As he explains, “‘Ratimis’ is ‘Simitar’ backwards, which is a tribute to the great Simitar Entertainment Studio, the logo and intro (among many others) of which is forever embedded in my head from various VHS films from my youth.” (Simitar Entertainment released movies like Frankenhooker, Dead & Buried, and God Told Me To.)

Barber’s collaboration with director Damon Packard, who also helmed videos for the album tracks “Creature” and “Midnight Wolf,” came about so surprisingly that it almost seems impossible. “I wanted to figure out a way to cross-promote the record to both indie music fans and movie fans, but had to figure out how to go about that,” Barber says. “Being that I work with a lot of vinyl, samples, and synths, and being a huge fan of Damon Packard's style of intercutting old TV shows, commercials, scores, and films into his movies—I immediately relate to that, as it is essentially the same as sampling in music—I figured I would take a shot at getting him to direct a video.”

“The story of how we linked up is quite simple. I read that Ben Wheatley simply tweeted Adrian Utley from Portishead and asked him if he would do a song for High-Rise, and it turned out that Utley was a fan and agreed. I did the same. I emailed Damon and he agreed to do it. Turns out he ended up doing three! I was so excited! People still don't know Packard by name, but I feel he's a genius. His thought process is so unique and his knowledge of film and film scores is mind-boggling. I hope sooner than later that he gets the appreciation he deserves.”

Ratimis, Brahm’s first original album in over a decade, is being released on vinyl and digital formats via Swedish Columbia today. Last year, the label released a compilation of Brahm’s earlier work titled I Wish I Could Sample and Loop Your Brightest Moment (Selections 19942006).

To hear samples of Ratimis or to order the album, visit his official site.

  • Patrick Bromley
    About the Author - Patrick Bromley

    Patrick lives in Chicago, where he has been writing about film since 2004. A member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, Patrick's writing also appears on About.com, DVDVerdict.com and fthismovie.net, the site he runs and hosts a weekly podcast.

    He has been an obsessive fan of horror and genre films his entire life, watching, re-watching and studying everything from the Universal Monsters of the '30s and '40s to the modern explosion of indie horror. Some of his favorites include Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1931), Dawn of the Dead (1978), John Carpenter's The Thing and The Funhouse. He is a lover of Tobe Hooper and his favorite Halloween film is part 4. He knows how you feel about that. He has a great wife and two cool kids, who he hopes to raise as horror nerds.